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10 discounts you should stop overlooking now

These savings can sneak up on you, but they're easy to redeem and keep dollars in your pocket.

By Jun 4, 2014 4:43PM
This post comes from Raechel Conover at partner site on MSN MoneyWho doesn't love a good bargain? But who isn't lazy about collecting on them?

Woman Grocery Shopping © Fuse/Getty ImagesWell, many of the discounts on this list are often overlooked but found right in front of you. Others take a bit of digging.

If you're in a fog about where and how to uncover savings, read on.

Receipt coupons
Many store receipts bear coupons on the back -- especially those that come from supermarket registers. In fact, I recently picked up a free watch battery by using the coupon on the back of a receipt. Other discounts I've noticed on receipts include $3 off a pizza.

Customer surveys
Think about all the times you've paid for something and seen a request at the bottom of the receipt to participate in a survey to be eligible for a free or discounted product or service. Now count how many times you've gone home and taken action on this often overlooked discount.

Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and Subway are just three companies that entice you to take a survey with the promise of a reward. Taco Bell enters you into a $500 sweepstakes drawing (three to five winners a month); taking the Subway survey rewards you with a free cookie; and Chick-fil-A offers something free on your next visit, like a sandwich. Many retail outlets and restaurants want the feedback and are willing to pay for it. Don't pass up the opportunity.

Ticket stubs
Sporting events and concerts are notorious for teaming up with restaurant and fast-food sponsors. Next time you attend one, check the back of the ticket stub for a coupon. Sometimes event sponsors give away freebies if the home team wins or scores. Local examples include a free chili at Wendy's when the Columbus Blue Jackets score three (hockey) goals, and two free toppings at Donatos Pizza for each (soccer) goal scored by the Columbus Crew.

Work discounts
Perks and employee satisfaction often go hand-in-hand. Before signing on with a cell phone plan, for example, check to see whether your employer or your spouse's qualifies you and family members for a discount (usually up to 10 percent). If you have a plan and subsequently learn through the carrier about this overlooked discount, it can probably be activated starting with the next billing cycle.

he same goes for fitness clubs, although this deal is generally available through the employer's health insurance provider.

Home insurance discounts
According to My Realty Times, there are several ways to qualify for discounts on home insurance. Deadbolts on every entry/exit door as well as up-to-code smoke detectors can easily net a 5 percent rate cut. Install a smoke detector system that alerts the authorities and you may qualify for even more money off. Check with your insurance company for these and other overlooked discounts.

Car insurance discounts
Do you have an excellent driving record? Then you may be eligible for a discount on your car insurance. The same goes for student drivers who earn good grades. For car and home insurance you must actively seek out these discounts, as they're often not well advertised. Calling and speaking directly to a representative is a good way to start.

Coupon mailers
Valpak, Paper Mint, Town Money Saver, and the like -- you're no doubt familiar with these coupon packets as they show up in your mail on a regular basis. Do you sort through or just toss them in the recycle bin? If you look closely, you'll find coupons for big-ticket items you don't need often, but there are also everyday coupons that can yield savings.

For example, I just used a Paper Mint coupon that saved me $5 on $40 worth of plants for our yard and a few months ago we bought three rooms of carpet cleaning for the price of one room. The mailers also include coupons for local dining that are definitely worth clipping.
Cash coupons
Retailers like Kohl's and Old Navy regularly run cash promotions. By spending a certain amount, you'll receive "Kohl's" cash or "Old Navy" cash that can be used on a subsequent shopping trip (the dates usually are specified). Each retailer offers its own variation on the theme, but I'm partial to the Kohl's Cash program. For each $50 you spend, you get a coupon for $10 that is just like cash in the store. There is no minimum purchase -- walk in with $10 Kohl's Cash and whatever you buy is yours for $10 less. I currently have $20 in Kohl's Cash to spend starting next week and I'll use it to buy my nephew's birthday present.

Instant rebate/coupon on the packaging
Sometimes there's a coupon right on the package; batteries, gadgets, and even foodstuffs come to mind. Look carefully the next time you shop and peel off this easy-to-overlook discount as you reach the check-out lane.

Online coupons
Before heading out to shop, I do a quick search online for coupons. Some require printing at home, and others can be pulled up on a smartphone and redeemed at the register. I recently saved 40 percent on an item at Michael's by finding a coupon on my smartphone and flashing it at the register. Joanne Fabrics and Hobby Lobby also post similar coupons on their websites.

