Discover the easiest and best shopping hacks to save money, get cash back and earn free gift cards with Fetch Rewards. Ramsey Qubein, a freelance journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs for NerdWallet, Forbes, Fortune and more, has curated a list of easy retail shopping hacks that are guaranteed to save you money and time. Happy snapping and saving!
Online and in-person shopping is a part of daily life. While the days of physical coupon cutting may be somewhat behind us, the world of virtual coupon codes, online sales and loyalty programs are some of the easiest shopping hacks to save money.
Savvy shoppers are always looking for a good deal, and the free-to-use Fetch Rewards app has plenty of those. In addition to earning free benefits with little effort, Fetch Rewards doles out free gift cards just for snapping receipts from everyday purchases at popular retailers like restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and even liquor stores. For each receipt you scan, you earn points that can then be redeemed for gift cards to your favorite retailers and shopping brands. You can also earn points by referring people to the app and when shopping online clicking on popular retailers from within the Fetch app. What’s not to love about free cash? You can use them yourself or give them as gifts to others.
Once you earn enough points to redeem for a gift card, you can shop ‘til you drop or dine out at your favorite restaurants. Gift cards are available for as few as 3,000 points (equivalent to $3, which is great for a coffee from Starbucks or doughnut from Krispy Kreme using a gift card you earn from Fetch). The more points you earn, the more value your gift cards can be. You can choose from a variety of restaurants and retailers including Morton’s The Steakhouse, iTunes, Domino’s Pizza, Target, Amazon and Adidas among dozens more.
Of course, to earn these points, you have to snap your shopping receipts, which takes just a few seconds and costs you nothing. For some of the best shopping hacks to save money (besides signing up for the free and fun Fetch Rewards app), keep reading!
Know where the deals are
Watching for sales and discounts is a no-brainer, but being a bit more thoughtful when buying things can bring some real savings. For example, consider buying holiday-themed merchandise the day after the holiday for next year. Christmas ornaments, Halloween decorations and July 4th-themed paper plates for cookouts are all on sale the day after. It is a great time to stock up on things you will need at half the price.
Of course, don’t forget about national shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday where the deals are hot, hot, hot.
It’s also wise to join loyalty programs, and there are lots of them to explore. Grocery stores, for example, offer substantial savings to frequent customers, but this concept applies to other retailers, too. Starbucks runs special promotions for its rewards members, airline and hotel brands do the same, and even online retailers have their own programs for bonuses like free shipping.
Many people say they don’t have time to keep up with these types of programs, but it takes just a few minutes to sign up for substantial savings. If you are worried about too much spam email, open up a free email account to use for less important communications like newsletters and program news. This way, you can peruse it, like the coupon section of a newspaper, when you are ready to shop.
Even the Fetch app has a Special Offers section where you can earn bonus points for certain purchases or enjoy discounts and savings by clicking on the offer from within the app.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Whether you are buying from a small shop or buying in large quantities from a major retailer, search online for coupon codes or discounts. Or reach out to the store via their live chat feature online or via phone to see if they can offer a special discount. This may not always work, but it is worth a try especially if you are a new customer and they want to earn your business. When placing larger orders, it is more likely is the most beneficial.
If there are social media accounts for your favorite brands, or even online “influencers” that represent them, be sure to follow them. They often have discount codes available, too. Just remember to save the receipts to scan via the Fetch Rewards app to earn points to redeem for gift cards later.
Another great tip is to leave items in your online shopping cart overnight. Brands have programs that track items you showed interest in purchasing, but never actually bought. Chances are that they may follow up with you and remind you about it, perhaps even with a discount to encourage you to buy. In this example, it is the retailer not afraid to ask for your business in the hopes you will come back to buy it.
This may seem like an obvious tip, but the internet has many websites that will compare prices for you. Type as much specific information about your purchase into the search bar: the make and model of an item, the exact UPC (universal product code), brand name and even color. You may be surprised how many more websites sell what you are looking for at different prices. Websites like eBay and Amazon also have discounted prices, and if you upload enough receipts via the Fetch app, you could score a free gift card to Amazon (or one of dozens of other outlets) for even more discounts when you shop.
Watch for price drops
Even after you purchase something, many retailers offer a best-price guarantee. If you notice another retailer selling the exact item you bought for less, you may be eligible for a partial refund. You can monitor other websites yourself or sign up for the many online services that will do this for you for free. This works for more than just household products or clothes. Even airlines and hotels offer similar guarantees. Most will offer you the difference in price as a voucher, but some may throw in an additional bonus, too. You can also set Google Alerts for when certain items go on sale, and don’t forget about GroupOn, a website that often negotiates great deals with retailers to save buyers cash.
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The bottom line
Online shopping has made our busy lives easier, but many still enjoy the in-person experience just as much. Either way, some of the best shopping hacks to save money are right under our nose. Forget clipping coupons from the newspaper! These simple tips will keep more cash in your pocket. Plus, the Fetch Rewards app will add more to the savings pile in the form of gift cards to your favorite retailers and restaurants just for scanning your purchase receipts. When you get something for free, it’s a thrill. When you can save cash from shopping hacks while triple dipping (earning rewards via credit card loyalty programs and bonus cash-back gift cards via Fetch, too), you’re really winning. Two thumbs up!