Paying Less than the Sale Price: Our Range Purchase – Part 3 of 3

Paying Less than the Sale Price: Our Range Purchase – Part 1 of 3Having shopped and added up the cost and implemented the savings strategies, today concludes this paying less than the sale price series.

Though you already know the end of my story, I will still tell it and show you via tables how to use multiple savings strategies.

This third and final post gives an overview of our savings, the order in which those savings were used, and documents the future savings earned through this purchase.

I separated my out-of-pocket expenses from the future earnings. I do this because I will count the future earnings when I spend them.

So, here is how I completed and evaluated the purchase of our new range.

Part 3: Completing and Evaluating the Purchase of our New Range

Completing the Purchase for our New Range

With the gift cards purchased and the codes e-mailed to my inbox, I proceeded to checkout. I verified that the order had all the items we needed and the subtotal was $496.98. Then I used the saving strategies to see the final cost of our new range:

Amount Description Balance
$496.98 Subtotal $496.98
-$50.00 Honey promotional code (SEARS50) $446.98
-$0.91 Applied Shop Your Way points (910) $446.07
$26.77 Sales Tax $472.84
-$442.95 Paid with Discounted gift cards purchased from Cardpool $29.89
-$29.89 Paid with credit card and earned reward points $0

Evaluating the Purchase of our New Range

With lots of saving strategies at work, these tables breakdown our out-of-pocket cost and our future rewards for making this purchase: 

Our Out-of-pocket Cost

Amount Description
$411.94 Purchased discounted gift cards from Cardpool
$29.89 Paid remaining balance and taxes
______
$441.83 TOTAL

 Our Future Rewards

Amount Description
$11.99 Ebates cash back which will be included in the check I receive from Ebates this May
$4.31 Shop Your Way Rewards (4,311 points) for use on a future order
49 points Rewards added to other credit card points for gift cards, merchandise, or cash back

In weighing the cost of repairing a 10-year-old range or buying a new one, we are thrilled with our choice of making a new purchase. With the larger window and a few other neat features, this range fits our needs, and the cost was within our budget.

I was thrilled that not only did we pay less than our $450 target price, but also that our final cost was less than the sale price of the unit.

Using savings strategies takes time. I spent about 2 hours making this purchase. But those 2 hours included researching with Paul and waiting on the delivery of the electronic gift cards from Cardpool to appear in my inbox.

For us, these 2 hours were time well spent. I am hoping this range lasts for the next 10 years. Knowing we got the best deal available (minus the extra 2% I could have saved using Shop at Home rather than Ebates), I was giddy with excitement as I waited for our range to arrive.

As you shop online, remember these saving strategies to continue stretching your dollars while using time wisely. Off to bake some more chocolate chip cookies because now I can. 🙂 Happy baking and saving!

Question: Which savings strategy is your favorite?

Paying Less than the Sale Price: Our Range Purchase – Part 2 of 3

Paying Less than the Sale Price: Our Range Purchase – Part 1 of 3Writing much about combining savings strategies, I know many forget which savings strategies work together.

In the midst of rebates, member savings, rewards, and cash back sites, one can easily forget a savings strategy or get overwhelmed and stop before getting started.

Picking and choosing savings strategies is a skill which one can learn. Even knowing the options, I still forget or miss an opportunity (see my cash back decision below).

I’m on this journey to using time wisely. While I find spending time researching and fine-tuning savings strategy skills worthy of my time, you might need to use your time wisely investing in your family, education, ministry, or home.

But as I learn and use these savings strategies, I will share what I have and am learning to do to purchase needed items while paying less than the sale price. In starting this series yesterday with shopping and adding up the cost of our new range, I continue today with the savings strategies I chose to use when purchasing our new range.

Part 2: Implementing Savings Strategies for our New Range

In shopping online, I have more options for saving than entering a store. Using the following savings strategies, I worked down the subtotal to our final cost:

1. Access Merchant’s Website through a Cash Back Site

Starting with Ebates, I used the extension on Chrome (a button on my menu bar). As this extension is already setup with my login information, I only need to click the button, enter the store name – which was Sears, and start earning 3% back on my purchase.

Usually I check both Ebates and Shop at Home for the better percentage, but for some reason I forgot to check Shop at Home. Bummer! I could have saved an additional 2% as Shop at Home has a 5% back on purchases from Sears. Oh well, I’ll try to remember next time as checking is quite easy with the extensions on Chrome.

 2. Use a Loyalty Rewards Points Program

Sears, Land’s End, and Kmart (to name a few) have partnered with Shop your Way to offer customers a loyalty card. When you checkout, hand the cashier your loyalty card to record your purchase amount.

For each $1,000 points earned, you earn a $1. You can then choose when to use your rewards on your purchases.

