How to Save at Least 10 Percent on Everything You Buy

Think you can’t save money on those items that never go on sale? Think again. Here’s a simple, three-step process to save 10 percent or more.

Coupons and sales make it simple to save big on purchases. But what about those times when you need to buy something and a coupon or sale is nowhere to be found?

Following are three simple steps that can help you save at least 10 percent off anything you could possibly need to buy.

Step 1: Find a discounted gift card

The first savings step is to buy a gift card, but not any old gift card. Instead, you want to head to a website specializing in reselling gift cards at a discounted rate.

Here are some of the biggest sites in the reselling business:

These sites let individuals with unwanted gift cards unload them by selling to others at a discount. While the sites advertise discounts of as much as 35 percent, you’re typically going to save less than 10 percent for most cards.

You can learn more about discounted cards in our article about saving every time you shop.

Step 2: Buy through a rebate site

In some cases, you can save 10 percent by simply using a discounted gift card for every purchase. However, we want to save you more.

If you’re buying online, make your purchase through a rebate site. These sites often offer another 3 or 4 percent off your purchase. You’ll pay the full amount when you buy, but receive the discount back in the form of a rebate.

These are some of the most popular rebate sites:

Before shopping, check out the store availability and terms at the rebate sites. Some sites send checks automatically every few months, while others require you to request a payment once you hit a minimum amount in your account. Participating retailers and rebate amounts vary between sites.

We’ve got a whole article about rebate sites, so be sure to read that next.

Step 3: Use a cash-back credit card

The final step to saving 10 percent or more is to use a great cash-back or rewards credit card.

Depending on the card and what you’re buying, you could save anywhere from 1 to 5 percent on your purchase. As with rebate sites, you’ll pay the full price at purchase but receive the cash back as a rebate or statement credit.

If you like to keep things simple, Fidelity’s Rewards Visa Signature card offers unlimited 2% cash-back on everything you buy deposited automatically into a linked Fidelity account. There’s no fee to open a brokerage, checking (“cash management”), or retirement account at Fidelity, and the card has no annual fee, so the whole 2% is yours to keep.

Of course, using a credit card comes with the caveat that you must pay off your balance when the bill arrives. Paying interest on a credit card is a sure-fire way to negate your savings.

Other ways to save

While these three steps should save you at least 10 percent off just about anything, don’t stop there. Read this article on simple, proven strategies to save on everything you buy.

How will you save this holiday season — and beyond? If you’ve used a discounted gift card or rebate site, tell us about it our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. Take 5 seconds and join our family by clicking here. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

More Money Talks News


  • I.Popoff

    Some merchants give a discount to veterans or seniors or other groups you might fall in to.

    • Michael Smiley Gawthrop

      Also, these discounts may not be obvious or advertised… I work at a place that gives a 15% discount to Wal-Mart employees (we are a block away from a Wal-Mart and getting them to come here after work is good marketing), it has never been openly advertised, only spread through word of mouth. So, ask around with coworkers or even just ask at places you frequent what discounts they offer, you may be surprised.

  • I.Popoff

    I stumbled on to Fat Wallet after reading your mention of it and decided to check it out. I found “deals” for 15% and 20% off at Amazon. However when Fat Wallet redirected me to Amazon, I found the prices listed for items to be way over the prices I had found after a regular search without the help of Fat Wallet. I have seen this happen before with “deal” sites. The prices you are quoted are not deals at all, but a ripoff.

  • I.Popoff

    Thanks I may try that.

  • pej7445

    Don’t forget Fatwallet. They are excellent. Also, American Express has lots of “offers” that provide cash back on certain vendor purchases. For example, right now they are running a promotion at Home Depot, spend $75, get a $15 statement credit. That’s 20% cash back! I bought gift cards and got the statement credit.

  • Yep, paying full price in today’s consumer world is just lazy.

    With a combination of cashback/rewards on credit cards, using online cashback sites (I use Quidco) and buying things on sale, I don’t remember the last time I bought something and actually paid the retail price…

  • Lorilu

    Discover has a “Shop Discover” site which features many vendors and special offers. Purchases made through the site often give you extra cash back on your account or discounts. In addition, if you are a member of some group, there are often discounts offered. Just ask. For example, many merchants will offer 15% off to members of the automobile club. I have received the discount at clothing stores, restaurants, amusement parks, and on rail travel.

  • speaksthetruth

    google “coupon code” than store name for example “macys coupon code” will bring you coupons to use for that store. I did this with Khols and found a coupon code for 30% I added it to my transaction and it worked!!!!!

  • A Medena

    For big ticket items I usually try vendor that does not charge sales tax. Saves a lot. Also discover has some very good deals if you shop at Macy’s and bed bath and beyond. with combo of discounts, coupons and cash back you can save over 100$ on mixers or blenders. I used card cash and they are great for Burlington coat factory. Watch for their flash sales. Starbucks and Burlington go for 25% off. And card often are low value, like 40$ dollars. As far as grocery stores go sales are not worth it. Barely 3% discount.

  • My guess would be that you use the rewards credit card to purchase the discounted gift card. But the video definitely doesn’t make that clear.

    As for gift card sites, there are several listed in the article.

  • Not to mention that, if you do win the gift card, you have to wait for it to be shipped to you before you can use it to buy anything. So if you found a great deal on that drill at Home Depot, but you thought, “Oh, wait, I bet I can save even more with a discounted gift card,” then by the time you get the card, the sale may be over. I think this system just has too many variables to be practical.

  • Tom

    Amazon subscribe and save can save you 5-15%. Especially effective for consumables you use on a regular basis.

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,118 more deals!