Giant SCAN IT! + SnipSnap Success

Here is what I know about myself, when it comes to grocery shopping:

I almost always go when I’m extremely hungry.
I almost always buy the same exact things.
I hate to wait in line (because I’m usually extremely hungry).
I don’t really like it when people touch my food.
I LOVE interactive, mobile coupons, but only when they’re relevant to me and what I plan on buying.

I went to Giant with the boyfriend recently to test out the SCAN IT! self-checkout operation. (You can also use SCAN IT! at Stop&Shop stores.) The system utilizes hand-held key pads and now Android and iOS apps (which turn your personal phone into your self-checkout tool) so shoppers can actually ring up their groceries as they shop and check out quickly and easily when they’re finished. We decided to grab a keypad and give it a shot since we were only planning on buying a few items. I was a little apprehensive that the SCAN IT! key pads would slow things down more than they sped them up (Dan was not apprehensive at all because he got his very own scanning gun) but I was hopeful the experience would turn out to be everything it was chalked up to be.

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It was! The best part about the SCAN IT! system? Personalized coupons. As soon as we scanned our Giant loyalty card into the key pad, it recognized exactly what we like to buy. Dan is addicted to veggie chips and purchases at least three bags during every grocery shopping trip. SCAN IT! knew this, and sent us an offer for veggie chips, before we even added anything to our cart.


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We received a half dozen more offers on our SCAN IT! device; some of them were tempting, but we only buy items we intend on buying without a coupon, so we didn’t use any other SCAN IT! mobile offers.

We did, however make use of some SnipSnap mobile coupons. When you use the SCAN IT! system, you bag items as you go and then you check out at a SCAN IT!-supported self-checkout station or your regular cashier checkout aisle. In both cases, you have the opportunity to scan and redeem additional coupons. The SnipSnap app is loaded with great Giant store coupons for essentials just about everyone needs. I redeemed these offers for salad, milk, and meat.

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I’m definitely a fan of SCAN IT! The system was hassle free me and I love that it affords me a new way to redeem paperless coupons.

If you shop at Giant and you’re looking for effortless ways to save, make sure you sign up for a store loyalty card. Utilize the free SCAN IT! self-checkout option, SnipSnap store coupons, and check out the Endorse app to see if you can earn money back on current qualifying purchases. If you shop at Stop&Shop, you can use all four of the above mobile savings methods, plus the Ibotta app for more mobile money-back opportunities. Check out the video below to learn more about SCAN IT! technology:


Drugstore Beauty: Mobile Coupons + 5 Blogs to Follow Now

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 2.30.05 PMI’ll admit it: my makeup collection desperately needs an overhaul. Even the boyfriend’s noticed my lack of lipsticks. It’s true: I’m a frugal girl so I like to stick to what works and I rarely let myself linger too long at the makeup counter (once you throw one eye shadow into your basket, how can you help but snatch them all up?) The good news: there are some fabulous, inexpensive drugstore makeup brands that work just as well as department store makeup and it’s much easier and much, much less expensive to do a makeup bag makeover at Target than it is to revamp your collection at MAC. I’m really into e.l.f. makeup brand; items typically run from $1 to $3, which is a total steal. The products are of pretty stellar quality, so, today, I can splurge on makeup like it’s 20 years ago and Bonnie Bell lip glosses and Wet n’ Wild nail polishes are the thing. Only e.l.f. products are a little more sophisticated, and I don’t feel quite as much like a first grader as I would expect to, paying $1 for lip gloss.  Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 2.29.44 PM

Don’t believe me? Don’t take my word for it. If you want to explore the drug store makeup counter more thoroughly (without being one of those people who open products up, stick their fingers in, and then leave the leftovers for no one to buy) check out these amazing frugal beauty bloggers, who test out drug store makeup and post really thorough reviews, so you only leave CVS with the best of the best!

Makeup & Beauty Blog: Karen from Makeup & Beauty Blog writes such a comprehensive list of beauty product reviews and she demos each product with delicious photography that makes you want to eat all the nail polish and bronzer up! She also does drug store beauty reviews, especially for Sonia Kashuk products from Target.

The Budget Beauty Blog: Jennifer from The Budget Beauty Blog writes really awesome reviews of drugstore brands (like e.l.f.) and goes the extra mile to compare drug store brand items to their department store counterparts. I love Jennifer’s honest advice and the scope of her reviews; check out her Wall of Mascara for a really impressive visual that will change the way you shop for eye makeup forever!

Nouveau Cheap: G. from Nouveau Cheap totally speaks to me. Her blog is beautiful and her philosophy that one should never have to spend more than $10-$20 on a makeup product is something I seriously believe in. She regularly posts drug store makeup sale alerts and discovers drug store dupes for popular department store makeup items.

The Frugal Model: Ashley from The Frugal Model does more than write about frugal beauty; she’ll teach you how to basically live your life. From tax prep tips and frugal traveling how-to, Ashley is basically the really smart, gorgeous, put-together big sister you (at least I) never had.

The Budget Socialite: Scarlett and Trinidad from The Budget Socialite put together amazing drug store makeup tutorials and reviews; they’re general, all-around, effortless frugal living experts and their blog is full of practical living advice, like how to put together mason jar meals.

Headed to the drug store to revamp your spring makeup collection? Make sure you SnipSnap some mobile coupons first! Right now, there are tons of wonderful makeup deals for drugstores like Walgreens in the app!

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Swirl into Fall: A Review

Well, Swirl. Where do I begin?

Swirl is a social shopping app that truly does live up to its name; it’s a fusion of all things frugal fashionista. Swirl centers on those user-generated collections of “inspiration boards” that have made Pinterest so beloved and essential, but Swirl takes things a step further by letting users breathe life into their dream closets. Swirl locates all those items you can’t live without, in stores, near you, and lets you know when that expensive sweater you bookmarked last summer finally goes on sale. And Swirl lets you browse and clip style inspiration based on stores you actually shop at, so your smart phone becomes your personal shopper whenever you enter the mall. Bonus: While Swirl encourages you to salivate over luxury brands in the way of your Pinterest feed, it also makes it extremely easy to stay on top of current deals and discounts in all your favorite (read: more accessible) stores.

Check out the “Offers” tab and get access to all the sales and promos in Swirl supported stores (just about any brand you can think of, from budget-friendly to luxury, is in this app). Some offers supply you with the necessary coupon codes, while others are advertisements for current in-store sales.

You can use Swirl to follow all of your favorite retailers and discover all the latest products in any given store. You can see what other users are clipping and store your favorites in your own style inspiration boards. And Swirl easily connects you to retailers’ websites, so you can figure out what you’re looking for without having to comb through clothing racks.

I really like a lot of the inspiration boards I can find on Swirl, especially those that break down how to get in on any trend while on any budget.

And there really is little want of fashion inspiration: I can search for items by store, like “Gap” or by item, like “cardigan.” But even though Swirl links up with retailers’ websites so easily, it doesn’t let me clip my own fashion findings, so I’m sort of stuck with what’s already out there in the Swirl-o-sphere. Which, I guess, is okay, since I would be using Swirl primarily to save time but, for the die-hard-design-your-own custom closet type, this could be a bit of a draw back.

So here’s the big question: Is Swirl helping you to save money? Or is it just so temping to see all those pretty little pieces pinned together that the app actually encourages you to spend more? Frugal shoppers, I seriously need you to weigh in. Email me at!