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Jun 6, 2014 7:40AM
Want to save more? Dont buy anything unless you need it.  Like Kohl's.The more you spend the more. you save. Sounds  like they are luring you in even for things that you do not need. If you do not buy, you save 100%.  Couponing is not like they show on television. M ake sure you know your local grocery stores rules about how they accept coupons. You probably wont be able to purchase 100 of anything with coupons.There is a limit on amount on how many coupons that you can spend. They are not in business to take a loss. And remember car insurance, the less that you pay,  the less that you get in most situations. Customer surveys only mean more phone calls or mail sent to your house. Even if you are on a no call list, you can open up a lot of phone calls
Jun 28, 2014 8:15AM

The coupons of today are awful. Will not even waste the time to cut out a .50 off coupon if you buy 3 of an item.  Seems I can never find coupons for the items I use the most. Store brands are ok for me.

Every year my insurances get reevaluated, these days loyalty does not mean cheaper prices.

The best way to save money is to stop buying convenience foods & cook from scratch. It's healthier too. Am learning to substitute other protein foods instead of meat. Gone are the every night meat & potato dishes, who can afford it? We rarely eat out anymore, too much salt, fat & additives. Damn, we are getting old!

Jun 5, 2014 7:54PM
My list of Top discounts that can potentially add up much bigger ( to me personally anyway ) are:
1. Car insurance.  Review it regularly since the big insurers like Esurance and Geico always change prices.
2. Happy hour specials.  Why eat out 5 days a week at full price, when you can go before 7 and get stuff half priced?
3. Electronics on Black Friday.  Seriously save your money for this day, and buy all of your electronics at once.  I got a 50 inch flat screen for $299 2 years ago.  Everything has similar discounts.
4. Life insurance, don't waste money on whole or variable life.  Insurance companies like LifeAnt can insure you for about $20 a month.  (and you need it if you have a family).
5. Cable TV.  If you are like me you barely use it.  Cut it to bare bones and watch content online if you can.
6. Don't buy meats on weekends at grocery stores.  Buy Monday or Tuesday and they often discount the weekend leftovers, and prices are much cheaper during less busy shopping days.
7. Save points from retailers like TJ MAX.  Not only do they have big discounts, the points add up fast. 
Jun 28, 2014 1:00PM
I've heard that you should re-evaluate your car insurance every 6 months.  As someone already stated, being a loyal customer does not get you lower rates!  In the past couple of years, my car insurance has been with the same company I'd used for probably 10 years.  But, they've continued to raise my rates at each renewal.  I haven't had any tickets or accidents/claims, etc.  The last time they upped my rates, I asked why and was told all insurance companies were having to raise rates across the board for some reason I don't recall now.  My husband and I have always used different car insurance companies as it was cheaper that way (how ridiculous is that???)   Fortunately, that allowed me to see that while his insurance rate did go up, it was a way smaller amount than what mine was increased by.  Needless to say, I no longer do business with that insurance company.

Have to agree on the negative Kohl's comments.  I do buy things there on occasion, but am pretty sure I've never even spent $50 in one visit.  I'd have to be buying things I didn't really want/need in order to reach the $50 just to get the $10 back.  That's not what I consider saving.

I am an avid couponer.   Sure it takes time, but it can be fun, too!  I agree that what is seen on Extreme Couponing is far from reality.  A local grocery chain by me has admitted to bending the rules for the episode of that show it was on.  By combining sales and coupons, I get great pricing on all kinds of things.  I don't have a garage full of items though.  I do buy several of the same item if I can. For instance, last week, Cheerios were on sale and using two great coupons I had allowed me to get 2 boxes for $.49 EACH!  The sale price was $1.99/box.  Unless you break the rules, you can only print 2 of the same coupons from your computer, so there is no way to purchase 100 of the same item with 100 coupons (plus most stores limit the # of the same coupons you can use in a transaction).

I have a policy about not entering sweepstakes.  Sweepstakes is a code word to me that means so many people are entering, you have a minuscule chance of winning.  Also, you can be sure that your info will be sold to companies so they can bombard you with things not worth your time.
Jun 28, 2014 11:38AM
NOTHING at Kohls is a deal.  The same sales rotate every few weeks. Their pricing strategy is that the sales are what they really mean to get for an item (that tells you how much they jack up their "regular" prices).  The Kohls cash is just a gimmick to get you back in the store.  Kodus to them for getting more sheeple in.
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