BudgetingCredit Cards

Discounts, Discounts, Everywhere!

Lots of things don’t require you to pay full price, if you take a quick look around.  It’s not a huge leap to spend a couple of minutes or a little extra time checking out what your options might be if you’re about to make a purchase.  Especially if you spend money regularly at a single place, you won’t want to skip over the discounts that might be right under your nose.

Discount Gift Cards

Discounted gift cards are a great way to garner a few extra percentage points off of everything from hotels to restaurants and retailers, and there are a few ways to go about getting them.  First and foremost, sites like Giftcard Granny, Raise, and most famously Cardpool offer second-hand cards at under market price. Widely used, these sites offer various discounts according to retailer and have long lists of vendors available.  Cards are offered electronically or by physical delivery in the mail. While a few percentage points may not be a ton, if you have a big purchase or if you spend money at a specific location regularly, those percentage points will add up. Credit card issuers, meanwhile, will also often offer discount gift cards that can be acquired if you happen to have racked up points with them.  Sometimes their discounts can be even steeper than sites like Cardpool, and if you don’t have a better use for your credit card points (like a better value if you were to redeem them for travel, for example) grabbing a gift card at a heftier discount through your card issuer may be the way to go. Lastly, sites like eBay will sometimes offer gift cards on sale as well. This often happens (as with the people who sell their cards to Cardpool and the like) when someone has a card they’ve realized they’re never going to use.  Digital and physical card offers are available on sites like eBay, but you will want to double check the seller’s rating and make sure you’re dealing with someone reputable.  

Loyalty Programs

If you’re a regular shopper at a specific vendor, you won’t want to to skip out on perks you might be able to receive as a loyal customer.  Everywhere from spas to restaurants and coffeehouses, hair salons, and travel partners will usually offer discounts to returning buyers. A business might offer a discount every certain dollar amount spent, or a free item after a purchase of ten, for example.  Meanwhile, every discount you bank is cash back in your pocket on an item or service that you were going to buy anyway. On top of the discounts, sometimes companies (particularly such as airlines) will surprise you with extra perks in the event they’re available – which, while not the same as a discount, can still come as a nice benefit. 

Coupon Codes

Online shopping is one of the most popular forms of shopping in this day and age, and some sites have picked up on the opportunity to capitalize on the online coupon business.  While their services are free to you, sites like RetailMeNot and SlickDeals do big business offering discount codes to shoppers. Before you check out at any shop online, do a quick Google search (“XYZ store coupon (or promo) code”) and check out what your options might be for making a quick buck back.  Often big retailers will have online coupons available that will automatically put ten percent back in your pocket or offer free shipping just for copying and pasting the code from the coupon site into the retailer’s “promo code” box at checkout.  

Discount Designer Fashion

While a bit off the beaten path from catch-all gift cards and coupon codes, clothes are a pretty big spending category for most people.  While not everyone is into designer, if you’re the type who likes to buy quality and hang onto it for a long time, snagging high-end items at discount prices may work out well in the financial long run.  Those who like to swap out their wardrobe every season might be better served at everyday stores, but others who are interested in collecting some long-term staple pieces may do well to check out sites (or the Instagram accounts) of places like Rebelle and Edit Second Hand, among quite a few others, who can sometimes offer up to 70 percent off what you’d pay in a retail store while maintaining strict standards regarding the condition of items allowed to be sold.  

If things are looking pricey or expenses at your usual locations are adding up, don’t despair.  There may be easy ways you can get regular discounts on your everyday (or even not so everyday) purchases, even if you simply want a savvy way to save for a rainy day.

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