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Frugal Friday - Prepping for Black Friday

Black Friday is a pretty big deal for some families. Nothing says togetherness like wading through crowds of people during hours we'd prefer to be sleeping, but sometimes we do weird things for love.  If we can sit inside and enjoy a whiskey hot chocolate and order all of our goodies online, we are happy campers. If we need to venture out into the wilderness to snag a deal on a t.v. for our favorite nephew we will. It's the savings that matter. Black Friday is all about deals, so we've rounded up 5 tools that will put some pep into your shopping. Wait, that's what the whiskey is for. The tools will put money back into your penny jar! Nailed it.

1) Dosh Dosh is a card linked cash back tool that will deposit earned rewards into a digital wallet when you shop at retailers with active offers. What sets Dosh apart is that you don't have to opt-in to any offers. As long as you used a linked card to make your purchase, rewards are automatic. You buy what you were going to buy and get rewarded. Dosh can be stacked with other card linked offers like Acorns, cash back portals you find through Ca$hback Monitor, and combined with rewards you earn from your credit card. 

2) Acorns Found Money - Acorns is a great tool for two reasons here. First, all the purchases you make on Black Friday will be rounded up to the next dollar, and that loose change will be automatically invested for you. Spend a little, save a little. Everyone wins. Second, Acorns has some Found Money offers where certain retailers will pad your investment account a bit if you shop at their stores. When you're planning your Black Friday attack, be sure to check to see if there are any Found Money offers in your Acorns account.

3) Earny - This one is new for us. Earny will monitor purchases from select retailers like Macy's, Kohl's, and Amazon to look for price drops. If it detects a price drop, Earny will leverage the price protection built into your credit card to get you a rebate. Earny takes a 25% fee for any savings they find, but we have never used the price protection feature on our own. This is a fee we are willing to pay. Prices fluctuate a ton around the holidays, so this is a great time to give the app a shot. The biggest caveat is that the retailer needs to use digital receipts. This one takes a little more work to set up, but those savings might just make it worth it.

4) Ca$hback Monitor - This tool is only handy if you are going to be shopping online. Ca$hback Monitor aggregates all of the different shopping portals, and will tell you what portal to use to get the best rewards. There's no fee to use the service and there's no sign-up required. This one is just easy points. 

5) AmEx Offers - If you happen to have any AmEx cards in your wallet, be sure to login to see if there are any rebates tied to your card use. It's not uncommon to see $25 off $75 purchases for certain retailers, $5 off $20, etc. AmEx offers are very targeted, so your mileage may vary on this one. 

Bonus: #6 - Don't forget to use the right card when you're shopping to maximize your rewards along side these other tools. Chase Freedom is offering 5% cash back at Walmart and department stores through the end of the year. Discover it is offering 5% cash back at Target and Amazon.


Final Thoughts:

Have fun. Be safe. Use rewards. Save some whiskey for after shopping gift wrapping.