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The shopping spree of the year (aka Black Friday / Cyber Monday) has arrived and I’m pretty sure you’ve been checking out one or two deals at least.

But in Canada or Vancouver at least, the Xmas sale is much larger in scale and often there’re deeper discounts (end of year / clearance sales?) I feel like Black Friday/Cyber Monday is just starting up here

Not to brag, but my friends say I’m pretty good in shopping because I can often find pretty good deals. I’m gonna spill some beans here!

Rule of thumb: camp outside the store at least 24 hours ahead make use of online resources. We’re literally in digital age. “The best deal in store only” is going to be history.

It’s now more about who’s clicking the buy button fast enough!

Welcome Offers

👍 …for stuff that aren’t always discounted

Very often you’ll score welcome offers just by signing up for newsletters or memberships. Usually there’s restriction on how the coupons/promo codes can be used like only on regular items, excluded to use on special collections, etc.

I always sign up for the magic code for stuff that I know they aren’t always on sale, for example Gap’s denim series. Not the greatest deal, but still it’s a way to save on some serious stuff!

In-app on Online Exclusive Offers

👍 …for not needing to walk to the store

When I said, the best deal in store only is going history, here’re some proofs. Sometimes, there’re exclusive offers just available in app or online only.

Zalora, a fashion company present mainly in Asia, offers additional cash back perk on top of their sitewide discount.

Zalora offers 25% + 10% cash back for purchases on their app only.

Sephora is also app-focused. They even offer event previews in their app only. Below shows a current offer that explicitly states that you can only earn savings through their app:

Sephora offering app exclusive savings

Therefore, strongly encourage you to download the app of certain brands that you’re obsessed with. Also visit their websites regularly. See if they are sneakily offering app-only or online discounts and promos!

Disadvantage? Well, if you don’t have regular access to a laptop or smartphone, or maybe when you run out of phone space to install a few more apps. Then you may miss out some pretty decent deals.


👍…for grocery shopping & just general stuff (especially those with a big price tag)

Flipp is a platform that allows retailers to upload flyers in digital format so shoppers can research products and prices in one place. It is a rather big platform that has some of the biggest retailers in Canada participating. Thus it’s easy to compare products and prices and save on shopping. Some of the national big names include Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, The Bat, Walmart and many more.

They have a web version but I find out the app version is much more versatile. The latter allows you to receive alerts on your apps for things that you add to your Watch List. If you’re interested in a deal, you can digitally circle it by clicking on it and then it’ll appear in “My Clippings”. You can set to receive alerts near the end of offer validity so you won’t miss out later.

Here’s an example of me comparing deals for the Revlon Pro Collection One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer (can’t wait to get it…whoohoo!):

You can circle the item on the flyer that you wanna keep at eye on or visit the item page to purchase it right away
Things that you’ve circled go under Shopping List (“My Clippings”)
You can build your Watch List by searching for a specific term and then see what offers are available at a glance

I’ve heard some smart wives and mothers make good use of it to plan their weekly grocery shopping list and route for great savings. You can build your Shopping List so you don’t miss the stuff that you’re getting. So handy!

Earn cash back for grocery shopping

Checkout51 is an app that lets you earn cash back on gas (only in US now, coming soon to Canada) and groceries. It’s like a reward system in cash for completing missions. Every week it uploads offers of grocery and everyday items. When you’ve completed an offer, you scan the receipt and earn cash back. I didn’t earn much on it as I live alone and don’t eat much. After practicing Intermittent Fasting, I even eat less and spend much less on grocery. However, imagine how much rebate you can get if you’re in charge of a household!


👍…for earning cash back including gift cards

Rakuten is mainly a cash back app or browser extension that lets you see what participating stores are having deals and lets you earn cash back on purchases from them. Unfortunately Amazon Canada isn’t part of the program, where I regular buy from, but it features many big retailers such as Sephora, Adidas, Forever 21, and more.

Cash back percentage usually range from 1 to 3%. However, sometimes you can get surprise increments. During the black friday weekend, cash back percentages of a lot of participating stores jump to 10-15%!

Featured stores for the bonus 3X cash back promotional campaign at Rakuten this year.

Another good thing about Rakuten is, you can earn cash back on gift card purchases. Most of the time, gift cards or gift certificates are excluded from all promotions. Rakuten’s Gift Card Shop offers cash back on gift cards from select stores including Roots, which is famous for NOT having promotions often.

8% cash back for a $50 valued gift card at Roots

For Rakuten, I prefer its extension version more than its app version. When you browse on desktop, it pops up an alert windows asking you to activate the cash back links when you enter a participating store’s website so you don’t forget. For the app version, you’ll need to manually open the app and activate the link inside, not when you’re browsing through the store’s website. That means the cash back can be easily forgotten…

Spend $30 to earn $30

Sign up using my referral link to get $30 after spending on purchases totaling $30! Terms & conditions apply.


👍…for price watch & mobile support

Honey has been acquired by Paypal in 2019, after seeing its potential for being a dominating shopping and reward platform. It basically search for coupon codes and will try to apply possible the code before you check out to help you discover discounts you’re not aware of. Even when there’s no available promo code, you may still earn Gold Coins on eligible purchases, which you can redeem the gold for gift cards at popular stores.

In particular, I like Honey’s Droplist feature the most. It monitors the listed price of a product in interest. When there’s a price drop, it’ll send you an alert. This is very handy for us because who’d have time to keep checking the price every 5 mins? Honey does the dirty work.

The droplist button appears when you hover the name or image of a product. You can then sign up for price drop alerts when there’s price drop.

I remember it started as a browser extension, but it’s actually got an app as well. According to its App description, it is now embedded as a mobile browser extension, so now when we shop on store sites with our mobile browser, it’ll automatically pop up if a coupon is available to use. This is a great plus!

One disadvantage of using Honey is, it’ll cause conflicts with other reward extensions such as Rakuten. You can either choose to earn Honey Gold or cash back, which I usually prefer the latter. However, if you’re just trying to see if there’s any promo code to use, you can let it try to search and apply promo code when you check out and re-activate the other cash back extension.

Wrap Up

For all the ways and tools I talked about, I always use them altogether to find good deals with minimal possible effort. There isn’t any harm utilizing different tools to save $$$, really!

I hope you find this article useful. If you have some other useful tips to share, don’t hesitate to comment down below!

Disclosure When you click/purchase/subscribe through the affiliate/referral link(s) on this page, I will earn a small commission.

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