If you are interested in saving money on your in store and online purchases, there are a variety of ways that you can go about doing so including couponing, taking advantage of cash back offers, participating in loyalty programs, utilizing coupon codes and cashing in rebate savings.
While each of these saving opportunities provide an abundance of benefits, you can maximize the savings that you receive by combining multiple rewards and saving techniques. In order to make the most of your purchases, it is important for you to understand the value of each of these savings techniques as well as the benefits that each program may provide you with. To learn how to start saving more money today, you can review the information that has been provided within the sections below.
Clipping coupons (couponing) is one of the most strategic ways to save money on online and in store purchases on a regular basis. Coupons offer a greater value and you can stand to save a great deal of money so long as you clip coupons by need. A coupon is a voucher for a specific product that can be redeemed for a discount on your purchase. However, understanding the information that is provided on a coupon can greatly help you to maximize coupon savings. Coupons will display an expiration date in which a coupon must be redeemed by as well as the saving amount that a coupon provides.
You should always take great care in reviewing the product description and limitations that are displayed on a coupon as this will inform you of the specific brand, size and even color or flavor that must be purchased in order for a coupon to be redeemed. In some cases, coupon limitations may even require that you purchase a certain quantity of items or they may restrict coupon use to one per customer.
Another key factor in using coupons is whether or not the coupon you have is a store coupon or a manufacturer coupons. While store coupons can only be redeemed at a specified retailer, manufacturer coupons can be used at any retailer that accepts coupons as the manufacturer of the product will then redeem the store for the discount. Grocery store coupons may be a combination of store-specific and manufacturer coupons. One of the easiest ways to find manufacturer coupons is by visiting the websites of your favorite brands and products. Additionally, coupons can be found online, in newspapers, magazines and even through your local retailers.
If you have ever received a credit card offer, you may have heard of cash back rewards. Cash back offers provide you with incredible savings opportunities, but rely upon your ability to optimize your purchases. Cash back rewards are most commonly found with participating credit cards and store cards, such as a Kohl’s charge card, Target REDcard and an Amazon Prime card. When you shop with a cash back rewards card, you will generally earn credit back onto your card with your purchases. While most credit cards and store cards that have cash back offers will provide you with an amount between 1 percent and 5 percent back on purchases, many cards have adopted tiers of cash back. This means that you may earn a certain amount of cash back for a certain type of purchase, such as a gas purchase while you may earn a higher amount back on another type of purchase or one that is made at a specific retail location.
For example, an Amazon Prime card offers 5 percent cash back on all Amazon.com purchases while offering 1 percent on all other purchases that you make. Therefore, you can save more money by optimizing your spending and using your Amazon Prime card for all Amazon.com purchases, even if you pay the balance of the card immediately after purchase. Store cards in general will generally provide more cash back rewards when used on purchases at the retailer that you received it from. Credit card cash back rewards programs will often offer you more for a specific type of purchase, such as gasoline or grocery purchases. Cash back rewards cards can have their pitfalls, however, as interest charges can quickly add up should you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month. In order to maximize savings, it is recommended that you pay off your balance while you are still in a purchase’s grace period, therefore avoiding interest charges.
Loyalty programs are another great way that you can save money as this form of rewards program will generally lead you to greater discounts, free shipping offers and even free merchandise with future orders. A loyalty program will, essentially, reward you for your loyalty to a particular retailer. With a loyalty program, a retailer will reward you for your repeat purchase in a number of different ways. While each rewards program can be different, rewards are generally provided through a point system, tier system value-based system, games rewards programs or a paid program.
Point systems are the most simple and the most common rewards program available. With each qualifying purchase you make, you will be rewarded with virtual points, the amount determined by the size of your purchase. For example, you may earn one reward point for each dollar that you spend with a retailer. After you have earned a specific amount of points, you can exchange those points for different goodies such as hefty discounts, free shipping and free merchandise. While similar to point systems, tier systems also incur points, but those points are not redeemed for everything. Instead, you will “level up” through different tiers with each tier providing you with a variety of rewards on each purchase. For example, a retailer may ask that you spend $200 in order to receive free shipping on every order that you make and then reward you again at $400 with an additional 10 percent off of all future orders.
Rather than provide you with points and discounts, value based systems target your values. Many retailers that have a value system in place will allow you to choose a charity that you would like your rewards donated to. For example, Amazon allows customers to choose from a list of eligible charities and, thereafter, 0.5 percent of all purchases are donated to that charity. Game loyalty programs provide rewards that are not just financially profitable, but also enjoyable. Retailers that offer game loyalty programs will often have you play a game such as “Spin and Win” where you spin a wheel that contains a variety of prizes after you have met a certain purchase threshold. Lastly, paid loyalty programs are memberships in which provide you with substantial discounts at a cost. A great example of a paid loyalty to program is an Amazon Prime membership that provides loyal customers with free two-day shipping on qualifying purchases and free audiobooks and videos.
If you shop online, it is crucial that you familiarize yourself with coupon codes, including what they can be redeemed for, how to obtain them and how to most benefit from them. A coupon code is a digital code that provides customers with free shipping, free merchandise and hefty discounts. Many codes may advertise as much as 40 percent off a purchase and even buy one-get-one-free offers. While there are a variety of ways that you can earn these valuable codes, some of the best discount codes can be found in a retailer’s digital newsletter. Often times, a retailer will even provide you with a coupon code that can be used on your next purchase just for signing up for the newsletter. Social media is another great way to earn coupon codes, as a variety of retailers will advertise sales and codes on their social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter in particular.
Coupon codes are also provided to eligible customers that meet certain additional requirements. These codes often offer superior discounts and may include military personnel, United States veterans, students or senior citizens. Specialized coupon codes such as these may offer a one-time discount or a continuous one. For example, some retailers will provide military discounts to every purchase.
Last, but certainly not least, rebates can offer you larger discounts on large purchases. While not generally found on grocery items or household goods, rebates can provide substantial savings on larger purchases such as appliances (both big and small), electronics and more. While rebates offer savings that are similar to coupons, there are extra steps that you may need to take in order to receive your savings. While some rebate offers, such as instant cash rebates, are applied to your purchase – most rebates require that you pay the full price of an item up front and then complete and submit a claim form. Rebates such as mail-in rebates will ask that you provide your proof of purchase alongside the claim form.
Each rebate offer can be very different and it is recommended that you follow the instructions for redemption carefully as all prerequisites must be met in order for you to obtain your savings. While rebates offer some of the largest savings in comparison to other programs, they do take the longest as a rebate payment could take as long as 12 weeks to receive. Rebates are generally paid out in the form of a check or a prepaid debit card.