Up to $75 Worth of Free Food!

It appears that LivingSocial is rolling out a “portal” of their own called Restaurants Plus – but, unlike the online version, all you have to do is register your card and remember to use it at participating stores.

The current offer is valid in Atlanta, DC, and San Francisco only – though I am looking into whether or not that is actually true. Here’s the summary:

Restaurants Plus

You can participate once per day through Jan 3 for up to $15 cash back, which is a total of $75 in free food. I would expect that you can simply purchase a $15 gift card every day and redeem it all at once or when convenient. That’s what I’d do if I was in a participating city!

An Easy $75 Worth of Credit Card Spend – and Free Miles!

This is my favorite type of offer. You’ll spend $15 and they’ll give you $15 back. That’s a manufactured-spend dream! This spend should trigger miles, cash back, or whatever promotion you’re working on. If you’re trying to meet a spend minimum (such as spend $500, get $100 back on Chase Freedom) this will count toward that as well!

Will you use this offer?

If you have a bachelor or bachelorette, bridal shower, or any other activities coming up and any of these restaurants are potential venues, it might be worth trying to stock up on gift cards to see if the promotion comes through! Or, maybe you could use the gift cards as welcome gifts to your out-of-town guests.

Leave a comment if you’re able to participate. I’d love to hear how it works and how you’re using the credit!

Kohl’s Black Friday Offer SCALED BACK: Updated Information

Well, dang. I have some good news and some bad news. The offer is still definitely worth taking advantage of! Read all the way to the bottom for at least one way to get the appliances for free. That’s up to ten gifts – holidays, wedding events, your own registry…while the rebates are valid now at Kohls.com, you want to wait until midnight tonight or you won’t get Kohl’s Cash!

Bad News First

Kohl’s teased us with their Black Friday ad a few weeks ago, and left out an important details: how many rebates could we actually redeem?

Now that the rebate forms came out today (posted below) we can see that they allow only five ITEMS per HOUSEHOLD per OFFER. Bummer! I’ll only be taking advantage of Offer #15-42482 and Offer #15-42401. The Toastmaster rebate isn’t allowed online; if it pops up, I’ll jump on it…but for now, I think it might be an in-store only offer.

The items are still $19.99 each. One offer provides a $12 rebate per item; the second is a $10 rebate per item. Here’s the updated math:

First Group: $19.99 each, $12 Rebate, 5 Items Allowed

  • Buy one of each, total $19.99 * 5 = $99.95
    • Submit $12 rebate per item = $60
    • Earn two $15 Kohl’s Cash credits = $30
    • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $5 (maybe, not sure about rounding)

Second Group: $19.99 each, $10 Rebate, 5 Items Allowed

  • Buy one of each, total $19.99 * 5 = $99.95
    • Submit $10 rebate per item = $50
    • Earn two $15 Kohl’s Cash credits = $30
    • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $5 (maybe, not sure about rounding)

Totals

  • Cost: $99.95 + 99.95 = $199.90
  • Rebates earned: $60 + 50 = $110
  • Kohl’s Cash earned: $60
  • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $10, not counted in math
    • $199.90 – 110 – 60 = $29.90
    • Price each: $29.90/10 = $2.99
      • Doesn’t include tax!
      • Price is “after rewards,” so you’ll still have Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You to redeem.

Good News

It sounds like a 15% off coupon will be going life tomorrow. Try code DEALS15 or RMN15OFF. Let’s look at how that affects our math, going with the total price of $199.90:

Totals

  • Cost: $99.95 + 99.95 = $199.90
  • Rebates earned: $60 + 50 = $110
  • 15% Discount on $100 or more = $29.98, new total = $169.91
  • Kohl’s Cash earned: $45

  • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $5, not counted in math
    • $169.91 – 110 – 45 = $14.91
    • Price each: $14.91/10 = $1.49
      • Doesn’t include tax!
      • Price is “after rewards,” so you’ll still have Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You to redeem.

Obviously, it’s worth using that 15% discount and foregoing the $15 Kohl’s Cash!

Don’t Forget a Portal!

