Tag Archives: freebies

FREE Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & $1.36 Stationary!

I’m always trying to take advantage of as many freebies as I can, and this week was no exception as I scored a few great deals that I wanted to share with you. I was able to snag some free Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (a King Size nonetheless!), and some cheap stationary!

First off, let’s talk about the free Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Here on this blog before I have mentioned how I like to take advantage of my local gas station Sheetz’s loyalty reward card program, the MySheetz Card. They recently overhauled their program and made some changes. I didn’t know how I’d feel about it at first, but after getting to learn about it, I am enjoying the changes. It’s much like the Giant Food Stores program that I use, where you can load offers and deals on to your card. Before you would earn credits for certain items you purchased, and after so many you would earn a free one of that particular item. Now you earn points on everything you purchase, and you can use those points for a variety of rewards such as free hot dogs, free candy, free coffee, free drinks, free hoagies, and much more. It’s now all your choice what you use the rewards for.

Every so often, like they have always done, they also send you an email with a freebie that you can cash-in with no purchase necessary. This past week I received an email with a FREE King Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy bar! One night this week after my girlfriend was done with work, we stopped by and picked up our free candy bar! Let me tell you, after putting it in the refrigerator for a few hours (you gotta put your chocolate in the fridge!) it was the perfect end to the night! If you live in the Northeastern United States you can get more information on the MySheetz Card here.

For many years I have also been a member of the Staples Rewards program offered by, of course, Staples. I often get a variety of discounts and offers in the mail, but every so often they send what I consider the “holy grail of Staples offers,” a $10-off-$10 coupon. As long as you purchase full-price items (nothing on sale counts) you can literally spend as little as you wish over $10 and basically get everything for free. On this trip I was able to score some stationary for me and my girlfriend and only had to spend $1.36 out-of-pocket. Sometimes I’ll go
in and spend much more than $10 and get some stuff I was already in need of anyway, but this time I just took advantage. It’s good to spend more sometimes so you can keep getting the coupons in the mail. If you would like some more information on the Staples Rewards program you can find it here.

I mentioned Giant earlier, which is one of my favorite grocery stores, and I’ve got some good freebies there for this week already loaded on my card. I will try and share those here soon, or at least post them on the Ninja Ghost Investments Facebook page, which you can find here.

Bottom line is take advantage of rewards programs which offer freebies. You can try some of these examples I mentioned if you have any of these stores in your area, or just do some research on some of the programs your local stores offer. You just may be surprised! Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with more soon! If you have any questions or comments PLEASE leave them below!

Brent Ott

Sam’s Club Haul: Worth The Membership for Business or Personal? YES!

Over the years I have really come to enjoy shopping at Sam’s Club for both business and personal reasons. I remember going a few times when I was younger with family or friends, as well as taking a few of their “free preview” tours maybe 5 to 10 years ago. Every so often you can find these passes in a local mailing, the local newspaper, or on the Internet.

I finally purchased a “Sam’s Business” card for just $45 annually a few years back, and it was one of the best decisions I have made. They offer three different types of memberships: the “Sam’s Business” as I got, the regular “Sam’s Savings” membership which is also only $45 annually, and finally the “Sam’s Plus” membership which is $100 annually. The “Sam’s Plus” offers a variety of different perks, including the main perk which is Cash Rewards based off of purchases you make. Each level of membership has it’s own perks, which you can find here. For me, the “Sam’s Business” is the perfect fit.

I get quite a lot of things for my business at Sam’s Club, at deals that are hard to compare to. Some of the things I get include bubble wrap, printer ink, t-shirt bags (grocery carryout bags), and Electronics Duster. I also get MANY things for my household at Sam’s Club which include paper plates, garbage bags, vitamins, air freshener, bottled water, cheese sticks, peanut butter crackers, and the list goes on. The key to shopping at Sam’s Club and doing so smart, is to do price comparisons of the things you may be interested in buying. Check the amount of the item that is in the packaging, and the cost per ounce, etc… Make sure that you are actually getting the best deal compared to where you usually purchase that particular item. On most things you spend a little more money up front at Sam’s Club, but the cost savings over the course of you using that item makes it a smart investment and actually saves you money in the long run.

Pictured here is the recent haul that I wanted to share with you guys. To write this blog I actually went to Sam’s Club twice to shop, in addition to get photography, etc.. This cart was my entire first haul, and cost $64.22. That breaks down to the following: $7.98 for the pack of cheese, $8.91 for the Glade three-pack (which was on clearance, more on that to come!), $13.74 a piece for the two pairs of Calvin Klein shorts, $8.48 for the pack of cups, $5.98 for the soil, and $3.98 for the bottled water. Of course, here in Pennsylvania, there was also $1.41 in sales tax. I have done the math on these purchases (I’m a little O.C.D., I admit!) and these were the best deals around. The shorts were actually a different type of investment for me, as one pair goes to my girlfriend, and I’ll be selling the other on eBay. Being a reseller, Sam’s Club really comes in handy as you can often find a lot of great deals at regular price, but even BETTER when they do their clearances.

