Saving money rocks, and I love reading stories about these people who saved money (and even made money) by being clever, doing their due diligence, and exploiting a loophole. When I recently posted an article about people who craftily saved money, more people flooded the comments and the anonymous Google form sharing their stories. Here they are:
1. "Victoria's Secret used to run a secret reward program where you would get a $10 reward card with every purchase. In the fine print of the card, it said no purchase necessary, go to this website for details. I did, and buried in the terms and conditions on the website were instructions for getting a reward card without a purchase. You had to mail them an index card in an envelope with your contact info, max 10 per person, one reward card per mailing. I mailed 10 cards, and got $100 worth of reward cards, and therefore, $100 worth of Victoria's Secret merchandise for only the cost of postage. Now any time I hear 'no purchase necessary,' I check the terms and conditions. Sometimes a similar procedure is buried there."
2. "I try to avoid ordering from companies that use Laser Ship because I’ve had issues getting my stuff from them almost every time they’re involved. But when I can’t, as soon as my delivery is late, and it’s always late, I call the company and complain. I normally walk away with a discount code and I know it’s documented. I give it a couple more days and when I still haven’t gotten my stuff, I call the company back and complain again. Nine times out of 10, they’re going to offer to resend the items or a refund. I take the refund and probably a really great discount code to make up for the inconvenience. Laser Ship drops my stuff off a week or two later than they said they would."
3. "I always try to read the fine print of deals being offered. Every once in a while, I get lucky and the fine print won’t indicate how many times you can use an offer or an expiration date or some sort of loophole that can save money. One time in particular, I was reading the fine print of a deal on a makeup brush website that was like, 'buy four, get 40% off.' It didn’t say how many times you could use the deal so I split up my large order into batches of four and ordered all my brushes for, like, a lifetime. The company caught their mistake and cancelled all but one of my orders but sent me an email saying, 'Oops! There was an issue with your orders and we had to cancel them, but here is 50% off your next order for the inconvenience.' So, I repurchased all the brushes that were cancelled at a better deal than before. Always read the fine print!"
4. "On the Dominos app, you can pick two toppings, put one on each half, and it only counts as one topping since the two halves cover the whole pizza together. I get 4-topping pizzas every time that way, all for the cost of their 2-top coupon :)."
5. "A well-known cosmetics company was launching in France and they had some great offers to entice new customers. I already knew their products, so I started adding my favorites to my basket. Realizing that there were amazing free gift sets per order, I split my basket into separate orders, got the free gifts AND added the coupon codes I got when signing up for the newsletter. I spent 300€ on about six full-size and 15 travel-size products and received over 1,000€ in free gifts! It looked like I was opening a shop. I ended up giving them as gifts to family and friends and they lasted for AGES!"
6. "I remember as a kid, my dad had a roundtable coupon buy one large pizza get one free. The coupon didn’t have an expiration date and they never collected it at payment (he would just show them the coupon and they’d apply the discount). We used that same coupon for years!"
7. "On my 17th birthday, there was a pretty bad hailstorm ahead of a tornado (I grew up in Iowa) that did damage my beloved Dodge Neon, so minimally you'd need a magnifying glass to see it, but it was there. Took the car to a few dealerships and submitted the highest estimate (they quoted to basically replace every panel) to insurance. Didn't fix the damage, didn't do anything illegal, and paid off my two-year-old car! If you're submitting a claim to insurance, definitely go to dealerships and shop around."
8. "I mean, it's not a big one, but I recently got a $200 pair of headphones for half price because Walmart had the lower price on their website and higher price in store and they price match, especially with their own website. They weren't too pleased about having to knock down the price so much, and it's not like I got it for anywhere near free, but...still a win for me."
9. "I have the Target Circle app. They usually have offers for three free month trials of Apple services. I’ve used the free Apple TV at least three times and the Apple Music twice. I use the same Apple ID and usually wait a couple months in between trials. Of course, you need to remember to cancel before the trial is up, but I usually cancel right away and you still get the three months."
10. "In college, there was a free newspaper in the town that would occasionally have a buy one get one coupon for entrees at a burrito shop. Every four weeks or so, this coupon was in the back of the paper. So, my friend and I would look through the papers and when the coupon was there, we would go around and empty every paper stand in our area. We would have 30-40 papers in our cars at all times. We would alternate who paid for food. We ate a ton of burritos for a year or two."
11. "Worked at McDonalds in high school in 1976. McD had a scratch-off coupon they gave out with purchases. It was coordinated with the Olympic games, and prizes were awarded by how well the USA did in that event. They were color-coordinated with the events, swimming events were green. The USA was cleaning up in swimming. We (store workers) noted that if you nicked the edge of the scratch-off circle it would reveal the event color without revealing the event. So, somehow, a lot of swimming event cards ended up in worker's hands."
12. "Back in the day, the local grocery store had a buy one get one free promotion on all Frito-Lay products, mix and match. Forgot why, but I bought two small single-serving bags and two 'family size' bags. I just happened to put them on the belt small bag, large bag, small bag, large bag. This was the early days of computer scanning and obviously, all the bugs weren't worked out. I noticed it charged me for the small bag, then gave me the large bag for free. Needless to say, after a few days I had quite the stockpile of chips."