There are a number of holiday portal promotions going on. You’ll qualify for a bonus with this purchase! Here’s a brief summary, since I need to decide which to use:

  • American Airlines: 450 bonus miles on $150+ purchase plus 8 miles/dollar = 1176 miles for ~$15
  • United Airlines MileagePlus: 500 bonus miles on $150+ purchase plus 4 miles/dollar = 1176 miles for ~$15
  • Discover Deals: 10% Back (Doubles to 20% if you’re in on that deal!) = $16.90 or $33.80, makes your appliances free!
  • Southwest: 500 bonus miles on $150+ purchase plus 2 miles/dollar = 838 miles for ~$15

There are bigger bonuses on ~$500 or ~$1000 purchases, but I doubt we will get to that with this promo alone.

How will YOU use this deal?

 

$350 in freebies this weekend! You can DO this!

Free skillet, yoga pants, almost free beer, video games, lunch, golf glove, security software, and a nice hotel room suite…not bad! I estimate we racked up around $350 in freebies in 48 hours!

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                                                                 Just a few things we racked up this weekend.

I understand that coupons, credit cards, portals, and rebates can get to be overwhelming. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, because I actually think it’s fun…but it can be done, and profitably. Here’s a recap of one of the best weekend’s worth of bargains I can remember!

Hubby was flying back in to town on Saturday, so we spent a night in LA and I indulged in every kind of savings trick I know. Here’s how it added up:

Gas Money: used Discover via Apple Pay to get 10% back now, 20% back later. On a ~$50 tank of gas, that saved me $10.

Hotel: redeemed 30,000 points from IHG card ($49 annual fee earns a one-night voucher, sign up bonus was 70,000 points) rather than paying ~$200.

Oktoberfest: paid cash for beer, cash for entry, etc…cash withdrawn from Amex Target Prepaid Redcard, which was loaded with Vanilla Visas that were purchased via Apple Pay to get 10% back now, 20% back later…call it a $20 savings.

World Market: I’ve always wanted a skillet! This one was free! Hubby also got an expensive beer…remember that Shop Your Way Rewards NewBrands offer? I redeemed the $25 gift card and a 10% discount code they sent for joining their loyalty program, so my $27 purchase only cost $2…blame that beer. How could I say no?

Sports Authority: Guess what’s coming up? My birthday! Sports Authority sent a no-strings-attached $10 voucher. I’d also recently splurged on a pair of Brooks, so I had an $8.50 loyalty reward (5% back). There was also a 20% coupon on their website today, so I got a golf glove ($13.99) and hubby found a $15.99 gizmo we probably didn’t need. How could I say no? (Recurring trend…I must like him.) Total out of pocket ended up being around $10, so Sports Authority managed to get us to spend some extra money afterall. Still, I could have absolutely picked up just $20 worth of merchandise, used my coupons, and paid nada. Some times you’ve got to live a little. 🙂

Chado Tea: I bought a LivingSocial voucher in August as an impulse buy – it was a tea and chocolate pairing that I thought I’d be torturing hubby with, but tea and chocolate are two of my favorite things…turns out we absolutely loved it and ended up spending about $25 on tea after we enjoyed the pairing, and intend on picking up a few more accessories. Have you ever heard of blooming tea? What a magic trick! This place was awesome. Anyway, the pairing was supposed to be $15 each. Of course, it was half off via LivingSocial, plus I had a 20% coupon, and I purchased through a portal to save me another 10%. Instead of a $30 activity, it was around $12. Chado Tea came out ahead, just like Sports Authority, because we spent a lot more than we intended on tea for ourselves and as gifts, but it was a great experience!

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                Holy cow! This looked like a marble when she dropped it in, and it bloomed after about 3 minutes!

Dave & Buster’s: If McDonald’s gold arches are child magnets, D&B’s is a husband magnet. We can’t pass within ten miles and not stop. Even better, I had a free $10 game credit and we had both purchased $25 gift cards from Sam’s Club for $24, via Amex Offers to receive a $20 statement credit. In other words, we each paid $4 for $25 gift cards. We spent one on a late lunch and the other on a buy-$20-get-$20-free game credit. So, for about $16 (including taxes and tip) we had lunch and went through $60 worth of game credits. Oh, and we also set high scores on, like, all the games…it was fun!

Staples: There’s a great free-after-rebate at Staples this week for Kaspersky security software. They’re $39.99 with a $17.99 instant savings plus a $22 rebate and you can get three. Here’s the fine print:

1. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Purchase a Kaspersky AntiVirus 1 User (SKUs 1809295, 1910467) at Staples stores, Staples.com or Staples catalog between 10/11/15 and 10/17/15, then submit online or mail it in to receive a Visa Prepaid card. Limit 3 rebates per name/address/household.

