My dad, Melvin Grossberg, ingrained in me at a very young age to “Teach your dollars to have more cents.” Though in his hallmark New York/New Jersey accent it sounds more like, “Teach ya dollas to have moah cents.”
Thus began my zest for scouting out coupons, discounts and clearance sections. So much so, that I am often approached by friends, and even random folks who see me in the midst my discount hunting excursions, for guidance.
While I am certainly far from extreme couponing, I have developed relatively simple practices, which regularly save my family money. Perhaps this is why many people ask me for tips, as they do not involve tedious hours of work or stockpiling of coupons. Rather, they involve simple and very doable tactics—even for those who are uber busy.
In response to requests for sharing my tips, and for sharing the savings, I will elaborate on a few of my discount diva habits.
One of my go-tos for discounts is RetailMeNot. Taking two minutes to check and see if a chain store you are about to enter, such as Macy’s or Staples, has any special offers, to me, is a no-brainer. The same is true for online purchases. Not only do discount offers exist on RetailMeNot for places you might expect such as L.L.Bean or Wayfair, but also for sites such as GoDaddy.
Another one of my most frequently used discount apps is Cartwheel by Target. By scanning each item I am about to place in my cart, I discover whether it, or a comparable item, features a discount. Then, at the register, when the cashier scans my Cartwheel barcode, the prices adjust accordingly. Any Cartwheel discounts are on top of the 5% Target cardholders will receive, along with any manufacturer coupons. To boot, if you bring your own reusable bags, Target will remove five cents off of your bill for each bag utilized.
Many of us purchase school fundraiser books, such as Enjoy the City, only to discover at the end of the year that we may have used a whopping ten percent of the offers.
So, this year I devised a new trick. I took a picture of the coupon book index and saved it to my Evernote app. Now, rather than reading the three point font print featured in the index, or thumb through the book one hundred times, I simply pull up the picture and review it before I go to a restaurant, store, etc.
I am also a big fan of rewards, though not such a fan of carrying cards or key tags. Thanks to the KeyRing app, I can store all of my rewards and membership cards, which makes pulling up your rewards info a snap. Most places can scan your membership barcode right in KeyRing, though some places will have to resort to typing in your number. In either case you benefit from the same result, a lighter keychain but more money to keep in your wallet.