Discounts Hidden in Plain Sight

by Ryan Yates

Do these black lines terrify you?

For many people, the word ‘coupon’ brings about the thought of fruitless endeavors to gain fifty cents. To some, it’s a money-saving practice that’s beneath them.

But if you’ll take a breath and open your eyes to the money-saving opportunities around you, those little pieces of barcoded paper will add up quickly.

Coupons with Your Receipt

Whether you fast-track it through the self checkout line or you pay for your groceries via the traditional route, you’re going to end up with a receipt. And with receipts come coupons, mountains and mountains of coupons.

Sometimes the coupon comes printed on the back of your receipt, other times it’s printed out on a separate piece of paper. Some times the coupons are related to your current purchase, other times it’s something totally different. Whatever you do, don’t throw it away without giving it a second thought. You might just find a way to save money on your next trip.

Surveying Customer Service

You’ve finished your meal and you’re handed a receipt. Then the server tells you that, once you complete a short online (or telephone) survey about your experience, you’ll be given some sort of discount good for your next visit.

I would always wad them up and toss the resulting paper ball in the trash – until I saw the light. There are some valuable discounts associated with those surveys. Discounts that, in our microwave society, we think we don’t have time for. It’s time to make time – for savings!

The Mobile Age of Coupons

Just when I think I don’t have any more room in my life for a new app on my phone, one hundred more apps are released. Ugh. But if you do a little friend-to-friend research or some online surfing about the best apps, you might find a few that can save you money.

Not only do apps show you the cheapest gasoline stations, but they can get you free appetizers and free desserts at some of your favorite restaurants. Whether it’s Yelp, Foursquare, or some other brand new app that I haven’t even heard of, you can check in or get coupons on your mobile phone that will dramatically reduce the amount of money you’re spending.

Sticker Savings

Unofficially, these coupons are called peelies – you know, those coupons that are stuck on products that you intend to purchase. Most of the time these sticky coupon are available to be used on the current product that you’re buying. Sometimes, you might have to wait til next time, so read the fine print first.

Situational Discounts

Sure, everyone knows about the senior citizen discount. But are you aware that, as a student, teacher, nurse, and even military personnel are able to receive great discounts from everything to food, movies, insurance, car care, and much more. Make sure to ask next time you go out, and make sure you have the proof you need.

Mailing List Discount

Everyone knows the dangers of mass coupon lists. Sometimes you sign up for store soupons to be sent to you, other times you get them without requesting everything. It seems like I geta coupon flyer each week from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

These programs are very good about offering remarkable discounts on popular items. My only warning is that you must have the self control to avoid over-spending because of these home-delivered savings.

Free Tacos if We score 100 Points

When’s the last time you went to a basketball game? Yes, they still offer promotions if the home team meets a certain goal – usually announced over the PA system at the game. My favorite is the free-taco-with-ticket-stub promo. Pick up a few stubs on your way out and you can have free tacos for a week.

Photo By Conor Lawless

{ 1 comment }

krantcents March 7, 2012 at

The first time I offered a senior discount, I felt insulted. I soon got over it though. Most restaurants will give you a senior discount, but you have to ask for it.

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