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When I shop in a brick and mortar store, I try and get the lowest price possible by waiting to combine a sale price with a coupon. This takes a little math to figure out, but thankfully it’s just a little arithmetic.
For example, in the past I have gotten Cheerios for $0.50 per box by combining a sale price of $1.50 with a $1 off coupon.
This same principle works when shopping online. Instead of a paper coupon, you might use one coupon code for a percentage off the price, another code for free shipping, and then use yet a third method to get cash back after the purchase. Many credit cards offer cash back on purchases (for example, Discover), and sometimes offer enhanced cash back percentages if you shop through retailer links on your card’s website portal.
There are other methods of getting cash back from shopping online, and Ebates is the site I most frequently use, as they also show a listing of available online coupon codes for each store, automatically adding those codes at checkout and saving you that step.
This time of year is a great time for larger than usual cash back percentages to combine with holiday sales.
Today, Amazon was offering coats for up to 75% off. Ebates is offering 6% cash back for women’s clothes on Amazon, and my Discover is offering 5% cash back on anything bought on Amazon the last 3 months of this year. Combining cash back from both Discover and Ebates will bring an extra percentage off the price on the back end. If you are already saving 75% in a sale, that brings you an additional discount.
Keep in mind, the cash back percentage is based on the price you paid, not the original price, so it is not going to be an additional 11% off the original price.
To make it a little clearer:
Woman’s coat on Amazon, regular price: $100
Price after 60% sale: $40
Discover card 5% cash back of $40 paid: $2
Ebates 6% cash back of $40 paid: $2.40
Out of pocket after sale and cash back: $35.60- or around an additional 4.5% off the original $100 price.
Ebates sends you an actual physical check with your cash back, and they send one on a quarterly basis. I have been using them for years, and never had an issue receiving a check.
You can choose to pocket your cash back and roll it back into the portion of your budget it came from, or you can do what I do: put it right in savings toward a savings goal. I check our priority list and decide what to do with it. I have a check coming in February, and it will probably go towards my April tuition bill.
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