November 04, 2016

5 Ways To Save Money Shopping Online

This is a part of my Ballin' on a Budget series, where I share tips, tricks and best-kept secrets to sticking to a budget while living your best life! 

This post is sponsored by Groupon. All opinions are my own. 
Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Caro Diaries!

This week, I shared how I save money on all of my big purchases, and the response was so great that I teamed up with Groupon again to talk about how I save money when I shop online! I'm definitely an online shopper... there's something so easy about browsing, clicking and it just showing up at your door! But it can add up really quickly... trust me, I'd know ;) Luckily, I've learned some go-to tips for saving the most money when shopping online, so you can get even more for even less!
1) Two words: Amazon. Prime. // So Amazon Prime isn't a sale website or anything, but signing up for Prime gives you free two-day shipping on all Amazon orders! Sign up for a free 30-day trial to test out the service and save you tons of money! While it's an initial fee, it'll definitely save you money in the long run!

2) Track prices before you buy // I already mentioned how much I love Price Blink's browser extension that automatically compares prices on any item you're looking at.. which makes it ten times easier to save money! I also swear by ShopStyle that allows you to track prices and set sale alerts on items you're lusting over.. so when that expensive pair of heels that never go on sale go on sale, you'll save yourself money and get that pair of shoes.. talk about a win/win!

3) Check off-price retailers first // While larger-named department stores like Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus might be your first choice when it comes to online shopping, they can be expensive! Try off-price retailers like Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth and Neiman Marcus Last Call so you can grab designer goods and high-end clothes at discount prices!

4) Use ShopRunner // Have you ever heard of ShopRunner? It's a service really similarly to Amazon Prime that gives you free 2-day shipping on websites that usually charge for shipping. Stores like Neiman Marcus, Kate Spade, eBags and more all offer free shipping to ShopRunner members! So like Amazon Prime, there's an initial fee but you'll save tons that make it so worth it. What truly wins you over is the free return shipping with ShopRunner, so if something doesn't fit or look good, you can send it back without paying for the pesky $5+ shipping fees. Plus, if you're an AmEx cardmember, you may be eligible for a complimentary membership!

5) Use Groupon Coupons // I never online shop without first checking online for coupons. I mean it's simple.. why pay full price when chances are there's a 10, 15, 25% off coupon somewhere out there! I always check Groupon before I checkout any online purchase because they have all of my favorite and go-to stores, including Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor! Definitely a lifesaver when online shopping!

So there you have it... those are my big secrets on how I save money when online shopping. Hopefully it can help you out too!

Do you online shop? How do you save money? 

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November 03, 2016

November Goals

Jesusssss how are we in November already?!!! 2016 CANNOT be almost over! October flew by... okay, no, this entire year flew by! I can't get over how quickly 2017 is approaching! But October as a month was much better than September.. so let's just get to recapping the month!

Check out last month's goals and recap post here! 

RECAP OF MY OCTOBER GOALS

1. Create a 6-week content calendar // Wow ok, I suck at this. Once again, I put off creating a full content calendar.. but I did draft out blog post ideas for 15 or so posts, so I'm gonna chalk this up as a half-win!

2. Get back into a workout routine // Finally! I honestly kept putting this off month after month, but last month I bit the bullet and started training with a professional trainer. I thought for sure I'd only go to the gym twice a week, but surprisingly, I started working out five days a week! It's been cool to see results already and he's a pretty fun trainer (and even posts "proud instas" of his clients.. aka me here and here!)

3. Schedule my life out fully // Nope, fail. I mean, I've gotten into more of a routine but I haven't found a way to really schedule out all aspects of my life. It's definitely an adjustment because admittedly, I do have a lot going on in my life. Between working full-time, working on the blog, writing freelance, working as a VA for a few clients and then finding time to workout and have a social life, I'm gonna lose it eventually! So this needs to happen... it just hasn't yet!

4. Cut out all soda drinks and drink more water // I have kinda done this... I've definitely cut down on my diet coke obsession, but I haven't cut it out completely, so I'm working towards this. I definitely need to drink more water too!

5. Utilize Helene's Blog Boss Babe // Ok, so I haven't completely done this but I have been more tuned into her Facebook group, and learning a lot! My next step is to start using the actual web portal more and taking some of her courses.

2.5/5: OK, not a great month but not my worst. I've come to realize that I need to be more realistic about my monthly goals and be honest with myself about what I can tackle each month.

NOVEMBER GOALS

1. Utilize The Genius Bloggers Toolkit // I signed up for this incredible bundle at the last minute because I knew I would benefit from at least ONE of the 67 amazing blogging resources.. so my goal for this month is to get started on some of these tools! Did you buy the bundle too? Join our group and become an accountability buddy so we can actually tackle this massive task! 

2. Take on another client // My contract with one of my clients ended last month, so I'm looking to take on another client this month! Need a VA? Email me

3. Start using Pinterest more // Thanks to some major inspiration from Jenny's Confetti Social newsletter, I want to focus more on Pinterest this month! I really haven't been utilizing my Pinterest to the best of my ability, and it used to be one of my largest sources of traffic. I'm aiming to start back pinning regularly, organizing my boards and scheduling pins for throughout the day so I'm not pinning all at the same time! 

4. Get started on my Christmas shopping // This is the first year I'm "buying" Christmas gifts in my family. In the past, everyone has always picked one name but students were always exempt from it cause #broke. But apparently once you graduate, you start buying gifts! I wanna start online shopping this month and getting good deals on Christmas gifts for my friends and family! 

5. Shoot two outfit posts // I've been feeling incredibly uncomfortable in my body since I moved home, and I've avoided shooting outfit posts because of it, but I'm putting this here to motivate myself to get back into it and get out of my comfort zone and start shooting outfit posts again! 

Here's to hoping November is a successful one! Linking up my goals this month with my good friend Jenny from Breakfast at Lilly's

What are your goals for the upcoming month? 


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