When you are walking around Sam’s Club look for all the items with the price tag which ends in “1.” At Sam’s, this means the item is on clearance. Sometimes you will even find something that was marked down once, and then is put on an even bigger clearance. They really blow stuff out often to make room for new merchandise.  Sam’s Club isn’t like a typical grocery store or department store in the fact that they don’t have a ton of variety. They also often switch up what they do carry, although many things in their inventory do stay the same. Every trip is like a new adventure!

I am sure this is one of many people’s favorite parts of Sam’s Club, but don’t forget the free samples and the free sample machine! Every day throughout the day they set up stands in which employees sample a variety of products which they offer. Over the years I have sampled too much to recall everything! Everything from breakfast sandwiches, to cheese, to burgers, to orange juice, to fruit, candy, breads, spreads, desserts, and everything in between. In addition, Sam’s Club has “Freeosks” in each store which are updated often. At these sample machines you simply scan your membership card, and out comes a free sample! These freebies alone can make the membership worthwhile. You can get more information on the Freeosks (which are also available at certain other stores) here.

One more thing to mention is that you can place an order with Sam’s Club on their website, and have it prepared to pickup in-store or get delivered. If you use this perk, you can also use eBates to get some cash back on top of what you would have already spent anyway. I wrote a blog post on eBates a while back which you can find here. I suggest EVERYONE check that out, it’s honestly FREE MONEY!

In addition to everything I have mentioned, joining Sam’s Club comes with even more membership perks. One thing I love is the Snack Bar. Here you can get some INCREDIBLE deals including a $2.50 slice of pizza (it’s actually two large slices) and drink combo. Clubs also have a tire department, a pharmacy, car-buying perks, health insurance perks, and the list really does go on. I don’t take advantage of NEAR as many perks as I probably should. Bottom line, is a Sam’s Club membership worth it? Whether you are interested in a membership for business or personal reasons, the answer in my opinion is a strong YES.

Do you shop at Sam’s Club? What are some of your favorite things to buy there? Any of the perks I didn’t mention or briefly mentioned that you take advantage of? Leave any questions or comments below and I will respond. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Brent Ott

 

How To NOT Treat Your Customers & Community: The Downfall of Coca-Cola’s MyCokeRewards

As I have shared with you, I like to take advantage of a variety of programs and memberships which allow me to get freebies for doing things I would have already done anyway. Doing so is how you can really stretch your budget and make the most of what you have. One of the very first such programs I was a member of was Coca-Cola’s MyCokeRewards. For a decade or so I was a member. It was similar to the Pepsi Stuff/Pepsi Points program from many years back, for some of you who may remember. On Coke products there were codes, you entered the codes online for points, and you could then cash in the points for various rewards.

Over the years I used MyCokeRewards and redeemed them for theme park tickets, Amazon gift cards, and a variety of other various, worthwhile prizes. It gave you a reason to look forward to drinking Coke, saving your caps and packaging, and even asking your friends and family to save them for you. It really helped to build brand loyalty.

I don’t drink a lot of soda, but I am very loyal to Coke when I do. I am a simple, original Coke type of guy. I actually have a hard time drinking a full-size 12-ounce Coke, and prefer only having an 8-oz can every so often. It’s the perfect size for someone like me! Coca-Cola is an iconic brand. Everything from their Christmas/Santa packaging and advertising, to their other artwork and classic advertising. Being a reseller I have grown to love Coke advertising and have sold many vintage signs, crates, bottles, you name it. My passion for Coke and their brand has also led me to holding a small investment in Coke, for many of the same reasons that Warren Buffett has held the stock for so many years. It’s just a small gesture, but I was so very proud when Stockpile, the company I use to hold Coke stock, sent me a stock certificate that I could display in my office last year. Simply put, I’m very loyal to Coke.

All of these reasons is why it truly hurt so much when Coke decided to “improve” their MyCokeRewards program, as they decided to call it. Make it “better.” Yeah, right. We’ve been down this road before. Over the years, they have changed the program many times. They have made it harder in different ways, made you earn status levels, changed it back, and I don’t fault them for any of that really. During all these changes over the years they still kept the basic truth of the program which was that you could use your points towards actual prizes and rewards. Things that made it worthwhile.

