Extra Discounts for EBT Cardholders

Extra Discounts for EBT Cardholders (you've got to read this!)

 

EBT benefits can be a lifesaver.  For some it is a helping hand to get you by in a tough time, and for others it could be a matter of whether they eat dinner or not every night.  Regardless of the situation, it means money is tight.  Your family may be missing out on opportunities others have, but you shouldn’t have to.  As someone who has been through these circumstances, I want to share with you some of the great discounts and freebies I have found for EBT cardholders to help you save money! 

 

EBT Cardholder Discounts

  • Museums
  • Amazon Prime
  • Zoos
    • Some zoos even offer discounted admission – check the zoo’s website or give them a call
  • School Fees and Lunches
    • Discounted lunches and reduced or waived fees for school – most states have programs to ensure low income families can still afford to send their children to school.  This includes discounted or free lunches, reduced or waived fees for school, and even a summer lunch program.  Call your school or stop into the office to inquire.  You may also be able to find out more information from the USDA School Meals website.
  • Home Internet

Remember to show your card to verify eligibility for all of the above mentioned discounts!

 

Free bowling for kids (during summer months)

 

Other discounts to keep an eye out for (not EBT card required)

  • Program discounts through your employer
    • cell service, fitness center memberships, local discounts
  • Grocery store loyalty cards and programs
    • Walmart Savings Catcher – scan your receipt with the app and they will compare the grocery prices to other local stores and give you the difference back!
    • Meijer Mperks (for those of you in the Midwest!)
    • Price Matching
  • Check brand, store, and event websites for coupons and discounts
    • Before shopping online or visiting a store, check websites for coupons and discounts
    • Visit the brand or store website for exclusive coupons
    • Apps like Shopular and Retailmenot for store coupons
    • Restaurant and fast food apps often offer additional discounts
    • Redbox App for free/discounted movie rentals
  • Coupons.com website and app
    • Check for product or brand specific coupons
  • Current memberships
    • Investigate your current memberships.  They may get you discounts at other locations (i.e. partnering museums, library, etc)
  • Seasonal Discounts
    • Some events or memberships will offer discounts if you sign up during a certain time frame
    • Check for off season discounts
  • KidsBowlFree.com
    • Great opportunity for summer months
    • Sign up online for 2 free bowling games per day for each child (up to age 15) at qualifying locations
    • Shoe rental is not covered, however you can pick a pair of low-cost light soled shoes from a store like Walmart to wear only for bowling and not have to pay for shoes.  I spent $10 a pair for my boys and would have paid that in 3 visits alone.  Plus, after school starts and the free bowling ends, they can keep them as bowling shoes or they can have a spare pair of shoes for school! 
  • Birthday Offers
    • Sign up for savings at various places and receive free/discounted offers for your birthday

 

Embracing the Budget Lifestyle: Living Big through Little Actions

Embracing the budget lifestyle

More than ever, people need to create and stick to a budget.

You’ve likely caught one or two articles talking how the average American has less than $400 in savings. Or, how most people are one accident or financial mishap away from ruin. This is all very scary stuff when you’re aimless with your financial security and well-being. 

It’s certainly hard to live by a budget when you’re having trouble saving… but it’s not impossible.

 

Here are some of the best ways to find extra finances in your day-to-day and what to do with it:

 

  1. Simplifying and Planning Your Groceries

A Gallup poll found most people’s grocery budget is about $151 a week… a week! 

This can’t be, right? Can it? Apparently so.

Here are a few tips to cut that in half:

  1. Shop at the “cheap” grocery stores like Aldi, Trader Joe’s, or a local ethnic market
  2. Ditch name brands (usually in the middle of the shelf and endcaps) for generic brands (down low)
  3. Keep an eye out for coupons
  4. Keep a well-stocked pantry giving you plenty of options to mix and match — build this during sales
  5. Cut out meats and try one or two “meatless” days — even shop ‘clearance’ meats and cook that day
  6. Cook for yourself, more, and reinforce it remembering money and time saved

 

  1. Do Preventative Maintenance and Fix Things

What is it about something not working 100% and going straight to the trash? Or, having to have the latest and greatest because that’s what everyone else has? Consumerism will quickly drain your budget and a lot of this comes from buying low-quality goods, to begin with — and not trying to fix things when they start breaking.

When shopping:

  • Look for quality brands offering lifetime guarantees (and make sure to use those guarantees!)
  • Do your research and consider older items with better builds vs newer, cheaper productions
  • Try buying items through swaps, thrift stores, or directly from others at a discount

There are many ways to save around the home, too, by keeping up with it and fixing things especially if you’re in a dynamic environment like Utah. This could include fixing cracks in the foundation before it goes bad, or inquiring about pest control Salt Lake City services that can prevent pests like termites from ruining the foundation or woodwork in your home. Replacing wood framing eaten by termites could cost a lot of money so pest control is well worth the investment. 

 

  1. Set and Manage Expectations

Sure, it would be nice to go catch the latest flicks or grab up some nice, new piece of fashion. There’s always something new and flashy catching our attention — so much so that we’ll disregard our budget to have it. This goes the same with what we expect from others and how they influence our decisions.

Did you know your friends can influence you to spend more

That’s not telling you to ditch people close to you… just set and manage expectations and emotions. You’ve got to adult your money management. This includes tracking what’s coming in and what’s going out. It also includes letting a desirable purchase “dwell” for a few days often resulting in you no longer wanting it.

A lot of people are in financial trouble because they live beyond their means. They have trouble seeing the reality of their situation and how deep they’re digging.

You Can Live Big on a Small Budget!

A few extra bucks here and there does add up — and a lot of this funding happens when you apply value to your time and energy. A budget will help you understand whether it’s worthwhile. So, find cheap or free alternatives, aim for quality, maintain what you own, and get real with what you’ve got.

These are the things that’ll help you live big on a small (real) budget hopefully leading you out of this dangerous edge of savings and ruin.

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