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How to Save 10%+ on Your Grocery Bill Without Cutting a Single Coupon

by - September 11, 2013 - 18 Comments

I know that no matter how many Extreme Couponing shows get created, some of you will never give in and start to cut coupons.

I don’t know what it is, but some people seem like they are allergic to frugality….

If you’re one of those people or you’re somebody who uses coupons, but wants to save even more, I’ve got an unconventional way to cut the grocery bill.

You don’t have to change what you buy (although you should), you don’t have to cut coupons (although you should), and you don’t have to read the sales flyer (although you definitely should).

Here’s how to do it…

Step 1: Sign Up for a Free Ebates.com account. We mentioned a few weeks ago that Ebates will give you a FREE $10 gift card to Target when you sign up and make your first purchase over $25.

Step 2: Once you’re logged into your Ebates account, use the search function in the upper right hand corner to find the store “Raise.com”

Raise.com is a site that buys & sells gift cards at a discounted rate and the cool part is that Ebates will give you 1% cashback on any purchase that you make at Raise (in addition to the FREE $10 Target gift).


Step 3: Once you’ve clicked on the Raise link, it’s time to buy a gift card to your local grocery store. It’s sometimes hard to find gift cards to regional stores like Publix, Winn-Dixie and Kroger. However, Raise currently has for sale gift cards to Target, Whole Foods and Walmart.

The gift cards that Raise sells are sold at a discounts ranging from 2%-25% off. I do most of my grocery shopping at Target and those gift cards are sold at a 4.1% discount, meaning that I can buy a $100 gift card for only $95.90. (Side note: some of these are e-gift cards, but you convert them to mobile gift cards and use them in the store)


Step 4: The Math – By now you probably understand how this can save you a chunk of cash every week, but just for fun, let’s do the math. :)

Let’s say you spend $150 a week on groceries (and many of you probably spend twice that)….

  • Buying a $150 gift card at Raise.com for $143.85 saves you 4.1% or $6.15
  • Ebates will then give you 1% cashback on your gift card purchase saving you an additional $1.46
  • Ebates will also give you a FREE $10 Target gift card for making a purchase saving you an additional 6.66%

All totaled, you’re saving $17.61 or 11.76%. It might seem like a lot of work since I’ve broken it down into so many steps, but truth be told it doesn’t take more than 2 minutes.

Step 5: If you want to make this deal even sweeter, use a cashback debit/credit card when you make your purchase at Raise. For example, Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® will give you an additional 1% cashback on any purchase you make.

If you’re doing this every week, it could add up to over $400 in savings each year… :)

Good luck Penny Hoarders!

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  • feeps

    If your doing your shopping @ target, just sign up for their red card. YOU SAVE 5% every time. I have the debit card. it hooks up to your checking account and use it like a normal debit card. theres no fees and you save 5%.

  • http://www.moneywisemoms.com Gina

    My neighbor teases me about all the gift cards I buy from Plastic Jungle, because it’s “just 3%” but they do add up! When I include other store promos and clipped coupons, I’m saving WAY more than 3%. Just be careful to keep track of those gift cards–I used to lose them in the house :)

  • Brooke

    Good tip, but I just wanted to clarify for your readers that the free $10 card from eBates is only awarded once and isn’t something you can do every week.

    If you spend $150/week on groceries:

    Buy $150 giftcard for $145.50 = save 3% or $4.50
    Get 1% of the $145.50 purchase price in eBates savings = save $1.46

    You save $310 a year (+ the one-time $10 giftcard from eBates).

    Also, try ShopatHome.com – just like eBates, but sometimes they pay more (or less). Right now, ShopatHome is offering 2% cash back on Plastic Jungle purchases.

    • The Penny Hoarder

      Yes, thank you for bringing that up Brooke! You can only claim the $10 Ebates gift card once…

      When I cam up with my $400/year figure, I only included the $10 gift card once, but I forgot to mention it. I also included credit card cash back in my number, which is why our #’s are a little different.

