March 2016 marked 7 years since Heather and I started TheKrazyCouponLady.com. We both agree, I never would have “couponed” without Heather, and she never would have blogged without me. While I’ve always lived for a good deal, back in the day clipping coupons didn’t seem worth my time. Obviously, I was proven wrong by my obnoxious persistent friend.

In honor of KCL’s 7-year anniversary, I’m sharing my best money-saving strategies I’ve found over the years. These are things I actually tell my friends about when they ask me how to save money. I use each strategy, site, and app multiple times per week.

When it comes to saving money, I’ve literally tried nearly everything. Here’s what works:

1. I buy discounted gift cards at RAISE.COM.

One of the best ways to save money—in addition to using coupons—is by making purchases with discounted gift cards. It’s such a no-brainer. Here’s the skinny on the discounted-gift-card industry: $750 million in gift cards go unused each year. Retailers know that, so for that reason and others, they’re willing to sell gift cards to consumers at a discount.

I make 80% of my purchases (online and in-store) with discounted gift cards. The best part? I opt for digital gift card codes instead of physical cards. The fulfillment is nearly instant and it’s a lot harder to lose a code in my inbox than a card in my wallet.

I’ll typically fill my shopping cart at, say, Kohls.com. Then, I enter coupon codes (like a good KCL). Next, I head to Raise.com to buy a Kohl’s gift card, (say a $100 gift card for $88). I use it as payment, and I’m done.

I make my Raise purchases with my credit card, so I still get cash back from Visa in addition to the extra 12% I saved at Kohl’s. If you spend just $2,000 per year online (which is less than the national average) and save an average of 10% by using discounted gift cards, that’s an extra $200 in your pocket every year.

Use code KCL5 at Raise.com and receive $5 off a $50 purchase; plus, new users get an automatic $5 off their first purchase (any value) for a total savings of $10!

 

2. I use PARIBUS.CO to get price adjustments automatically.

Paribus is my latest obsession. I’m totally jealous that I didn’t invent it — that’s how cool it is. In a nutshell, by granting Paribus access to my email account, they use their algorithm to detect my online order confirmations, then track the prices of items I purchased. If a price falls, they’ll email the retailer from my inbox to request a price adjustment on my behalf. That means I’m getting refunds directly back onto my credit card automatically.

Paribus gets refunds on my behalf for purchases I make at Macy’s, Kohl’s, Costco and more.

Sign up for Paribus here. Want to know more? Read my full Paribus review.

 

3. I shop 6PM.COM, especially for shoes and coats.

6pm is one of those ‘outside-the-box’ retailers I discovered while searching for deals to publish on TheKrazyCouponLady.com. While I still shop at a variety of daily deal sites, small fashion sites and big-box names (what can I say? I’m a promiscuous online shopper!), not one retailer has stuck with me quite like 6pm.

6pm is owned by Zappos. Zappos (and maybe the rest of the Internet?) is owned by Amazon. Think of it like this: 6pm is to Zappos what Nordstrom Rack is to Nordstrom. As such, it has a lot of the same merchandise–often items that used to be sold at Zappos, sometimes items that are still for sale at Zappos–for lower prices. The tradeoff is shipping from 6pm is only free on orders over $50, the return window is only 30 days, and return shipping must be paid by the consumer.

6pm alters their pricing frequently, presenting a great opportunity to grab deep discounts. Look for top brands like The North Face, Columbia, Nike, New Balance, Adidas and Frye. My favorite things to buy at 6pm are outerwear, athletic apparel (to wear while I grocery shop, obv), and shoes.

Follow The Krazy Coupon Lady for the latest 6pm bargains. We check the site every morning and post the hottest deals of the day! See today’s 6pm deals!

 

4. I price match at Target with the AMAZON APP.

I figured this one out all by myself (insert pat on the back). During the holiday season of 2013, Target began price matching online prices, including those at Amazon. Many other retailers followed suit, and the list of retailers now matching Amazon prices includes: Best Buy, Toys”R”Us, Staples, Office Depot, The Home Depot and Lowe’s.

The Amazon mobile app is great for buying stuff from Amazon. But, you know what else it’s great for? Price matching. I use the cutting edge scan-technology to pull up the current selling price of each item I plan to buy at Target. If the Amazon price is lower, I just take my item to customer service and request that they sell it to me for the Amazon price. That’s all it takes!

Read more about the retailers that price match Amazon prices! Download Amazon app from App store. Download from Google Play.

Related: 17 Easy Ways to Shop Smarter at Target

 

5. I buy my family’s prescription eyeglasses at GLASSESUSA.COM.

My family has a couple of eyeglass wearers, and prescription glasses used to be one of the things I dreaded buying each year. After adding lenses, anti-scratch, and whatever else, I don’t think I ever paid less than $300 a pair…until I found GlassesUSA.com.

Glasses USA actually reached out to me a few years ago and offered to send me a pair of free glasses in hopes I’d post about my experience on KCL. I’d heard of GlassesUSA but just assumed the frames were cheaply made or the lenses were garbage. I accepted the free pair (duh) and was pleasantly surprised when I received them.

I immediately stopped wearing my other pair of glasses for the new frames from Glasses USA. And get this–my frames (called Daria) sell for $54 every day, and prescription lenses are included. (I would recommend paying extra for anti-scratch coating.)

Input your prescription and try on glasses virtually at GlassesUSA.com. Use code KRAZY55 to save 55% on your order. That makes my Daria frames, complete with prescription lenses, only $24.30.

 

6. I use the KRAZY COUPON LADY APP before I go grocery shopping.

Well now, here’s a great app you may not have heard of. It’s the Krazy Coupon Lady app, and, put simply, it’s the single most powerful tool for saving money at the grocery store in the app store today.

The KCL app is powered by a team of savvy shoppers who find the best coupons, the best prices, and combine the two for maximum savings for the shopper. Krazy Coupon Lady aggregates offers from printable coupon sites and top savings apps (think Ibotta, Cartwheel, etc.) and puts them all in one place. KCL pours over 500 hours per week into deal finding so you can save money in 5 minutes.

Enable geolocation to see only deals in your area. Create a shopping list and sync across devices. Upload or browse user-submitted brags to see what the community is buying this week!

A typical family of four can save $80 per month by using this app just once per week. Download from Google Play. Download from App Store.

 

7. I buy some staples online with AMAZON SUBSCRIBE & SAVE.

I’m addicted to the convenience and cost-effectiveness of grocery shopping online with Amazon Subscribe & Save + Amazon coupons.

My secret? I’m carefully combining Subscribe & Save discounts (at least 15% off when I subscribe to 5 or more items in one month) with already low sale prices, Amazon coupons, and Paribus price adjusting to pay less than I would pay at my local Costco.

When I compare Costco prices to Amazon, it should be noted that at least 80% of items are still cheaper at Costco, but with a little digging, I find the best deals on Amazon and buy them at a discount by agreeing to automatic reordering. Keep in mind, you can cancel your subscription as soon as your first item ships. Make sure you enable Paribus with your Amazon account. Given Amazon’s affinity for raising and dropping their prices hundreds of thousands of times per day, I like that Paribus is watching my back to make sure I don’t overpay.

Get up to speed on Amazon Subscribe & Save.

 

Honesty is the best policy (except maybe store return policies with no receipt required, amirite?) so we want you to know that companies like Paribus compensates us when you sign-up using the links we provided above.

 

Related: Costco vs Amazon: 10 Items I’m No Longer Buying at Costco

Top 7 Things I've Learned from Running The Krazy Coupon Lady