When shopping online through Sears, I only needed to enter my loyalty card number while on the shopping cart page. I will earn points for this purchase, and I chose to use the $.91 in rewards I currently had on my card towards the payment.

3. Look for Honey Plug-in Button in Shopping Cart

Having already installed the Honey Plug-in into my Google Chrome browser, I just need to look for the little orange box when I am in the shopping cart.

HINT: The Honey box will be near the fields for entering promotional codes.

Honey will try each available promotional code. If using one of their suggested codes offers you a less expensive price, then Honey will apply that code for you.

This plug-in saves so much time as I do not need to search for a promotional code. I just press a button, and Honey does the rest.

By using Honey for this purchase, the promotional code SEARS50 was applied which deducted $50 off a $300+ Appliance order (expires 3/16/14). With this promotional code, my subtotal dropped from $496.98 to $446.98.

4. Purchase Discounted Gift Cards through Cardpool

Though the price was now below our target price, we would still need to pay around $30 for sales tax. I turned to Cardpool for Sears gift cards up to the subtotal amount. When I logged into my account, I chose the bulk purchase option and typed in the subtotal amount: $446.98.

Cardpool brought up the following options:

$156.19 for a $167.95 Sears Electronic Gift Card
$139.50 for a $150.00 Sears Electronic Gift Card
$116.25 for a $125.00 Sears Electronic Gift Card
    ___________________________________
$411.94 for $442.95 in Sears Electronic Gift Cards which is a 7% savings


Using all four of these savings strategies, I was on my way to meeting our target price for our new range. Some of these savings strategies are immediate rewards while others are future earnings. However, all the savings strategies work together to help us in stretching our dollars.

Return tomorrow for the end of the story where I will give a big picture overview and present the big reveal in combining these savings strategies.

I will share the order and the way in which I used these strategies in checking out after shopping online. Until tomorrow . . . keep on saving!

Question: Which browser do you prefer to use when shopping online?

Paying Less than the Sale Price: Our Range Purchase – Part 1 of 3

Paying Less than the Sale Price: Our Range Purchase – Part 1 of 3Since I routinely stretch our family’s dollars by paying less than the sale price for items we need or want, I get asked, “How do you do that?”

Though I write about the different savings strategies I use to get the cost down as far as it can go, I know sometimes it is easier to see how to combine savings rather than to hear how to do it.

In writing this post, I cover a lot of information. As the article became longer and longer, I decided to break it up into these three parts:

Part 1: Shopping and Adding up the Cost of our New Range

Part 2: Implementing Savings Strategies for our New Range

Part 3: Completing and Evaluating the Purchase of our New Range

Within the next three days, all three articles will post, but I will not leave you hanging to find out the ending. I know you want to know what the last page says, so I will tell you.

We purchased a unit that was on sale for $454.99 plus a cord, fee, and tax, but we only paid $441.83. You can do this, too, and I’m going to take you step by step. Let’s start with finding the item to purchase.

Part 1: Shopping and Adding up the Cost of our New Range

Almost two weeks ago, our oven decided it had done enough baking. In diagnosing the range, Paul narrowed down the problem to two different parts. One of them was the culprit, but there was no way to figure out which one it was. Both parts cost around $150 to replace.

Continuing to research, he discovered that if one part was good and the other one was bad, then the range would short out the new part.

In calculating our worst case scenario, we found it could cost up to $450 ($150 for first new part which might short out and need another first new part for $150 and then an additional $150 for the second problem part) to repair our 10-year-old range.

Wondering what the price of a new range would cost, we decided to go shopping.

Shopping for our New Range

Keeping $450 as our target price, we browsed new ranges. My only must-have was a smooth-top surface. We searched online at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Sears, Amazon, Walmart, Kmart, Target, J.C. Penney, hhgregg, and local appliance stores. The lowest prices were through Sears which made me happy.

Our previous range was a Kenmore, and I loved it! My favorite range found online was a Sears Kenmore with the same base model number as our previous one. And this new one had a few more bells and whistles. Yay!

The unit chosen was on sale for $454.99 from $729.99 which was a $275.00 savings. This unit was close to our $450 target price, but not at or under it – yet.

Adding up the Cost of our New Range

The sale price of the unit was $454.99 which we added to our shopping cart. Then to have the deliverers install the new oven, we needed to purchase a new cord.

Since we did not know for sure why the previous range quit, we did not want to take any chances with an old cord. We added the cord for $26.99.

Needing our previous range removed, we added the $15 removal fee, and then tax was $26.77. With all the charges, our shopping cart looked like this:

Item Price
Range $454.99
Cord $26.99
Removal fee $15.00
Delivery FREE
Subtotal $496.98

As we were now well over our target price, I was ready to get the savings strategies together to see if it was possible to reach our goal by paying less than the sale price.