  • http://www.myfreemoneysavingtips.com Joan

    I LOVE this idea! I’m frugal and use coupons and only buy what is on sale. We spend about $75.00 – $95.00 a week but sometimes less. No matter what it saves some cash so I’m going to do this too. Thanks for the post!

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  • http://the-bling-blog.blogspot.com Cynthia

    I was looking at doing a churing scheme like this awhile ago. I can just never remember to purchase the gift cards before I go. I figure in the next few months when I pay down my credit card that I’ll start doing this trick again.


    My husband loaths Target so I don’t go there ever to buy food, but occasionally I do have to go to get other items.
    Admittedly I am not a good coupon clipper but I gave myself a challenge to cut our grocery bill by $15 a week. Since we tend to buy the same things this was going to be hard, or so I thought. The first thing I did was change brands. My husband loves brand names and insists that some brands taste different. I cite butter. Well I did a few blind tastes tests and in every one I did he picked the storebrand or off brand. I stock up too. I get butter for $2 a pound. How? I buy 4 pounds at a time. It’s $8, whereas if I buy one or two pounds at a time it’s 3.49 a pound, even when it is on sale I still save about .90 a pound. Anyway, I have managed to cut out grocery bill down a little. My next goal is to keep it down and to start using more coupons. My issue here is that for the most part the things that I normally buy now are store brands and coupons are never for the store brand.

  • Wendy Price

    I’ve never tried Ebates.

  • Nikki O

    I really wish this applied to my country as this is a great way to save SOME money. Although I agree about couponing and all. I love it too. Thanks for sharing other options!

  • Christy

    I was couponing aggressively way before extreme coupon shows were on. Those shows have made it harder to coupon on groceries. BUT I save a ton on personal care items. I have a 500 roll of toilet paper stockpile (only because I gave 300 rolls away), I also haven’t paid for toothpaste, brushes, mouthwash, floss, bath soap, lady products, deoderant, shaving cream, razors, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, hand soap, candles, paper towel, laundry sheets, and other items in over 4 years. So I figure I am saving myself quite a bit during the year. One year I got 8 -40 pound bags of dogfood free in coupons just by writing an email to the company about their product.

    • Mindy

      would you mind sharing some of your secrets to savings? free sheets! amazing! i found that if i watch drugstore specials like rite aid, cvs etc i can get products for free. is that how you do it?
      Thank you.

  • http://staplerconfessions.com Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions

    Fabulous idea! They don’t carry my grocery store, but I could definitely use the Staples, Walgreens, and Toys R Us gift cards. What is the turnaround time for receiving them?

  • Adriane

    I tried this recently. I used Raise.com.

    I got the eBates $10 card probably about a month after I brought my $25 worth of cards.

    The egift cards come within the hour I have purchased 4 so far and have not had any issues.

    The physical cards take about a week and appear to be sent out by individuals (like Joe Schmoo gets an alerts prints the postage and mails).

    Here’s what I learned:
    1.) Out of about 7 cards I did get a used card (had $0 on it) from Raise. I emailed them. Got a response in an hour and a refund within the week. I will now check the gift card balances on the company websites to avoid embarrassment first.
    2.) I used Ebates to buy from Kohl’s. It took the original total not the real total after coupons, Kohl’s Cash, etc. Which is a perk as you get more money
    3.) With Target you can’t use e gift cards in the store, but you can use mobile. So you need to set-up an online Target account and load the cards there then pull up the QR code (?the funny box?) on your smart phone and have the cashier scan that. The bonus is you can share this with a significant other too.

  • Michael Sanders

    This idea will only work so long is it doesn’t create extra labor/cost for the companies involved, doesn’t cost them in lost profits, isn’t abused to the point that it embarrasses said companies, etc. So, please: everybody please limit your comments here to those that are positive and helpful. And, thank you to the companies involved. I’m definitely going to try this.

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