How I Save Money When I'm Not Thrift Store Shopping!

Happy Wednesday, Friends! Each week I chronicle my fabulous finds from local thrift stores but today I thought you might enjoy seeing how I save money when I'm not thrifting....

where I save money

I often shop Lowe's for DIY supplies and frequently check the oops paint section when I have a painting project. However, my best finds there have been the clearance mark downs. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen a few of my recent scores. Their garden section rocks when it comes to clearance--sometimes it just takes a little hunting! Recently, I was on the fence about buying mums because while I love the festive fall touch they add, our weather has not really cooled down yet. When I browsed Lowe's garden section, the price was more than I wanted to pay. Before leaving, I decided to walk thru again when I noticed a clearance rack of my favorite yellow mums for $1 each. Score! When I said sometimes it takes a little hunting, I meant it literally as our store never seems to keep the clearance rack in the same place. I was a happy camper when I left with a car full of mums for less than $10!

yellow mums
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The following week I was in the store and just happened to see a rack of Halloween merchandise for 75% off. I was thrilled to find out these cute door mats were included because they'll be perfect through Thanksgiving.

Autumn door mat

Another place I save regularly is Big Lots. Now to be honest, our local Big Lots is not my favorite store. It doesn't have the selection I've seen at their other stores in bigger cities and there is usually a long line. However, there is one product that keeps me going back--their K cups. The Java Homestead brand they carry is a box of 14 for $5 and I save even more by being a Buzz Club reward member and using the coupons that are offered frequently by email. The coffee tastes good and unlike some other store brands I've tried, no grounds seep through. The last time I bought 3 boxes and used a coupon, I got 42 K-cups for $10, which is quite a savings compared to other brands! My favorite is Hazelnut and it is also available in light, medium and dark roast. 

Big Lots K-cups

I earn cash back from my grocery shopping purchases with ibotta, plus you can earn a $10 bonus, when you try the app.

ibotta cash back app

I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of Amazon Prime for its free 2 day shippingad free music, and unlimited streaming of TV shows and movies. Recently, I've also started to organize my many, many photo files by taking advantage of Prime photos which offers FREE unlimited photo storage. These are just several of the many features available for about the same cost per month as Netflix and it's even less, if you pay for the year instead of month-to-month. You can see everything included in Prime here. 

While I've shared that I often buy essential oils from Amazon, here are some other purchases I've made over the last year.  When I needed to replace my lawn mower, I didn't have to hunt for one and then wrestle it into my hatchback, it was delivered right to my front door! 

Pin it!

Earthwise push reel lawn mower

Another benefit of Prime, is being able to ship directly to friends or family for free. When Ginger Grand requested an Avengers pencil box for kindergarten, I was only too happy to oblige and he received it in 2 days. 

Avengers pencil box Amazon #affiliatelink

Most recently, when my faithful Chromebook met with an unfortunate accident involving an iced latte and despite various attempts could not be resuscitated, I not only found the best price on Amazon, as promised, I received it within two days.  

Acer Chromebook Amazon affiliate

I want to mention Amazon's return/replacement policy which I'd never needed until I bought the new Chromebook. I loved my old Chromebook but after reading many glowing reviews decided to upgrade to this model which was a different brand. When I received it, though extremely light weight and beautiful to behold as promised, it did not perform as expected. It was S-L-O-W... I was really disappointed because that had never been an issue with my original Chromebook. After conducting more research, and only being able to find positive reviews on the speed, I decided to try replacing it on the chance that I'd just gotten a lemon. If you request a replacement, Amazon will ship the new product and give you 30 days to return the original with free UPS shipping. Again, thanks to Prime shipping, I had the replacement within 2 days and guess what? It works like a charm! I don't know about you, but I feel much more confident about shopping online when I know there a convenient, hassle free return policy. If you have a certain someone that is always hard to shop for, maybe they would enjoy a membership.

Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime

The last place I have consistently saved may come as a surprise. I'll give you a hint--you can eat to die for pumpkin spice pancakes before you shop! Time after time I've found some of the coolest toys, holiday decor, gifts and all kinds of goodies on clearance at....Cracker Barrel! I am picky about purses--who would have thought I would find the cross body style I prefer in a fabulous color at Cracker Barrel, of all places? It was $30 marked down to $5.99!

turquoise cross body bag

I also found this whimsical garden shovel with an appropriate request in our climate! Isn't it cute next to my repurposed scarecrow? It was 80% off! 

Pray for rain garden shovel

Other than thrift stores, where's your favorite place to shop for bargains?

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Great post...definitely some new ideas for me to try :)

  2. Oh! I'm glad to hear your newest new computer works properly! What a relief! I like the bargain plant rack at Lowes too...I got my poinsettias for $1 last year, maybe not at the beginning of the season but in plenty of time to enjoy them for Christmas. I need to try the kcups at Big Lots. Much better price!

  3. I shop many of these places also! My Mom and I buy our coffee pods from Big Lots also (we love the French Roast). Cracker Barrel does have the best clearance items and I'm a huge fan of Amazon Prime! I buy most of my Christmas items there, especially toys. Prices are great and delivered right to my front door. Thanks for some other ideas about where to shop!

  4. Great tips and I appreciate you sharing them. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  5. I love the Cracker Barrel gift shop! I always find many things I want to buy. I will have to look for the clearance section in my Lowe's...didn't know they had one!!

  6. Some very interesting ideas ♥

  7. I shop at my Big Lots, which is large. I do look for bargains, mark downs, clearance items on inside end caps at most stores as well.

  8. I love to hear how others save money. We shop many of the same stores and sites. Target is my clearance go to but I love Big Lots too. You are right their stores vary from location to location. I debated joining Amazon Prime but joined and never regretted it.

  9. I love this money saving post! If I used kcups, I would go to Big Lots, but an even better way to save moolah is to get the pod thingie that you can fill with coffee. A friend turned me on to that idea and I love it!


  10. I love your tips! This was a great post b/c I'm very frugal too & love to know more ways to save. I just purchased Amazon Prime by accident (I didn't mean to), but I think I'll keep it now. So far I've been pleased with everything I've gotten from them. I even bought a wheelchair that I'm very pleased with, but thankfully, don't have to use anymore. I mainly use it in my photograph area b/c it's the perfect height to sit in to take pictures for my Etsy shop...LOL. Do you use those lights for your product photos? I've often found LED's to be rather dim, so was wondering if those are good for that purpose.


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