I’m not a coupon cutter — and probably will never be one.
My wife, Yael, on the other hand, is the complete opposite.
She always knows where to save 0.50¢ on English Cucumbers and a buck off a box of Cheerios.
Yael is what I call a “micro-saver.”
Don’t get me wrong; I think coupons and price matching are fantastic. I just wasn’t built like that.
I’m more of a “macro-saver” (versus a “micro-saver”).
In other words, I look at big ways to save money that don’t take a lot of time.
And if you’re a macro-saver like me, today’s your lucky day.
Below, I’ve put together my top 3 macro-saving tips, which could put thousands of dollars back into your wallet — without cutting a single coupon. 😉
Tip #1 ThriftBooks.com
Thriftbooks connects you to discount wholesalers that’ll sell you a new or used book for a fraction of the retail price.
Take Malcolm Gladwell’s, The Tipping Point, for example.
In hardcover, Barnes and Nobels sell it for $18.98.
At Thriftbooks, it’s $4.59 for a *like-new copy.
(* My experience of like-new is that it’s really “like-new.”)
In other words, you can buy four books for the price of one.
The only drawback to Thriftbooks is waiting for the books to come in the mail vs. getting them right away.
To get around this, I usually stock up and order five books at a time. Before I start my last book, I’ve ordered my next batch.
FYI: Shipping is free for orders over $10. But if you live in Canada (like me), they charge you a couple of bucks for shipping. It’s still worth it.
Tip #2 – Low-cost grocery stores
On average, you can save anywhere between 10% to 30% just by choosing to shop at a discount vs. higher-cost grocery store.
In the US, options like Aldi, Lidl, 365, Winco, Fresh Thyme, and Sprouts are good ones.
Here in Canada, we have FreshCo., Food Basics, Foodland, and No-Frills.
I have to admit, the low-cost store’s floors aren’t as shiny, and they don’t have the fancy-schmancy signage. But that’s how you save money.
I did my math: On average, if prices are just 15% lower at a discount grocery store, I will save over $148,000 in my lifetime. Bottom line: A can of tomatoes is a can of tomatoes. Bye, bye shiny floors. 😉
Tip #3 – Ebates.com
Ebates gives you cash back for shopping at stores like Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, Sephora, OldNavy, and Coach.
Typically they’ll pay you 2.5% to 10% of your purchase price (with a cheque) just by going through their site.
When I first heard about Ebates, I thought “this sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?”
There isn’t one.
Here’s how they explain it on their site: “It’s really quite simple. Just like almost every other online shopping centre, we get a commission from the stores when you make a purchase. Instead of keeping that money – like almost all other sites do – we share it with you!”
Personally, we’ve gotten lots of cheques from Ebates.
The only downside is that you might get tempted to visit other stores that are offering cash-back deals and buy something you don’t need.
If you know that online shopping is your kryptonite, you might want to stay away from this one and adopt a pay-only-retail strategy.
So there you have it — three ways to save money without cutting a single coupon.
Are you a macro or micro saver?
Do you have any tips and tricks that help you automatically save money without cutting coupons?
Let me know in the comments.
Afterthoughts — A reflection from your comments. 🤔
Y’all came up with some additional resources that could save some serious bucks.
Here were my favorites (not in any particular order):
- Poshmark.com to buy new/slightly used clothes at huge savings — like eBay, but for clothes. (via @MichelleMartello)
- Retailmenot.com (I don’t know how I forgot this one) to find discounts on internet services and software. (via @MichelleMartello)
- E-books from BookBub.com. Thousands of e-books at a fraction of the cost of Kobo or Kindle. (via @James)
- Awesomebooks.com for bookworms. Comes with low shipping or free depending on the number of books that you will buy. (via @PPGal)
- Use the local library for DVDs, CDs, ebooks, audiobooks, online periodicals, streaming services, financial databases, consumer reports, etc. And cool sites that come for free with a library card like lynda.com, kanopystreaming.com, and zinio.com. (via @fbgcai)
- Save money on groceries by shopping your own pantry. I love the idea of being creative with what you got. Challenge yourself to make a meal with items that you already have, and pretend you’re competing in Masterchef. (via @PPGal)
Thanks for all your comments. I loved them all!