The first step is to purchase Fuel giftcards to your desired store(s) that you’ll be shopping. At Kroger, we are making $35 per $250 spent during the 4x Fuel Point Events (Save $1 off a gallon, up to 35 gallons = $35). FYI, this is only a great strategy if you were going to spend the $250 anyway. In our case, we had to buy supplies no matter what, so we might as well save on gas and earn a little cash back each time.
Next, add all the items to your cart then close the window (this prevents you from getting confused). Now open Ebates (or Swagbucks, see below) and select what store you are shopping from. This will open a new window that Ebates is tracking to be sure you are actually purchasing something. Be sure to purchase the item(s) in this window in order to receive Ebates cash back.
If the store you are purchasing from isn’t listed on Ebates, you can also join and go through Swagbucks. It was only recently that Home Depot was dropped from Ebates, so we use Swagbucks now because it is still 1% “cash” back in the form of Amazon or other giftcards.
Now you can also search RetailMeNot (in a separate Tab or Window) for promotional codes that are floating around the internet and mailboxes. Simply search their site for your current store and copy + paste the desired code into your checkout’s promotional box. Cha-Ching! You just saved a couple bucks!
Nothing on RetailMeNot? Don’t forget to try a good ol’ fashioned Google search! “Home Depot promo codes” or “coupon codes” etc. I’ve saved a random $80 this way!!
Now, when you start to pay for your items, use all your promo codes first, then the giftcards (Home Depot, Lowe’s, Harbor Freight….) in the Gift Card or Promotion box to whittle away at your total before entering your credit card number. I always double check that all the promo codes & gift cards have been entered & applied and that I’m still in my original Ebates window before entering my credit card number.
For our Home Construction materials, I almost always select “In Store Pickup” for acquiring our desired supplies and tools because it is much quicker than shipping to home, not to mention free. If I am shopping for a Baby Shower, however, I normally go through this same process with Babies R Us but select “Ship to Home” and add the recipient’s address for easier delivery.
The best part is that now we are making back a few bucks with each purchase that can go towards new outlet covers or used to offset the cost of the wall paint. Because Ebates sends a check in the mail every 4 months – no gift cards or points to worry about! Or if you’re getting points through Swagbucks, it can take up to 8 weeks for them to show up, but then I like to redeem them for Amazon or other store cards for already-planned expenses.
How do you maximize your shopping savings? Please feel free to share links to your favorite sites or services. I’d love to hear all your tips + suggestions in the comments below!