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5 Steps To Maximize Savings For Any Shopping Trip

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Here on FFL we often post articles on how to maximize your cash back from a particular store, giving you the most amount of savings depending on where you shop.

Instead of doing each one of these stores individually, we’re going to describe in 7 steps the best practices you can use to get you the highest percentage off at any retailer.

1. Get A Cash Back Credit Card

A cash back credit card will help give you those extra couple of percentage points when it comes to shopping.

While there are lots of credit cards that are better for particular retailers, we’re going to suggest our favorite credit card that gives you the most amount of savings that applies to all retailers: The Discover It Card. This way you don’t have to apply for multiple cards.

It comes with no annual fee, and for the first year you get 2% cash back on all purchases. Not only that, but you can get 5% cash back on specific categories that rotate quarterly.

Most other credit cards will only give you 1% cash back on all purchases. Here’s a quick glance at what the card has to offer:

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  • No annual fee
  • 5% cash back on categories that rotate quarterly
  • No international fees
  • 2% cash back on all categories for the first year
  • 24-hour card replacement

If you don’t want to go with Discover and just want to apply for only one card, we suggest going with the the Citi Double Cash Back Card which gives you 2% cash back on all purchases on matter what you buy.

2. Get A Discounted Gift Card

There are multiple websites that resell gift cards at a value lower than their actual retail value. They first buy those unwanted gift cards that you don’t want and then mark them up and resell them, but still at a price lower than their actual retail value.

A good example of a gift card reseller is Raise, where you can get an average of 7% savings in cash back each time you purchase a gift card through them.

For example, if you’re looking to go see a movie at Regal Cinemas, you can save 17% on whatever move you see. When you make the purchase just be sure to use your cash back credit card to get a bonus of a 2% savings.

Keep in mind that if you do buy a gift card and make a purchase with it and then decide to return the product that you’re buying, you will receive your refund in the form of a gift card.  Otherwise if you’re a frequent patron of a particular shop, the gift card is just as good as cash back.

With gift card resellers like Raise, it’s usually best to purchase e-gift cards. This way a card will appear in your inbox within 24 hours (usually much sooner than this). Physical gift cards can take up to 5 business days to arrive at your door.

3. Use A Cash Back Portal

After you buy a discounted gift card with your cash back credit card, you can tack on some extra savings by using an online cash back portal. These portals are online websites that partner with thousands of retailers across the web and give you cash back each time you use one of their affiliate links to make a purchase.

The amount of cash back that you receive depends on the retailer, as each affiliate has its own rules and regulations. However, if you’re going to be making an online purchase, you might as well check if there’s a portal associated with the store you’re shopping at to get that extra savings, especially since it only takes only an extra minute.

A good example of a portal website is TopCashback. Once you reach a minimum of $20 in cash back into your account, you can request that the money be sent directly to your PayPal or have a check sent to your door. If you use this website for every online purchase, you’ll be sure to reach the minimum cash out amount in no time.

If you’re still confused about how portals work, you can read our complete portal guide. TopCashBack isn’t the only portal available, so you might also want to check out our Top 10 Trusted Portals.

4. Use A Cash Back Portal When Buying Your Gift Card

This step combines steps 2 and 3 together into one. While you can use a cash back portal to make your final purchase, don’t forget that you can also use the portal when buying the discounted gift card at Raise.

When you go through the TopCashback portal, you’ll notice that each time you buy a gift card on Raise you get 2% back.  They also give 2% off of all gift cards bought at Cardpool, another gift card reseller website. After you get your gift card, use the portal again to search for the actual retailer that you’re shopping at to save even more.

5. Use Receipt Scanning Apps

We can increase our savings even more by using a receipt scanning app. These apps pay you for taking a picture of your receipt and using your purchasing data. The best part about these apps is that you can stack them, meaning if you use a receipt on one app you most likely can use it on multiple ones.

A good example is Ibotta, one of the most popular and well-paying receipt scanning apps. If we take a look on the app, we notice that offers are organized by store. Click on the store to see what type of products are available for cash back offers. The image below shows us that if we buy any brand of eggs at Walmart, you get an extra 25 cents back.

Do the same thing with other apps like Makeena, Checkout 51, and more to keep stacking your cash back.

Final Thoughts

This article serves as an overall guide that gives you the most amount of cash back for any retailer. Of course you may find it best to make a few modifications depending on the retailer, but hopefully this gives you a good starting guide. If you know of an extra step that can be added or have any questions, feel free to leave them down below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!

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One Response

  1. E Dizzle Mar 12, 2016

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