Though you already know the end of the story, I will pick up here tomorrow when I share which savings strategies we implemented when purchasing our new range. Hang in there because the story is getting to the good part. 🙂

Question: Do you look for savings all the time or just on big ticket items?

Cardpool: Purchasing Discounted Gift Cards

Cardpool: Purchasing Discounted Gift Card

Photograph Credit: Cardpool

In stretching your dollars, Cardpool is a service that buys and sells gift cards. If one has a gift card that she will not use, she can sell her gift card to Cardpool for 70-92% of the value for cash.

Cardpool then sells legitimate and active gift cards to customers at a discounted rate without sales tax or shipping charges.

Per Cardpool, all their gift cards have no fees and no expiration dates.

If the purchased gift card is a physical card, then Cardpool will mail the discounted card to you. Delivery typically takes 3-7 business days with FREE shipping.

For electronic gift cards, Cardpool will e-mail within 1 business day the discounted card’s code and any pin numbers needed to use the gift card online.

Should you experience any issues, Cardpool has a purchase guarantee program to refund your purchase price. With all these benefits, I tried Cardpool and was very impressed and satisfied with my order.

My Cardpool Experience

Though I have not sold any gift cards to Cardpool, I have purchased discounted gift cards. The ones I purchased where electronic gift cards.

My experience was fantastic. Once I purchased the three gift cards, I received a confirmation that the electronic codes would arrive in my inbox within 24 hours.

Keeping an eye on my inbox, my electronic codes arrived within 20 minutes of my purchase which I used the full amount on each gift card immediately. My order processed without incident, and I saved over $30 by purchasing discounted gift cards from Cardpool.

Cardpool Tips

I only purchased gift cards to cover the subtotal of the amount in my shopping cart. As I was not sure if I could use a gift card amount to pay for the taxes, I erred on the side of caution since I did not want to have a gift card with a remaining balance.

Though I had a great experience, there have been a number of Cardpool users who have experienced problems when they did not use the entire balance in one transaction. Though there are documented incidents where customers purchased gift cards and the merchant did not accept them, I did not experience this problem.

Should I have, I would have dealt with the merchant, in my case Sears, to get the reasoning behind the denial. Then I would have contacted Cardpool, who has a 100-day purchase guarantee.

My future with Cardpool

Finding this service a wonderful way to stretch our dollars, I will definitely purchase from Cardpool again. Many other customers have found this service beneficial as some gift cards are discounted up to 35% off the purchased amount. I was thrilled with the 7% discount as every little bit helps.

If you choose to use Cardpool, then access the site via my referral link to get $5 off your first purchase. Wow! I wish I had received a referral link to save an additional $5. Oh well, though I cannot get this deal, you can. 🙂

In stretching your dollars, I can recommend purchasing discounted gift cards from Cardpool. However, I have no experience with selling gift cards to Cardpool. Honestly, I do not foresee needing to sell a gift card, but I wanted to share this resource with you because you might need the cash.

Cardpool is another resource to help you in using time wisely while stretching your dollars. Happy stretching!

This post contains Using Time Wisely affiliate links at no additional cost to you. For more information about Using Time Wisely’s associations with providers, please read my disclosure policy.

Question: Have you sold or purchased discounted gift cards through Cardpool?

On-line Shopping: Add the Honey Plug-in to your Browser

On-line Shopping: Add the Honey Plug-in to your Browser

Photograph Credit: Honey

If you shop online often and find yourself stopping to search for a promotional code, then a little plug-in called Honey is a simple solution for Google Chrome users to using time wisely.

Discovering the Honey Plug-in

When I first learned about this plug-in, I became excited. I use the Google Chrome browser, so I downloaded the plug-in. Anytime I am on a site that supports Honey, a little orange box with Honey written on it shows up at checkout.

I just click on the button, and the plug-in searches for promotional codes. If any codes apply, then it will be added to my cart.

Though I have used Honey for a month or so, I have not had any additional savings. Now this could be because I was already using a promotional code, because my products purchased did not qualify for additional savings, or because I was already getting the lowest price offered.

Taking a few moments to install the plug-in is worth my time. I know when I push that button and it searches that I will get the best price available. If Honey finds more savings, then great; if not, then I know I’ve got the best price.

Installing the Honey Plug-in

Since I first learned about Honey from a post on the Krazy Coupon Lady website and had no problems following their instructions, I am linking to their post. Heather and Joanie do a great job talking all things coupons. They post about 20+ articles a day which takes time sifting through the deals. However, they are fantastic at what they do which why I read their blog.

In stretching your dollars to save the most, add the Honey plug-in to your Google Chrome browser. For Firefox users, try the recommended CouponsHelper. I’ve not tried this tool, but it is mentioned in the same article by the Krazy Coupon Lady.

If you know of other plug-ins or tools for stretching our dollars, then please share in the comments. Happy saving!