You’re Getting Ripped Off If You Pay Full Price For Anything

Full price is for suckers.

Businesses nowadays make it a point to work promotional discounts and rewards into their budgets. If you’re paying full price, you’re getting ripped off. Here are some ways to take advantage of the current economy and never pay full price ever again.

1. Rewards galore

Most vendors allow for credit card payment of some sort. But this method costs and vendors include that cost in their price. If you’re paying full price with cash, you’re getting ripped off. If you use a rewards card, you’re at least getting a portion of that fee back. Sometimes it can be very rewarding.

We use a combination of cards to maximize cash back: The Amazon Prime card for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases (5% cash back) and the Chase Freedom card for specific quarterly categories like gas stations and restaurants (1% + 5% bonus cash back up to $75). Discover also has a similar card. And we use the Amex Blue Cash Everyday for groceries (3%) and the PayPal Mastercard or the Fidelity Rewards card for everything else (2%).

Chase gives customers Chase Offers which are card rebates on specific purchases such as Airbnb, Starbucks, or Audible. These rebates (usually around 5-15%) make for a much more enjoyable experience knowing you’re saving substantially.

Other people use airline miles cards but I find the cash back is the best option since cash can be used for anything. Also, when you’re cashing in your rewards, you may have the option of getting gift cards. We don’t recommend this unless it’s a discounted gift card. Chase Freedom offers gift cards at up to 15% off as well in exchange for points. This is free stuff on top of free stuff!

2. These aren’t your grandma’s coupons

It may not be worth it to spend hours clipping coupons out of the newspaper (do they still print newspapers anymore?). But you can save upwards of 30-50% by utilizing modern electronic coupons.

Most online services and pretty much every brick and mortar establishment has a coupon out there floating around. When you are about to make a purchase, visit RetailMeNot.com and search for a coupon for your specific product (A duckduckgo.com search will work too).

I was recently turned on to a great Groupon-style site called LocalFlavor.com, which has 50%-off coupons for restaurants we already eat at. This is great if you’re definitely going to eat there. They add some pressure by providing only a certain amount of discounts, but if you don’t let that affect your purchase, you can save a lot of money.

3. Loyalty pays

Loyalty programs are ironically disloyal. Last year we were disappointed when our grocer Winn Dixie split up with Plenti and ate up all our points. But they started their own SE Grocers Loyalty Card and associated themselves with Shell Gas stations. They have bonus offers on consistently and on one occasion we got 40x points on a purchase and ended up getting a tank full of gas for free.

We consistently get a couple dollars off per fill up and of course we use those rewards on groceries instead when we get an extra 5% cashback on gas purchase.

UPDATE: they’ve changed the rewards structure to incentivize spending the rewards on groceries all the time. With every 100 points, you get $1 off groceries or $.05 off per gallon. But since you can only get 20 gallons max with the offer and a full tank is rarely that, it makes sense to take the dollar off groceries instead of a fraction of that you would receive at the tank.

We also employ the restaurant loyalty programs. Our favorite is program for a local chain, Copeland’s Restaurant. Even with the $15 signup fee, it’s well worth it. You get $15 in rewards instantly and rewards consistently when you dine there. And we got a nice birthday bonus gift that paid for an entire dinner.

Other restaurants offer a free dessert or appetizer for your birthday too. That’s the least they can do for your loyalty!

4. Bonus bonus

Something that’s gaining traction recently is a temporary bonus gift card with the purchase of a gift card (specifically for restaurants). If you’re on a restaurant’s email list, you may receive an offer leading up to Christmas to receive a bonus gift card with the purchase of a gift card. This is a way you can pay yourself when you give gifts to others. But if you know you’re going to eat at the restaurant anyway, you can just buy the gift card for yourself and use it and the bonus card. This may equate to upwards of 30% off your dinner bill. Remember to be generous with all that money you saved though! Here are some ways to be smart when giving.