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I like the idea of coupons but in reality they suck! I never have them when I need them, I have enough crap in my bag there’s no way I want to carry a stack of little pieces of paper. And, when I do have them, I ALWAYS forget about them. So millennial me found an easier way to save money without even thinking about it.

1. Ebates
I do a lot of online shopping, a lot. Set up a free account with Ebates and go to the store you are looking for through the ebates website. The ebates site tells you what percent cash back you get on your purchase. They are always changing it up so you have to cash in on those high percents when they show up. Every quarter they send you a check and over the last few years I have received $315 cash back. It probably should have been a lot higher if I remembered to use it on all those amazon purchases! You also get a bonus cash for referring people. So help a sister out and sign up through my referral link!

2. A credit card with rewards

There are so many credit card reward programs, some are better than others. For me it came down to where I spend the most money: Amazon. As a reward member you get 5% cash back on Amazon purchases, 2% back on gas stations, restaurants, and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on everything else. But to really maximize the benefits of this card, I don’t carry a balance to avoid the high interest charges. Do your research and find the card that’s right for you – for travelers, I hear southwest is a good deal, and the Target red card seemed enticing too.

3. Retailmenot
I have this app on my phone and check it while I’m waiting in the check out line. It’s super easy to use, you pull up the deal you want and the cashier scans the barcode. This is particularly good for big box store like Bed Bath & Beyond and Michael’s, they usually have some sort of savings available. 




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4. Cartwheel
This is similar to Retailmenot but specific to Target. You scan the items you are buying and if there is a special on anything, the savings add up in your “cart” and the cashier scans the barcode. It’s pretty simple and you can see your lifetime savings in the app which always makes me happy. 🙂

5. Grocery Store Gas Rewards
Our local grocery store, Giant, has a deal with Shell gas station for every dollar you spend at the grocery store, you get 1 point; 100 points = $0.10 off per gallon. In two trips to the grocery store I rack up $0.30 off per gallon. Not bad for spending money I was going to spend anyways! Other grocery stores across the country have similar reward programs: Safeway/Sonoco, Kroger/Shell, Shop N’ Save/Sonoco, Shaw’s/Sunoco.

6. Dependent Care / HSA / FSA
Check with your employer to see if they offer any pre-taxed savings accounts. And it they do, make sure you are taking advantage of them. Every year I max out my dependent care benefit and put $5000 of pre-taxed money (direct deposited from each paycheck) into the account saving me $1400 a year. HSA accounts are great because they max out at $3400 and unused balance rollover into the next year. FSA accounts have a $2600 limit but you this account doesn’t rollover.  But if, you are going to spend the money anyways, why not make it tax free!

 

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