10 Overlooked Discounts
Chances are that you're not taking advantage of some valuable discounts. I'm not talking about coupons that you have to spend hours clipping and organizing so that you can pay only $1 for $100 worth of groceries. I'm referring to hassle-free discounts that are easy to score.
Kendal Perez, creator of HassleFreeSavings.com, says that consumers may not be aware of many discounts that cross their paths every day. Here are ten that she says are commonly overlooked.
Receipt coupons. Don't just shove your receipts into your bags after a trip to the store. Not only should you review them to make sure you weren't overcharged, but also you should check them for coupons that you can use the next time you shop.
Catalina coupons. Similar to receipt coupons, Catalina coupons are usually printed from a small machine at the register, Perez says. These coupons are triggered by your purchases and provide discounts on products you typically buy. Perez says she usually gets future discounts ranging from 50 cents to $2 for each receipt and Catalina coupon she receives.
Customer service surveys. How many times has a cashier told you that you could get a discount on your next purchase by simply going to a Web site or calling a phone number listed on your receipt and answering a few questions about your shopping experience? And how many times have you actually taken one of these surveys? If your answer is zero, Perez says you're missing out on an easy resource for savings (for example, $10 off a purchase of $50 or more).
Mobile coupons. If you have a smart phone, you have easy access to coupons while you're shopping. Just download a free coupon app, such as Coupon Sherpa, and search for discounts at the store where you're shopping or download grocery discounts directly to your loyalty card. Perez says she saves up to 40% on purchases using mobile coupons.
Peelies. These are coupons attached to a product for immediate use. However, Perez says, "These sticky gems do you no good if you fail to point them out to the cashier." So make sure you remove them from products and hand them to the cashier.
Status discounts. Seniors aren't the only ones who can get discounts. Students, teachers and military personnel are among those to whom retailers, restaurants, hotels and others offer savings of usually 10% to 20% (up to 50% for military members at some fast-food restaurants). Perez says it never hurts to ask whether discounts are available for your particular status -- just be ready to show the necessary proof to get a deal.
Preferred customer offers. Some retailers offer programs that allow customers to earn rewards after spending a certain amount. It makes sense to sign up for these free programs at stores where you frequently shop. For example, Perez says she gets $10 in shoe retailer DSW Rewards occasionally, and her husband scores $10 discounts on his Dick's Sporting Goods purchases because they accrue points through preferred customer programs.
Sports tickets. Check your ticket stubs because you'll likely find coupons for local restaurants or retailers on them.
Magazines. Don't be so quick to pull out and toss subscription offers in magazines. Perez says she has found coupons and free samples attached to these offers.
Recycling programs. Some retailers and manufacturers offer discounts if you recycle their products. When Perez bought a box of Kashi cereal, she was prompted to sign up for Recyclebank.com and enter a code printed inside the cereal box to earn points toward product discounts. Your community must participate in the Recyclebank Home Recycling Rewards program in order for you to earn points for recycling products. However, the site offers other ways for you to earn points, such as taking online quizzes about recycling.