I have mentioned on here using cash back sites like ebates, using cash back credit cards and buying gift cards on discount but I just discovered I could use all three and save more.
Mr. Rebates is a cash back site, I have used it occasionally but it is not my favorite. When I found out about it, you had to request a check and it did not seem to be anything special. I stuck to ebates and upromise and have since added on bond rewards. A few weeks ago though I wondered if any of my websites that I use to buy discounted gift cards were on the cash back sites. I looked at my normal sites and the answer was no. However, I happened to get an email that day from Mr. Rebates and thought I would check there as well. It just so happens that Mr. Rebates gives 1% cash back for cardpool. Cardpool is my favorite site to buy discount gift cards from because they accept american express and my american express gives me 2% back into my 529.
Now if I combine all these, the gift cards, the cash site, the cash back credit card, I can save some serious money. Now, I rarely find gift cards for groceries or gas but I always find gift cards for petsmart. I spend $62/month on prescription cat food and litter for cat. That is over three percent of my monthly expenses and that don't even count that we have to have him seen once a year to keep his prescription. So over a year I spend $744 at petsmart, if I buy the gift cards at cardpool I'd only spend $677 a year. But if I just make one extra stop at Mr. Rebates first I get back another $6.77, plus if I use my american express I get another $13.54 back. By using all of these deals together I save $87.31/year, over a 11% savings plus I bring my cat spending down to less than 3% of my monthly budget.
You can't buy gift cards for everything, nor can you use cash back sites or credit cards for everything but when you can, why not combine them to spend the least you have to, to get you want?