2. MAIL THIS FORM AND THE PROOF OF PURCHASE (LISTED IN THE PROMOTION DETAILS) TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

STAPLES ( Dept. 15-36903 ),
PO Box 540036
EL PASO, TX 88554-0036

There is also a $20 off $70 via Visa Checkout. That would be $22 * 3 = $66 + $4 worth of whatever = $70 – $20 = $50, pay with Chase Ink to receive 5x miles (250 miles), get $66 back in Staples Easy Rebates…that’s $16 profit plus 250 miles plus $4 worth of whatever. 🙂 It worked like a charm – just choose “pay with Visa Checkout” when you’re checking out.

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Under Armour: As I explained, I cashed in on this week’s SYWR NewBrands deal. I purchased a $25 gift card, which I expect to earn 25,000 SYWR points ($25 value). Then, I spent it on a pair of pants + a filler item (which I’ll actually sell for a $5 profit), learned about ID.me for a 10% discount (more on that later), and have already received $9 back in SYWR points (5,000 was 10% back on the $25 purchase and the 4500 or so was 10% back on the pants purchase, I think…still waiting on the 10,000? I don’t know!)

…well, I think that’s it! Check in tomorrow for an update on the latest SYWR NewBrands deal and don’t miss out on the Staples/Kaspersky/Visa Checkout opportunity!

Rules of Engagement: How to Save on Every Purchase

This three-part series will cover the foundation of any bargain hunter’s “training.” These are simple, minimal-effort rules (no coupon clipping or poring over sales flyers.) Once you understand them, you’ll find 5% off or more on almost every dollar you spend! Be creative in applying these guidelines to both your wedding expenses and every day shopping.

#1: The Credit Card Game
#2: Portal Shopping
#3: Discount Gift Cards

Rules of Engagement, #2 – Portal Shopping

These rules are so important to being a budget savvy shopper (bride, groom, event planner – whatever!) that they’re getting high priority here at Unveiled Savings.This trick works for almost every online purchase you’re going to make, whether for your wedding or general shopping.

How to get Free Cash and Miles from Online Shopping: A Portal Example

Let’s say you want to buy toasting flutes over at Things Remembered.
1. Remember that Things Remembered has a website. Go shop around and pick out what you like in store or online.
2. Visit topcashback.com.
3. Search for Things Remembered, then click Cashback.

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7% Cashback on a purchase you were gonna make anyway!
4. Check the Merchant Notes. Some vendors may restrict the transactions that earn cash back or are completed with gift cards. Make sure you know the rules.
5. Click “Get Cashback Now”- a new window or tab will open that directs you to ThingsRemembered.com. This is an important page, because it is tracked from topcashback. The track is how you get paid!

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Make sure you shop on the page opened by topcashback!
6. Complete your purchase directly from the window opened by topcashback. Otherwise, your purchase may not be tracked, and you may not receive cash back.

Which rewards programs can I use?

Visit cashbackmonitor.com and search for Things Remembered. You’ll see all of your options for earning points or cash. If you value airline miles more, then of course…shop through the appropriate portal. The steps will be almost identical to what I’ve outlined above. When you search for Things Remembered, you’ll initially see a one-line summary of options. On the far right, it will say “More…” Choose that link to expand to an example like this – look at all those options!

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So many rewards to choose from!

How much can I get for free?

In this example, you would get 7% back on your purchase. Isn’t that  easy? Our toasting flutes were over $100, and it was $6 to get one engraved. Pretty obviously, the 7% covered the engraving on one of the flutes. Why wouldn’t you use a portal for all of your shopping?Maybe you’re trying to accumulate Southwest Rapid Rewards miles for that trip to Aruba I mentioned. Here, your $100 purchase would earn you 500 Rapid Rewards points. Nice!

Now, consider how many event expenses you are going to accumulate online (or, just regular shopping, holiday gifts, whatever!) and think about how many rewards you’ll accumulate when you’re getting 5 miles per dollar or 7% back. It adds up quickly, so don’t underestimate the value of shopping portals!

