This story is part of , featuring tips on the best ways to manage the holiday season.
promise to save you big bucks, and I’ve got some good news for you. You already know , and you already know that you’ll save. But wouldn’t you like to keep even more money in your pocket, especially when going into this expensive time of year? (By the way, ).
Below I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite money-saving secrets — some of them borrowed, unsurprisingly, from, the other big annual everything’s-on-sale event.
Don’t like reading? Click the accompanying video (below) where I talk you through some of these tips and tricks. And here’s our
Use Amazon’s credit card to save an extra 5%
If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, consider getting the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa Card. With it you automatically net 5% cash back on nearly everything you buy from Amazon.com (and everything you buy at Whole Foods as well).
That’s on top of any sale prices happening on Black Friday or any other time of year. In fact, right now you can get an additional 10-15% back on various electronics purchases — including things like Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Samsung Galaxy phones.
Trust me when I say that if you shop Amazon a lot, that 5% can add up. Here are six additional. Don’t already have Amazon Prime? You can sign up for it here:
Score additional cash-back savings
Speaking of cash-back options, you don’t need Amazon’s credit card to take advantage of them. Services like BeFrugal, Rakuten (formerly Ebates), Mr. Rebates and TopCashback offer added savings from many, if not most, online stores — often with increased percentages before and during the big post-Thanksgiving weekend. For example, 3% might become 6%, 8% might become 12% and so on.
Cooler still, you get that bonus even when those devices are on sale. So if something is discounted and you get bonus cashback on top of it, that’s like a double-dip win. (The triple-dip, of course, is using your cash-back credit card — the aforementioned Amazon Visa or any other. You still get that savings as well; a cash-back service doesn’t interfere with it. And for a quadruple-dip, throw a coupon-code into the mix. It’s rare, but not impossible.)
Check price histories
Sure, every store says it has the “best prices of the year,” but are they really? In some cases you can find out by using Honey, a free browser plug-in that shows you the price histories for individual products at stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s and Walmart.
What’s the point of getting that information? Simple: If a product has ever been priced lower than you’re seeing right now, chances are good it will be again. For example, in the run-up to Prime Day, Amazon was selling its full-size second-gen Echo smart speaker for $70. But a few weeks before that, it had dropped to $65. If you’d peeked at Honey, you’d know that — and know that you have the option of waiting for it to hit that price (or better) again.
Comparison-shop while you shop
There’s another browser add-on that I recommend, called PriceBlink. In addition to finding coupon codes for you while you shop, it will also compare prices at other stores. So if you’re shopping for, say, a at Amazon, PriceBlink will alert you if that same product is available for less elsewhere. Alas, it’s currently available only for Chrome.
Honey, PriceBlink and price-history tool CamelCamelCamel (which works solely with Amazon) also have wish-list features, meaning if Black November isn’t producing the price you want for a particular item, you can set up an alert and they’ll notify you if and when a price cut occurs.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, these tips and tools aren’t specific to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You can, and should, use them year-round.
Have you found any other great money-saving tips and tools like these? Share them in the comments!
Originally published earlier this year.