With this last and seemingly final update, all that changed. First off, they set a certain deadline in which you would no longer be able to enter the codes you had already collected. This deadline has passed. The program had a weekly 75-point limit in which you could not pass, which was understandable. What wasn’t is that they didn’t allow their loyal community to have an unlimited period in which they could catch up their stockpile of codes. Many people had to just simply throw away the rest of their codes. If you look at the community they built on their Facebook page, this is one huge complaint stemming from these changes. The people responding truly don’t even seem to care that they have angered everyone.

They are claiming that the program will be “better” now, and “easier.” It sort of reminds me of Donald Trump’s campaign for President. False promises and statements throughout. The new program which they are transitioning to seems to be nothing but entering your codes for sweepstakes entries. Who really wants to be loyal to a brand, save their codes, and enter them for a small chance at winning something? Saving them for something you would actually want like a theme park ticket, gift card, movie ticket, Coke t-shirt, etc.. is much more worthwhile. On top of destroying the program they built, they gave everyone a time period in which they have to use all their earned points by, or lose the rest. Even though the new program looks to be a joke, why wouldn’t they allow points to carry over?

The basic truth is as follows: I understand that business changes, society changes. Soda sales have slowed dramatically over the years, as more people now drink bottled water and other healthy alternatives. I’m no different. Myself and the rest of the Coke community probably would have understood more if Coke was just honest and stated that they had to change the program or get rid of it all together due to declining sales, profits, whatever the case. But claiming that they are making it “better” and “easier” and whatever other blanket statements they feel like using is a great way to lose the loyal community that you spent years building. Turning your own community against you really makes no sense.

Were you a member of the MyCokeRewards community? What are your personal thoughts on these changes? I’ve heard of some other programs that have recently done similar moves, including a local gas station/convenience store which has implemented similar changes. Have you experienced any similar situations? It’s a shame when you get used to something and it gets taken from you, but that is life I suppose. Is honesty too much to ask for in this day and age? That is really all I am asking here.

I usually always try to be positive, and I’m sure my next post will follow that path, but this is something that has been on my mind for a while that I just felt the need to share. It’s not the end of the World, my life is filled with many bigger problems. To wrap it up and be as honest as I can, I’m just really let down by the iconic, classic brand that is Coca-Cola. Drinking my 8-oz can just may never be the same again….

Thank you for reading, and leave your comments below! I promise that I will respond!

Brent Ott

3 More Ways I Earn Extra FREE Money Every Month: PayPal Business Debit MasterCard, Target REDcard & Wal-Mart Savings Catcher

If you know anything about me by now, it may be that I like to earn a little extra cash any way that I can. Today I wanted to share three more ways that I do just that every month.

First off I wanted to talk about something that I have done for MANY years….

***PayPal Business Debit MasterCard

The PayPal Business Debit MasterCard is one of the cards that has been in my wallet the longest. I have long been an eBay seller, and nearly 100% of the payments I receive from eBay go directly to my PayPal account. Having their Business Debit MasterCard when you sell on eBay is a must in my book. First off, you have direct access to your funds from sales. Second, and possibly above all else, when you use the card ANYWHERE as a credit card (not enter your pin) you earn 1% cash back on EVERY purchase! It’s really that simple.

Within the first week or two of every month you then receive your cash back for the previous month. There is no annual fee or any fees other than the original PayPal fees for your eBay sales, etc.. I use mine a lot for business purchases and a variety of other purchases throughout the month. It’s awesome getting the cash back every month for making purchases you already would have anyway.

If you would like more information on the PayPal Business Debit MasterCard you can find everything you need here.

Next up is yet another Debit Card I have used over a year now and highly recommend…

***Target REDcard

The Target REDcard is offered as a Credit OR Debit Card. Since I limit the amount of credit cards I open and don’t use any store credit cards usually, I recommend the Target REDcard Debit Card. The first selling point is that on EVERY purchase you make at Target or Target.com, you INSTANTLY save 5% off! In addition, you get free shipping on Target.com when using your REDcard. When you sign up for it you link it to your existing bank account, and every time you make a purchase after a few days the amount you spent comes out of your bank account. No fees, lots of perks, and 5% savings on EVERYTHING! You can’t go wrong.

I feel that I need to point out that I only make purchases at Target which I already would have anyway. I don’t buy things JUST to get the 5%-off. Doing that is where a lot of people can get into trouble. It’s important to comparison shop and make sure that you are still getting the best overall deal, and staying within your monthly budget.

If you would like more information on the Target REDcard everything you need is available here.

