Here’s a secret I wish I knew about years ago: There is no reason to ever pay full price for anything.
With a few simple tricks, I can save money on everything I buy. I recently began implementing these methods, and oh how I wish I knew about them years ago! These tricks can be easily combined to save even more, and I have already saved nearly $1,000 over the course of a few months (and I’m not even a big shopper!). I’ve also included some bonuses to help you guys save too!
Contains affiliate links. See my full disclaimer.
1. Use Cash Back Programs
I saw commercials for Rakuten (formally called Ebates!) for years before I finally decided to give them a try. Waiting so long to sign up was a huge mistake because I have already earned over $100 from Rakuten in about 4 months. I usually get around 2-10% cash back on my purchases, and that really adds up since I buy most of my household and pet supplies online. The savings are even sweeter when I’m buying higher priced items like electronics or furniture. And since Rakuten works with my go to stores such as Amazon, this really is a no brainer.
P.S. They even offer a sweet $10 welcome bonus when you sign up!
Bonus Tip: You can book stays at most major hotels through Rakuten and get up to 10% cash back. It’s an easy way to save $100s on your next vacation!
Already have Rakuten? I recommend checking out TopCashBack as well because they often have higher cash back rates for certain online stores. I use both services & always check which one has the best rate for the site I’m shopping with.
Ok, but what about getting cash back on in store purchases? This is where Ibotta comes in. Ibotta is an app for your phone that gives you cash back on specific items you purchase. This app is what I use for grocery shopping and Target runs, and they will also give you a $10 bonus for trying it out (Use code HQLCTLT to get your bonus!).
2. Use Amazon’s Subscribe & Save
One of my favorite ways to save on Amazon is to use their Subscribe and Save program. This is an easy way to save 5-15% on your regular household purchases, plus it saves you trips to the store each month!
Just add your supplies to your cart and let Amazon know how often they should deliver them (don’t worry, you can cancel and add items any time before your month’s box ships!). You’ll automatically be given a discount on most items (usually 5%), and if you have five or more items being shipped in a month Amazon will bump your discounts up to the next savings tier (usually 15%).
So what can you find in Amazon’s Subscribe & Save shop? Lots! Groceries, cleaning supplies, make up, skin care, pet supplies, baby food and diapers, vitamin and medicine, and even car care supplies.
Since I mostly use this service for household supplies & pet food, I looked up a large bag of dog food as an example. As you can see, using the Subscribe & Save option saves you $3.75 on just this one item. I also use a cash back card on top of this for even more savings (see #3 below).
3. Take Advantage of a Cash Back Card
This is a sure way to save money on everything you purchase. If you are responsible with credit cards, you’re leaving money on the table by not utilizing a rewards credit card. I love cash back cards, and the Discover It card has been my favorite so far. I haven’t even had it for a full year, and I’ve already gotten over $200 back!
You earn 5% cash back on rotating categories such as gas, groceries, and restaurants, and you get 1% cash back on literally everything else. And I love that at the end of your first year, they’ll match any cash back you’ve earned over the last 12 months. So you basically get 2% & 10% during your first year. You even get a $50 bonus when you sign up with this link.
4. Buy Discounted Gift Cards for Your Favorite Stores
I use Raise & Gift Card Granny to find discounted gift cards for the stores I frequently shop at. These sites have excellent refund policies and money back guarantees, so you’ll never need to worry about purchasing a bad card.
5. Get Discount Codes Automatically Applied to Your Online Purchases
I used to use RetailMeNot to look up discount codes for my online orders, but now I primarily use Honey because it’s so much easier! Just download the browser extension, and it automatically finds coupons to apply to your purchases. When you are ready to check out, Honey will remind you to apply the coupons it found. Ebates will also give you a reminder to activate your cash back if you have that installed, too! These two handy services will help you save money on everything you order online.
6. Find Out if a Local Store Price Matches
I love our local pet store, but they don’t always have the most competetive prices, so sometimes I would have to drive across town to Petsmart for certain items or order them online. But I recently found out that my local pet store has a price match policy. While they won’t match prices to online-only stores like Amazon and Chewy, they will happily match prices to Petsmart.com. I just have to show them the product page on my phone. It’s easy, saves me a few bucks, and allows me to continue supporting a locally owned business. Plus my dog loves the shopping trip!
What are your favorite money saving tips?