Summary

Always consider whether an in-store purchase can be made online. Aside from opportunities to get free shipping or use discount codes, you can rack up cash back and rewards on almost every dollar you spend!Use cashbackmonitor.com for reward options.

If you’re signing up for topcashback, please use my referral link!

Rules of Engagement, #1 – The Credit Card Game

These rules are so important to being a budget savvy shopper (bride, groom, event planner – whatever!) that they’re getting high priority here at Unveiled Savings. Read all the way through to find out how to get a five night stay with airfare just for paying your event deposits!

Without further ado…

Universally Awesome Credit Cards

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Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably received invitations to sign up for new credit cards by mail, been offered a stadium blanket when you get your college’s card, or heard about some limited time offer from an airline. Truth is, there are dozens of excellent offers out there, yours for the taking. Later, I’ll discuss in detail the pros and cons of opening credit cards, but for now I just want to highlight how this can work for you.

Assuming you intend to charge wedding (or other event) expenses, you can receive a round trip flight for almost any charge that exceeds $1,000. What?! Yes, that honeymoon doesn’t have to be your first major expense as Mr. and Mrs.! Here are my top recommendations, but I encourage you to contact me directly prior to opening a card; often, there are better deals – or, at the very least, I can provide you with a referral link which helps me earn free trips, too. And I do love a free trip!

  1. Chase Sapphire Preferred: although this card comes with an annual fee of about $100, if you are going to spend $4,000, you can get 40,000 points in return. These points are worth at least $400, but are better used toward airfare – they can be worth over $1,000 at that point, perhaps as a round trip flight for a pair of travelers! This is my go-to card, which I’ve had for years and use for any expense that doesn’t fall under a category bonus or sign up bonus.
  2. Chase Freedom: if you are not a big spender (although, with wedding planning…it is largely unavoidable) you can get a $100 statement credit by spending only $500 on this card. Or, if you’ve also got the Sapphire card, those dollars can be used for airfare. Of course, I’ll elaborate more on this in a future post.
  3. Discover It: this card allows you to take advantage of the very generous Shop Discover (now Discover Deals) portal, which is where I plan on sending you for major rewards on your flowers, etc!
  4. The card that goes with your favorite travel chain: if you’re a loyal Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton, United, Delta, or Southwest patron, there is a card for you – we just need to find it! I have taken advantage of so many offers and enjoyed many free flights and nights, just by getting the right credit card.

Maximizing Miles Earned

Keep in mind that many cards offer revolving bonuses of 5%. For example, Discover might offer 5% back at gas stations. Now, be creative – instead of just buying gas at the gas station, stop in and consider buying gift cards for places you shop, such as the grocery store, department store…this is a great way to get 5% on more of your purchases, and will also help you meet a spending requirement. If you need to spend $4,000, and that far exceeds your monthly expenses, consider buying gift cards to use in the future – as long as you’re able to pay the credit card bill at the end of the month without accumulating interest, this will be a great way for you to earn a ton of miles!

Proving My Point – 5 Nights Plus Airfare in Aruba

 

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Assume the following:

  1. $2,000 photographer
  2. $750 dress
  3. $500 DJ
  4. $1,000 florist bill
  5. $2,000 venue deposit
  6. $2,000 caterer deposit

That’s $8,250. Ugh!

Maybe your dream destination is Aruba – there’s a fancy Marriott there, and you want to spend five nights for free. A round trip flight from Baltimore to Aruba is only about 24,000 points on Southwest, or 48,000 for a couple. Here’s how you can get that done:

Assume you were to open the Chase Sapphire Preferred card – remember that it has a spend requirement of $4,000 in the first couple months. Done! Your reward? 40,000 miles, plus 4,000 miles for the $4,000 you spent earning one mile per dollar. Still $4,250 to go…

That Chase Freedom card only requires $1,000 spend in three months, and the reward is 10,000 points. If you’ve also got the Sapphire card, you can combine the points. You’re at 55,000 points, and your airfare is free! Done! Still $3,250…

Ritz Carlton (a Marriott partner) happens to offer a card with enough points for a 5 night stay after $3,000 spend. Perfect!

Check it out, folks. You already had to spend over $8,000 in just a few months. But, now you’re getting free airfare and a five night stay in Aruba…for nothing more than taxes and fees!

Convinced? Leave a comment or send me a message if you need some help with your particular dream getaway!