Every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.
One way we stretch our dollars is by buying deals from daily deal sites. They can be a way to get amazing deals on restaurants, local attractions, family fun, local stores, and more!
Here are three things to keep in mind when shopping through daily deal sites:
1. Stick With Your Budget
I don’t care how good the deal is, if you can’t afford it, it’s not a good deal for you. Daily deal sites only save you money when you actually buy deals that are for things you will use and have room in your budget for.
For instance, if you allot a $50 monthly budget for eating out/family fun, you can stretch those dollars much further by buying Groupons or AmazonLocal vouchers for restaurants, bowling, and local attractions. But you still have to stick with the $50 budget.
No cheating is allowed just because it’s a “great deal.” Otherwise, you’ve defeated the purpose and it’s not saving you money but encouraging you to spend more money.
How to Save $100+ Per Year
If you want to guarantee that you save $100 per year by using daily deal sites, cut your current eating out and entertainment budget by $10 per month for the next year and try to make the lower budget stretch with vouchers from deal sites. Unless you live in small town or you are really particular about what types of restaurants you’ll eat at or things you like to do as a family, I bet you can make the reduced budget work just fine!
2. Read the Fineprint
Always, always, always read the fineprint carefully before purchasing a voucher. Check the details on whether there’s a purchase minimum. Be sure that the voucher is good at your local store. And double-check that you’ll actually use the voucher before it expires.
One good thing about Groupon is that they have amazing customer service and money-back guarantees. So if you do end up accidentally buying something that isn’t what you thought it was, you can usually get your money back. But I still recommend reading the fineprint with a fine-toothed comb and then taking a little time to think through the purchase and make sure it’s a good use of your money.
3. Shop Through Rakuten (formerly Ebates)
Once you’ve determined that the voucher is, indeed, a good deal for you, be sure to purchase it through Rakuten. If you’re unfamiliar with Rakuten, basically it’s a site that rewards you with a small percentage of cashback on your online purchases. All you have to do is sign up for an account and then go to Rakuten.com, search for the online store you’re planning to purchase from, and click through to the site to make your purchase.
You’ll usually receive anywhere from 3% to 8% cashback on each purchase. It might not seem like much, but I think it’s worth earning a few dollars in cash back for taking an extra 30 seconds to click through to Rakuten.
Each quarter, Rakuten will send you a check for your accumulated cashback amount earned over the past quarter. It’s always a fun little bonus — and it’s FREE money that you’re earning for making a purchase you were already planning to make!
My Top 4 Favorite Daily Deal Sites
What are your favorite daily deal sites? What tips and tricks do you have to add to my list?
(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)