7 Easy Ways To Save Money This Holiday Season Without Shopping At Walmart

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Thumbnail image via Flickr.

So Wally World is anti-union, as well as one of the lowest of the low when it comes to all-around workers’ rights, and even the right to marry.

What’s a person with limited income to do?



Here’s some great options to make it through without spending your entire savings on gifts:

1) Ebates. This startup is helping people save money by making deals with big-name companies (Ebay, Kohls, Amazon, Office Depot …). Here’s how it works: Ebates gets you some cash back with every purchase, and they make a living by negotiating with those same companies to get a small piece as well. It works, and several people I know have reported getting hundreds or even thousands of dollars back — in the form of an actual check or Paypal payment — by just using Ebates to buy stuff you normally would, anyway. Even better, there’s a Chrome plugin that will flag you when you hit the website for one of the companies that Ebates works with, and your money back will be shown to you right there. Like this:

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It works, it’s easy, and it’s not a scam. What’s not to like, right?

2) Use the power of Google to search for coupon codes. You know how, at the end of your checkout processes, you sometimes see one of those little boxes that says “Coupon Code” or “Discount Code” or some such?

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That’s when you fire up a separate browser window and hurriedly (well, you don’t really have to hurry … I just always do because I WANT MY PIZZA NOW. Ahem.) use a keyword search term like, “Joe’s Pizza discount code” or “Jane’s Pie Shop coupon code” (of course, replacing the Joe and Jane with your local or chain pizza shop name) and you will reveal a ton of codes to get a discount with. It works for hotels, airline tickets, movies, and so much more as well. The only caveat is that many of the codes will be expired, but if you try a handful, you’ll almost always score a discount of some sort. If you want to cut straight to the codes instead of Google searching, you can always go to https://www.retailmenot.com/ or https://www.couponcabin.com. There are tons out there.



3) WikiBuy is a browser plugin that … well, plugs in coupon codes and other discounts when you’re purchasing things online. It looks like this when you get your shopping cart all loaded up and are ready to checkout:

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In fact, if you go straight to the page right now, you’ll see discounts on things you’ve searched for recently. Which … umm, is a little scary, but it’s how browsers work. If you add the tool to Chrome, when you hit the checkout, it will try to plug in various coupon codes and such to get you the best deal.

4) Honey is another Chrome extension that plugs coupons and discounts in at checkout. It automates that process I listed in #2 above … but it’s worth a quick spot-check to see if there are brand new ones you can find on Google that are not yet connected to Honey. Much like Wikibuy, it appears at checkout to plug codes into that box that you usually leave empty.

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5) Leave your online shopping cart, with items in it, for a few days. Just let it percolate. Frequently, online retailers will send you something via email in a day or two, reminding you that you have stuff waiting … and offer a discount, as well.

So you’re thinking, “That digital stuff is all well and good, Weber, but what about shopping local/supporting brick-and-mortar businesses in my town?”



6) Well, there’s a way to get better deals there, too. You know how stores will push to get you to join their frequent shopper club and etc.? It gets you a discount. So, not wanting to give out their cell phone number to just anybody, people started using the famous (infamous?) number from the 1982 song by Tommy Tutone, “867-5309/Jenny.” More often than not, it works! Might have to add your own area code first, but it’s already programmed into a lot of systems around the country, so give it a shot!

 

 

(You’re welcome for the ear worm. Also, just go to Coupons.com for printable coupons, if you’re one of those who absolutely needs it on paper …)

7) Students, seniors, and veterans can get discounts at local businesses, restaurants, sporting good stores, etc. — and the online versions of those as well.

  • There are a lot of companies that offer student discounts — they work as long as you have a student ID or an .EDU email account (whether or not it’s current. Hint, hint.) Here’s one rather complete list. And another. And still another.
  • For seniors, there are also discounts available. Join AARP and there’s a list of immediate discounts there. Also, whether you’re senior or not, AAA offers at least a few bucks off any hotel and other travel-related events for members. But also, there are lists here, and here, and here to offer even more discounts for those who qualify.
  • For veterans, there’s a nice, full list of discounts here and here.

If you have any other tricks to get the best deal — whether online or in person — please leave them in the comments!