The Money Mustache Community

General Discussion => Share Your Badassity => Topic started by: RichHarvest on July 12, 2019, 11:18:28 AM

Title: RichHarvest Guide to Saving $$$ on Online (and Offline) Purchases
Post by: RichHarvest on July 12, 2019, 11:18:28 AM
I decided to write this comprehensive guide after replying in a few threads about saving money online with coupon/promo codes and referral links. If possible, I never pay full price for an item online or in person. You can chain a few different techniques together to regularly get 5-10% minimum off most stores (and often up to 30% or more with good promo codes). This post will include my own referral codes/links at the end that you can use to sign up if you'd like. I benefit from those so I've explicitly labeled them for transparency. I've used all of these services for years and would recommend them regardless of any referral benefits.

General Concept


Step 1: (1-10%) Before you make a purchase online for any good or service, start with a cashback service like eBates (recently renamed Rakuten), Honey, or TopCashBack. These services work by signing up for the affiliate programs at online retailers which pay them X% to promote their stores, they then pass the cash back to you. eBates/Rakuten and Honey make money by taking a cut of that cash back. TopCashBack gives you 100% of the cashback (so you'll often see higher cashback options here) and makes money through donations. In order to get the cash back, you must log in to your account with these websites and click on their referral links to the store where you are making your purchase. This is how they track the referral and how you get paid. It can sometimes take a couple of weeks to receive your cash back.

Step 2: (5-30%) Always check for valid promo codes. If you join Honey, you can install a browser extension that conveniently detects the promo code field during checkout and will prompt you to try its list of promo codes. They may also give you Honey's cashback if the store qualifies. Honey tries each promo code they have listed since the codes often expire. The Honey browser extension is the easiest way to get promo codes and cashback if you're lazy, but remember that they take a cut of the cashback unlike TopCashBack. And for higher reliability promo codes, try DealSpotr. They have a built-in curation that culls the expired promo codes.

Step 3: (1-10%) Use discounted gift cards. You can go to or Cardpool to search for discounted gift cards from your retailer (even offline/physical retailers). The way it works is that you buy, say, a $100 gift card for Kroger for $95, giving you an effective 5% discount on your purchase. I buy discounted gift cards to get 1-10% off my everyday purchases at Kroger, Exxon Mobil, Delta Airlines, movie theaters, etc. And as a bonus, the cashback sites have affiliates with these discounted gift card websites, so visit TopCashback first, search for, click the link, and then make your purchase.

Step 4: (Varies) When joining a new service, always look for new user referral links. Most online services have referral links that incentivize existing customers to invite new customers. I've provided the relevant ones of mine below so you can get $5 to $10 cash (and so will I) when you join the services I've mentioned. Dealspotr is another great place to find these. Just search a website, and on the right-side, click "Social & Referral Codes". You'll find them for anything from cell phone services, to ride sharing, to VPN services, to 23andMe (as another poster mentioned).

Step 5: (1-5%) Credit card rewards are covered sufficiently across this forum, and there are so many other considerations that I can't make a broad recommendation. But as a general rule, when making purchases, use a card with a high cashback. I've used the Citi Double Dividend card for 2% cashback on everything. Some cards have 5% cashback on specific or rotating categories. This is how you squeeze another 1-5% back on the portion of the purchase not covered by a discounted gift card (and you buy the discounted gift card with your cashback credit card). If you want more privacy and security when making online purchases. Check out

Get $10 when you join eBates/Rakuten: (
Get the highest cashback at TopCashBack: (
Get automatic promo codes and cash back with Honey: (
Get $5 when you make a purchase within 30 days at (
Get $5 when you make a purchase at Cardpool: (
Get $50 when you sign up and make a purchase with your Discover Card (up to 5% cashback): (
Get $5 to spend anywhere with (

Other Links
Highest reliability promo codes at Dealspotr: (
Title: Re: RichHarvest Guide to Saving $$$ on Online (and Offline) Purchases
Post by: MonkeyJenga on July 12, 2019, 11:33:56 AM
A heads up - forum rules ( only let you post a referral code once on the entire forum, and you've posted some of these before. Should clean that up so people don't think you're spamming.
Title: Re: RichHarvest Guide to Saving $$$ on Online (and Offline) Purchases
Post by: RichHarvest on July 12, 2019, 11:36:37 AM
Thanks for the heads up. I appreciate it. Cleaned up the other posts so only this post contains them.