There is something that I want to let you all know – I rarely EVER pay full price for something.
With the whole credit card debt, wanting to save, etc… I’ve found some great ways to either earn rewards back, get great discounts, or layer coupons for a double deal! Just to be nice, I’m sharing a few of my tricks that are super easy to put into practice. This post isn’t sponsored or gimmicky, but rather just sharing some ways to get around the actual sticker price!
Know what you want to buy, and where it is being sold
The first thing I do, is know! I’ve actually been basing some of my purchases off my pinterest boards for wants, and for needs it is a little more intuitive (I know there will always be a need for toilet paper, dog food, soap, etc…). I then search around a bit, basically on google, determining where items can be purchased. Doing this, you may already find a great deal!
For example, I saw a bootie featured on another blog, and one of their links directed to Nordstrom, where they were selling for $69.95. Well, type in “Mia Esperanza” in google, and the same shoe appears at Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse for $34.99. Total savings: $34.96/ 49.97%
Determine if your debit or credit cards offers discounts or a percentage of cash back
I carry a Bank of America debit card and a Discover credit card. My debit card offers special promotional discounts on items. Some regulars that I see include Starbucks, Sports Authority and even local restaurants. You just sign up for using them by clicking a button, and when you use that debit card you receive cash back!
With my credit card, it is 1% cash back on everything, and 5% on select items and stores each quarter. This quarter it includes all gas stations, so I’m using my credit card to purchase gas and then I immediately pay that amount off from my checking account to avoid any interest, but still receive a percent back.
If you ever shop online, or are about to checkout, head to ebates before clicking that submit button. Chances are, the site you are on is listed on ebates, where you earn cash back. I’ve received about $20 worth of what they call big fat checks, and will definitely be utilizing them more for Christmas and upcoming birthdays. Simply sign up for an account, and shop through their store link.
Coupons, birthdays and promo codes
This is where you will see the biggest discounts! Hold onto those mailed percentage off flyers, create a folder in your email for shopping discounts, check online for codes floating around, and take advantage of the birthday discounts and birthday money coming in from family! These coupons can be layered on top of the cash back you’ll receive from using specific cards and ebates, which can mean a 3-layered coupon if you play it right!
Doing your research – knowing the biggest discounts stores offer
There are some stores that I KNOW will have specific discount points. For example, LOFT offers up to 50% off full price items and 60% off sale items throughout the year. If you can wait until these bigger discounts, do so!
If you’re unsure about the discounts provided by a store, google the store name followed by the word “coupon”. Usually, you can click on images and see what the historical big discount amounts were.
For example, I really want the Kate Spade agenda I mentioned in my previous post, but I want to wait until I get the best deal possible. At the time, I had a 15% coupon. This would have saved me $4.50. BUT, I saw on google that Kate Spade offers a 30% off discount as well. I’m waiting until this comes around, and savings $9! Plus, I can stack this with ebates, who offers 3.5% cash back on Kate Spade, discounting this item almost $10!
Check the shipping and return policies
This is often a deal breaker for me. I rarely ever pay for shipping, or return shipping. Companies that offer great policies regarding this include Zappos and Nordstrom. Some companies do not offer free shipping, or return shipping, and sometimes you can’t return items to the store that you purchased online! If you returned an item from that order, you would have paid for shipping two ways by the time you get part of your money back.
Steps in making a purchase
So when you have your eye on something, here are the basic steps you will want to take:
1. Identify sites the item is selling on
2. Determine if your debit or credit card offers any discounts or cash back at the stores where that item is located.
3. Check ebates.
4. Check for the biggest discount the store offers online
5. Assess your shopping options – look for the most layers of coupons you can use, and NEVER pay for shipping! Assess the return policy as well.
6. Pull the trigger, and get what you want for cheaper than you expected!
Here’s my most recent example of how I did this!
I had the following:
- $20 credit from using my LOFT card
- $30 off $60 purchase as a birthday gift from Ann Taylor
- Store promotion of 50% off all shoes and accessories
I did not purchase online as I would have paid for shipping costs, and with the 50% off, the bag would not have qualified for the $30 off $60, so I purchased the earrings that I wanted as well!
Initial Total: 147.50
Half off Store Promo: $73.75
$30 off $60: 43.75
$20 rewards: $23.75
Total for $118 Bag: $19
Total for $29.50 earrings: $4.75
Savings: 84%, or $123.75 !!
Hope these tips help y’all score some great deals! I’d love to know the new items you pick up and any additional tips you may have discovered in your shopping journeys!