Living on half our income became a lot easier when we began doing these four things.
Here’s an example of how we managed to save $100 on a $300 lawn mower.
1. Comparison Shopping (+ $60 savings)
No matter how big or small the purchase is, we usually use the Flipp app to help us check for the lowest priced store. It takes seconds to do, but it easily saves us over $1,000 a year. This works the best when we shop at No Frills and Wal-Mart as they both have price matching policies which allow us to shop at one place for all our grocery and household shopping needs. We no longer have to worry about overpaying weekly on groceries. All we have to do is show the lower priced ad on Flipp and the cashiers will honour the price.
We had originally seen the lawn mower we wanted at Home Depot for $300. Using the Flipp app allowed us to quickly save $60 as the same lawn mower was on sale at Canadian Tire for $240.
2. Power of Gift Cards (+ $30)
I used to hate receiving gift cards as gifts. However, gift cards can be a great thing when you can buy them on sale for the stores you often shop at.
It just so happened that on the same weekend we wanted to buy the lawn mower, Canadian Tire gift cards were on sale at Loblaws for 10% off. We managed to buy $300 worth of Canadian Tire gift cards for $270.
For a list of gift card sales and any other hot deals, we go on Redflagdeals
3. PC World Elite Mastercard (+ $8)
I usually hate using credit cards but there’s one particular credit card we’ll use when shopping at Loblaws. It’s the PC World Elite Mastercard. It offers 3% back in PC Points on all our purchases at Loblaws stores (includes No Frills, Shoppers Drug mart, Real Canadian Superstore, Joe Fresh) and 1% for everywhere else. It’s a premium no fee card that offers extended warranty on purchases and other perks that often come with premium cards that carry an annual fee.
We often redeem the PC points at Loblaws/Nofrills on gift cards for stores we commonly shop at. There’s always certain gift cards that go on sale.
Even if the gift cards aren’t on sale, there is an automatic savings of 3% we get back in PC Points when buying the gift cards for these stores ahead of time at Loblaws with the mastercard. Some of our personal favourites are Amazon, Best Buy and Old Navy gift cards.
By using our PC World Elite Mastercard to pay for the $300 worth of Canadian Tire gift cards at Loblaws, we got back $8 (3% of $270) in PC points which could be spent on anything in Loblaws stores including groceries and more gift cards.
If we ever have to buy anything online, we would use Ebates to help us. Ebates allows us to get cash back on most of our online purchases. All we have to do is log into our Ebates account and it will list all 2,000+ retailers (Amazon, Forever 21, Home Depot, Old Navy, etc.) offering cash back discounts which range from 1% to as high as 25% on some of the stores. Ebates will mail us a cheque on a quarterly basis for the cash back amount after we complete our online purchases.
We couldn’t use Ebates to get cash back for the lawn mower we purchased at Canadian Tire, but it’s worth mentioning. It always makes us feel better and less guilty for the occasional purchase we make online.