Finally I want to share a tool that I have used several years to once again earn FREE month every month…

***Wal-Mart Savings Catcher

The Wal-Mart Savings Catcher is very unique. Every time you shop at Wal-Mart you simply, first off, save your receipt. Using either the website or the available app, you enter your receipts, and it automatically after that compares your purchases to other local grocery stores, other national chains, and other convenience stores.

After a few days of processing you get back what, if any, savings that you could have otherwise earned shopping elsewhere. Doing just this I have earned enough Wal-Mart Bucks (money that can be spent at Wal-Mart or Wal-Mart.com) to get a free toaster oven, a free doormat, free food purchases, all sorts of things.

If you would like more information on the Wal-Mart Savings Catcher simply click here.

Final Thoughts:

These three tools, if you ask me, are all no-brainers. They are all free money simply for shopping like you already would have. The PayPal Business Debit MasterCard gets you 1% cash back ANYWHERE you shop and use the credit option. Target REDcard gets you 5% off of ANY Target purchase. Finally, the Wal-Mart Savings Catcher can save you HUGE depending on what you buy which may be on sale somewhere else, that you may have otherwise missed.

 

I recommend just sticking with your regular budget (and if you don’t have one get started, it’s easy!) and not making purchases just to feel like you are saving money, so why not? Keeping this in mind while you shop and use these tools will keep you out of trouble. Who doesn’t like earning free money? I know I do!

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below, and I will respond!

Thanks again!

Brent Ott

 

Save Money with Grocery Store & Gas Station FREEBIES & Reward Programs

My girlfriend and I have always been a big fan of both grocery store & gas station reward programs, in addition to others at restaurants, coffee shops, etc… We always will be regardless of how much money we may have saved, and you should be as well! Let’s face it, every penny and dollar saved really does add up.

I figured that I would share a recent haul with you, and I plan on doing more similar things in the future. Everything you see pictured comes from two of our favorite places for reward programs, Giant Food Stores & Sheetz Gas StationEverything cost only $6.01, including the lottery ticket which we had a “free ticket” winning ticket which we cashed in for! (Off of this one we won another free ticket!)

I really enjoy Giant first off because they have an online & app coupon program, in which you can load offers directly to your store reward card. They often send complete freebies which you can load. Usually there are certain dates which you need to load the offer by, and redeem the offer by, but it is well worth the effort especially for something completely free! Like most grocery store reward cards they also offer points you receive for certain dollar amounts spent, which you can redeem for gas rewards and other offers especially around the Holiday Season. We take advantage of several of these local programs.

Sheetz is similar, although different, and very unique for a gas station. First off, every so often they instantly load a complete freebie to your reward card, which usually you receive an email for in advance. They also offer earned freebies for every so many purchases of a particular item you make. One example is for every 10 coffees purchased you get one free. They have similar offers for salads, subs, and a variety of other items. Sheetz is unlike many other gas stations as they have a built-in Made-to-Order food section/restaurant in some locations.

This haul came the other night after I picked my girlfriend up and we were headed home. We decided to swing by both Giant & Sheetz quick, and spent maybe 45 minutes total in both locations before heading home. Here’s how the $6.01 haul broke down…….

  • Hershey’s Pudding: Regular priced $2.50 at Giant with $0.75 actual coupon and a $0.75 coupon loaded onto our card = $1
  • Campbell’s Yes! Soup: FREE with loading onto our Giant card!
  • Silk Cashew Milk: FREE with loading onto our Giant card!
  • Nature Valley Almond Butter Bisquits: Regular priced $2.50 ON SALE at Giant with $1 coupon loaded onto our card = $1.50
  • To-Go General Tso’s Chicken:  $3.51 not on sale, my girlfriend just wanted it! Happy girlfriend/wife, happy life!
  • Lottery Ticket: FREE with cashed in winning ticket. We don’t often play lottery, and I wouldn’t recommend doing so, but sometimes we give it a go anyway! You gotta live!
  • 16 oz. Coca-Cola: FREE with freebie loaded onto our Sheetz card!

As you see, total cost paid = $6.01!

Most of the time we just pick up freebies when we already were going grocery shopping, getting gas, or heading to whatever store the discount is for, but in this case the free soup was expiring that night so we made an exception. We religiously only try and do one shopping trip per week, at least for groceries. With running our individual businesses, a lot of the time we have several trips per week to make for various things.

Bottom line, don’t forget about using your local grocery store and other reward programs! Get the card, learn the rules, and don’t forget that in most cases you can stack actual physical coupons on top of the loaded ones for even greater savings! THANK YOU for reading, and if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, ANYTHING.. LEAVE THEM BELOW!

Thanks again!

Brent Ott