Three easy ways to save every time you shop

Originally published: 9/19/16

Everybody loves getting a discount, but not everyone realizes just how easy it is to receive some kind of discount on just about everything they buy, even for those last minute and unplanned purchases. Even though a 1% savings on a $5 purchase (5 cents savings) doesn’t seem a lot, we remind ourselves that this is just like adding pennies to the piggybank… in the end, it all really adds up.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to ensure we are getting some kind of discount on just about every purchase.


Traditional in-store paper coupons are still used everywhere and can be found in Sunday papers, store circulars, and mailed to you by companies like You can now also find coupons online that can be printed out or presented to the cashier from your phone. The easiest way to search for these coupons is to search for “in-store coupons” or “printable coupons” along with the name of the store, service, or product (e.g. in-store coupons Target).

When shopping online, we also always search for coupon/promo/discount codes that are entered while checking out. Note that there are many coupon websites out there that present what appears to be a coupon, when in reality, the deal is available to all shoppers and does not require a coupon.

The coupon websites that we find to be most reliable include,, (more about Ebates below), and even There are a number of other reliable other coupon websites out there, but we have found that the same coupons and promo codes are typically found across all these websites.

did you know?

The very first coupon was given out by Coca Cola back in 1887? Today, coupons are found everywhere, both printed and online.

cashback websites & apps

Did you know that many online retailers offer a referral fee every time someone passes along a customer that results in a sale? There are companies out there, known as cashback websites, that will give you a percentage of this referral fee. It’s an easy way to get some sort of discount on many online merchandisers. These cashback websites also present you with many of the same coupons and promo codes offered on the coupon websites.

We have only used Ebates and have recommended it to a number of family and friends. We have earned over $300 since joining Ebates in 2010. We were skeptical at first, but were sold after receiving our first check for a whopping amount of something $1.42!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Ebates has offered a number of new features as it has grown in popularity over the years. It’s definitely worthwhile to learn more about if you do a lot of your shopping online. Click here to learn more about… and help give hapayu the credit for the referral.

credit card rewards

The last of the three on this list is not for everyone, but if you have discipline in using credit and paying off your balance every month, this is the best way to save at least 1% on every purchase.

There are an abundance of credit cards out there that will provide you with some form of reward, such as cash back, gift cards, and frequent flyer miles. There are options out there for all credit levels, and you would be surprised by the number of really good credit cards without annual fees.

A number of retailers also offer their own credit cards that provide a certain percentage off of every purchase made at their store. For example, both Target and Lowe’s give you 5% off every time you use their card in their store.

It is really important to keep in mind that the only way you will save money with credit cards is by paying your entire balance at the end of each billing cycle. If not, the interest likely wipes out your savings, and that doesn’t even include any fees for late payments. If you do not have this discipline, you are better off using cash or check.

final thoughts

These are our three of our top ways to save on many of our purchases. The best is when you can take advantage of all three of the above, along with any sales. is the best example of a store that you can frequently take advantage of all three of these saving techniques. We will wait for a sales event, then go to through, put in our coupon code during the checkout, and pay with our cashback reward credit card.

Be sure to check back soon for our upcoming article on our favorite credit cards with rewards.