In the beginning, there was just “the price”. A number that man paid without question. Then God said, “Let there be discounts”; and there were discounts. But the path to great savings is difficult and tiresome– with so many sites, programs, and strategies, where does one begin? How can you save the most, with the least amount trouble?
The following is a systematic method of saving the most money when shopping (in-store or online), using a selected variety of cash-back programs and services.
Old Testament – Physical Stores
- 1 week before – search for ANY old gift card you may have and get extra cash by selling them! Cardpool has physical locations in grocery stores/etc. to trade in your unused gift cards for cash. Find your nearest kiosk here. You can then BUY physical gift cards at discount using Cardpool, or Raise
- 1 day before – Pair Ebates with your credit card and activate any in-store offers
- 30 minutes before: Search both Ibotta and Checkout 51 apps on your phone to add/mark deals before you walk into the store. These apps can be used together to stack discounts.
- Time of purchase – we recommend using a cash back credit card (typically between 1-5%)
- After purchase – Submit a photo of your receipt to Ibotta and Checkout 51 (if applicable).
- Wait for your cash back! Check out our comparison chart to see how often each program sends you your money
Estimated savings: 15-20% off
New Testament – Online Shopping
- Before/ongoing – Earn money by watching videos, completing surveys, etc. with Inbox Dollars
- 1 hour before – Sign up for Ebates and Top Cashback and activate their browser toolbar plugins
- 10 minutes before – Buy a discounted e-gift card using Mygiftcards Plus, which can give double rewards if you are a part of Swagbucks or MyPoints. Otherwise, use Raise. Either way, be sure to activate your Ebates or Top CashBack toolbar before buying your discounted gift card! With this method, you’re essentially earning free money for buying money at a discount. It doesn’t get any better than that.
- Make your purchase – activate Ebates/TopCashback again for more cash back!
- During checkout, use the Honey toolbar to save big. They test a library of thousands of promo codes and automatically choose the one that saves you the most. This takes only seconds and can sometimes save you up to 40%.
- Redeem your cash back via PayPal OR get extra money by choosing an Amazon gift card (TopCashback)
Estimated savings: 20-30%+ off
The key to saving money when shopping online is sticking to an organized system that works. Follow these steps above and you’ll save far more than you would using just one or two programs whenever you happen to remember. It may seem like a lot of work, but with all of the tools installed, it only takes an additional minute or two when you get used to the process.