I’m sure we’ve all seen the shows on television with frugal fanatics that clip coupons and rebates and combine them with such skill that they end up leaving a grocery store with a cart full of items that the store ends up actually paying them to take home. It still blows my mind how that happens, and that type of outcome is unlikely with online shopping. I can, however, show you how to very easily knock an extra 10-20% off your online shopping bill. And I’m not talking about promo codes from RetailMeNot.com, either.
When it comes to extreme couponing online, you’ve got to maximize your savings by layering traditional promo codes with much less obvious tools.
For example, a $100 Macy’s gift card that you buy for $88 = automatic 12% savings. But let’s not stop there because an equally valuable trick is to maximize your cashback. While it’s not an instant savings tool, cashback is still real money and definitely adds up.
So how does it work? Well, when you buy that $100 gift card for $90, and you pay for it with a credit card that is eligible for 2% cashback, you’ve effectively saved yourself an extra 2%. Plus if you’re enrolled in a free cashback program like Rakuten (formerly Ebates.com), then you could be receiving an additional 3-10% in cashback for your online purchases. Combine your cashback percentages with your traditional promo codes and the savings from discounted gift cards, and before you know it you’re saving an extra 10-20% on most of your major online purchases.
This is real money, ladies!
So if you’re ready to start saving just follow along below, and please do come back and comment here to let me know how much you were able to save using these tips! 😀
Step 2. Download the “Ebates Button” for your web browser. This will automatically alert you any time you are shopping on a retail website that is eligible for cashback. In addition, once installed you can activate the cashback with a single click (and without leaving the retail website), rather than needing to log into your Ebates.com account every single time.
Step 3. Shop for something on a retail website like Macys.com and then do your customary Google search for current promo codes. Alternatively, Ebates conveniently collects a library of currently active promo codes that can be used in addition to receiving cashback. Often these are the same codes you’ll find on coupon websites like RetailMeNot, except they aren’t expired.
Step 4. Once you’ve added your traditional promo codes and have the total for your shopping cart, open a new browser window and go to a discounted gift card site. You’ll want to buy discounted e-gift card codes to pay for the transaction. You may need to buy more than one gift card to cover your purchases, and most online retailers allow at least 4 gift cards per transaction. The gift card sites I prefer are:
- Raise.com → BOSS LADY TIP: Ebates currently pays 1% cashback on Raise purchases and you can use promo code RAISE75AF to save an extra $5 off your first gift card purchase.
Remember, you want the e-gift cards vs. the physical cards because they email the codes instead of snail mailing a card to your home. Typically an e-gift card gets emailed to you within hours if not immediately.
Step 5. Occasionally a gift card website will want to verify your identify prior to sending the codes. This usually occurs when I’m purchasing larger dollar values, but it’s not a big deal. Once you receive the email with your codes, simply complete your transaction on the retailer website, and Bob’s your uncle. The Ebates cashback confirmation typically appears in your account within 24 hours, but if you have an issue you can submit an inquiry using this handy “Where’s my cashback?” link and have the cashback manually credited.
Step 6. Pour yourself a celebratory glass of wine and bask in the glow of your savvy shopping success.