Everyday ways to save
Updated: May 14
Buy everything on sale - I'm fairly sure that I buy 90 percent of my things on sale. This require being flexible on what you eat and products that you use. I do have certain brands and products that I do stick to, but I have some tips on how to save on those as well. One example is my cereal... love Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries. This normally sells for $4-$5 in stores. I have learned to buy this at CVS when it's on sale for $1.99 every few weeks. I usually pickup 3 boxes at a time.
Know your prices! Don't be fooled by the sales and marketing tricks of the stores. I look for items that are heavily discounted.
Consider quality when looking at those sale prices. The pasta sauce that's two for $4 might be full of crap ingredients you don't want. You may be more intrigued by the organic brand on the next shelf that's 50 percent off this week.
Another notable example is batteries. If you buy the cheap brand, you will discover they will not last very long at all. The big brands are actually better. However, Costco's brand, Kirkland is a steal with their batteries because Duracell actually makes them.
CVS - Now, they are particularly good for sales and deals.
Their everyday prices on items are extremely high except for their own brand, which is actually fairly good. CVS has their own brand for just about everything from snacks and nuts to vitamins and toilet paper. While I cannot recommend the toilet paper, I can for most other items. I always buy their almonds, cashews, and vitamins, to name a few. You should have their loyalty/extracare card, the CVS app to fully take advantage of everything, and even sign up for Carepass($5/month gives you $10 coupon/month(good for anything) plus 20% off CVS healthcare brands). Sometimes, I can save over 60 percent on a trip. They often send me 40% off coupons in the app/email.
Loyalty/rewards programs - So we talked about CVS which combines multiple ways to save. Now we cover all the other loyalty programs. All the fast food/coffee places have one of their own and if you particularly like a place, you should take advantage of their rewards/loyalty apps. Many of them offer great deals and coupons consistently as well as rewarding you for each visit and sometimes giving you incentives to go or order certain items. I ordered from Dunkin Donuts today and was given 100 bonus points. Find your own favorite places and make sure you get rewarded for shopping there. Keep your eye out for special notifications on your phone for extra deals and rewards. Always open the app before ordering...you never know what deals/rewards/bonuses might be in there.
Cash back online - Every time you buy something online, you may be able to get a small portion of that back through sites like Rakuten ( https://www.rakuten.com/r/RUSSLE4?eeid=28187 ) and Topcashback. The rates of cash back can vary from site to site. https://www.cashbackmonitor.com/ is a good place to check first. You can see in the example below, all the options for a Target purchase for May 14th.
For instance, I recently purchased a new laptop from Dell with 10 percent cash back from Rakuten, Double Amex points for using my Amex Platinum credit card, and a $100 credit also for using my Amex card. You can often combine like this to get maximum value or discounts on a purchase.
Cash back can be earned with phone apps like Drop, Dosh, and Pei or browser extensions like Rakuten, Honey, and Earny.
The deals websites! Dealnews.com and Slickdeals.net are great for finding great deals and they are updated by the minute. Easily searchable when you are ready to see who has a great sale on that new tv or cell phone you have been thinking about. Also, Dansdeals.com is great for sweet Amazon deals, as well as many others.
Amazon - So many great deals here, but not always so easy to find. Try Dansdeals.com for the latest and keep in mind that the best deals often sell out very quickly.
My favorite thing about them is Amazon Warehouse: https://amzn.to/3kbrema
Here, you can find all of Amazons returns/damaged products. These can be great deals. Just be sure to check the details where they will tell you if there is anything wrong with the product. Honestly, most of the time, the product is fine but may have damaged packaging or not be in its original box. But some items can be scratched or worse. Make sure the discount is significant from buying the item new. Sometimes, they offer an additional 20 percent off all warehouse items as well. I would say I have bought at least 50 items this way, and only one or two were items I had to return to Amazon.
Here's a neat unknown perk of Amazon Prime: If you order an item, and it has a guaranteed delivery date on your checkout page, if it doesn’t arrive on the promised date, you could receive a refund of your shipping fees. But it’s not just going to happen automatically, you must request compensation. There is a free service called Paribus (recently acquired by Capitol One) that will monitor your amazon orders for you for free. Once Paribus notifies you that your package was a day or too late, they give you a script with your order number included. Copy that script, clink on the Amazon chat link included in the email and begin a brief conversation with an Amazon rep who will give you a credit usually of $5 to your account!
Supermarkets - When I go to the supermarket, I always look for the sale items and adjust my meals based on that. If there is a really good deal, I stock up, but also consider expiration dates, so you don't have too much waste.
My local supermarket always has a ton of stuff on sale, so I am always able to find things. Here in NY, I have found that Stop & Shop and King Kullen give me the best deals. Wait for your favorites to go on sale and then stock up or try new things as they go on sale!
Dollar Stores - I must admit, I was not a fan until recently. I have one within walking distance from my new home and although the store is a mess and full of a lot of bad deals and a lot of junk, there are some incredibly good deals on many items too. Examples include toothpaste, some frozen foods, drinks, snacks, and cleaning products. Just don't assume everything is actually worth a dollar because half of that stuff in the store isn't worth a buck.
Costco - An utterly amazing place well worth the membership fee for the average couple or family. Yes, most items are sold in large quantities or huge sizes, but the prices are excellent. The sales are amazing. They have developed their own brand called Kirkland, which is almost always of high quality and at a lower cost. The place is always packed, but they move people quickly. Don't forget the food court where you can get a huge foot long and drink for just $1.50 or a large fresh pizza pie for $10! If your Costco has a gas station, you are crazy not to go there. Their prices are always the lowest.
Apps/Website extensions -
Gasbuddy - GasBuddy is an award-winning travel and navigation app that gives you 27 ways to save money on gas at the 150,000 gas stations throughout North America. It has been downloaded nearly 90 million times and is one of the highest-rated apps in the history of the Apple App Store. Our mission is to make fuel-savings easier and more accessible for everyone.
Paribus - will continually monitor to see if your purchase gets a price reduction and, if there is one, will ask you if you’d like them to notify the retailer on your behalf to start the process of getting the price adjustment refund. You’ll receive the refund back to your original form of payment, or you may receive a store credit depending on the merchant.
In addition to price drops, Paribus also tracks the delivery status of online purchases at certain retailers like Amazon and Walmart. If a guaranteed order arrives later than the retailer promised, Paribus notifies you how to get compensated easily.
Drop - I’m inviting you to join Drop, the free app that’s giving away millions in cash rewards every day! Use my code dnp1m to get $5 - no strings attached. https://b.ewd.io/code?c=dnp1m
DOSH - Get effortless cash back whenever you shop & dine out at stores and restaurants near you. No points, no coupons, no receipts. Just link a card today to start... https://link.dosh.cash/RUSSELL16
Honey - Don't search for coupon codes again. With one click, Honey’s smart shopping assistant will automatically apply discounts to your cart – in seconds. https://www.joinhoney.com/ref/hykwvg
Earny - Automatically get cashback of up to 20% on your purchases! With just one click to activate while shopping, Earny will automatically give you cashback on your purchases. https://earny.app.link/JxDkCgJ6Z9
Related post: https://www.solotravelr.com/post/travel-tips-and-tricks