10 Ways To Save When Shopping

As a stay-at-home mom with tight reins on our family budget, I’ll do almost anything to save money. I download apps, spend time researching coupons, say ‘no’ to the extras that make their way into the cart and diligently stick to my list. It’s taken years to perfect my personal savings style but it works for us.

Here are some of my quick tips – what do YOU do to save when shopping? 

1. Coupon

Before you break into sweats, I’m not implying you start carrying around a binder full of coupons or binge-watch Extreme Couponing. But spending a little time researching what coupons are available will mean extra savings. Coupons.com and RedPlum are a great start for all your basic essentials and are FREE to print. And it IS possible to save on organic foods as well –  check out Mambo Sprouts for savings on Annie’s, Honest Juice, and all your favorite natural brands. Krazy Coupon Lady has a FABULOUS directory too – worth a bookmark!

2. Stack your coupons

Did you know some grocery stores allow you to stack a manufacturer coupon AND a store coupon? True story: Target, Walgreens and Whole Foods just to name a few. Say a box of Back To Nature macaroni and cheese is $2.49, and you have a $1 off manufacturer coupon PLUS a $1 off store coupon. Turn both over to the cashier and you’ll pay only… $0.49 for that box of mac and cheese.

Kohl’s allows customers to stack one dollar-off and one percentage-off coupon at a time. If you don’t know if your favorite retailer allows stacking, just ask at the Customer Service Desk.

3. Triple coupon with Cartwheel

Oh Cartwheel: You’re the bomb.com. And I’m the crazy mom who parks next to checkout and spends 5 minutes scanning items in my cart with this special, Target-shoppers-only app. Cartwheels offers an additional percentage – sometimes up to 50% – off select products. That’s on TOP of manufacturer and store coupons and it adds up to a lot of saved moolah. Here’s more on Cartwheel. 

4. Buy gift cards on the cheap with Raise


Seriously: Raise is my new favorite site. Raise allows you to purchase gift cards to virtually EVERY retailer you can think of, at a discount. There’s no catch – you don’t pay an annual fee, nothing. Raise offers both physical gift cards {which take a few days to ship to your house} and e-cards {sent to your email address after your payment has been processed}.

For example, take a look at the cards available for Target: A $61.16 gift card for $57.70? That’s a 5.7% savings. And every little bit counts, right? This link will get you started at Raise with $5 off your first gift card purchase.

5. Take a look at your cart and cut the fat

My favorite savings tip from her royal highness the Queen Of Free? Take a pause before you steer into checkout and assess your cart. There are ALWAYS extras in there you don’t need: A second box of graham crackers? The bag of apples you’re buying just because they were on sale? Cherie ala Queen Of Free says taking that minute to spotcheck is an easy way to cut $5 off your grocery bill. And without any coupons clipped. Boom.

6. Ask for price adjustments

How many times have I looked through this week’s Target circular and realized the cookies/school supplies/shampoo I bought last week are now on sale? Like many retailers, Target offers a price adjustment. Simply take in your receipt and they’ll process it for you in seconds. Money back in your account = awesome. {And if you’re unsure if your favorite grocer or retailer offers this too, just ask!}


7. Shopkick


I’m slightly obsessed with Shopkick. It awards points for checking into stores I’m already shopping at {Target, Macy’s, CVS} and points just for scanning barcodes of specific products on their shelves. All these points add up quickly and can be redeemed for FREE MOBILE GIFT CARDS. I probably score a $2 or $5 gift card to use at Target every week. Super easy to use and kid-friendly. Any way I can entertain the kids during a shopping trip is worth it. Get started with Shopkick.

8. Try other apps that reward you for uploading receipts


Tons of apps reward users with either cash back or gift cards just for uploading receipts {ReceiptPal, Receipt Hog, Snap by Groupon, Checkout 51}. My fave by far though is Ibotta. Ibotta rewards users with cash back on popular products just for watching quick videos or answering questions. Savings vary from $0.20-$2.50 per product; redeemable for cash via Paypal or gift cards once you reach $5 in savings. This is another app where I’m getting $5-$10 every couple of weeks all for a little bit of work. Ibotta is fantastic and worth downloading here.

9. Use eBates when shopping online

Aside from Amazon Prime, eBates is my other go-to when shopping online. It’s a referral website that pays you for clicking through. Buying new school uniforms at Gap.com? Start by logging on to eBates, type ‘Gap’ into the search bar, you’ll see that 8% of your total purchase will come back to you in a rebate from eBates. Click thru to the Gap site to complete your purchase and voila! That’s it. Payments by eBates are made quarterly – if you do a lot of online shopping, they add up fast. Get started with eBates here.

10. Sign up for email lists

I know, this may seem like a no-brainer – or maybe your inbox is overloaded as it is – but signing up for the newsletters at my favorite stores is a surefire way I keep up-to-speed on sales, specials and sneak peeks. Couple those with some of our savings tips above to maximize savings. Best part: Most email lists now offer a ‘frequency’ option to dictate how often I’d like to hear from them. So I select weekly to stay in the loop but not feel bombarded.

And that’s it! Hopefully these quick tips reinforced your own tried-and-true ways, and hopefully you learned new ones too. Happy shopping!


Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. 



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