Monday, July 30, 2012

Use E-mail Filters to Save Money

Most of us avoid signing up for e-mail lists because we don't want a bunch of commercial advertising cluttering our inbox. Besides, we know how advertising works. The more we look at advertising, the more we're tempted to buy things we don't really need.

But avoiding e-mail subscriptions to the stores and restaurants we frequent also means we are missing out on exclusive deals and coupons -- ones that aren't available on RetailMeNot.

I think you can have your cake and eat it too. The solution is simple. Here's what you need to do:
  • Sign up to receive e-mails from all of the places where you shop or dine (or might like to shop or dine if you had a decent coupon).
  • Set up e-mail filters  to automatically "skip the inbox" and categorize these incoming e-mails as coupons. (Gmail users can learn how to use filters here.)
  • Click on the label/folder to find new e-mails before you go out to eat or shop.
Here's an example from my inbox:

As more retailers offer mobile coupons (i.e. coupons you can just show on your phone instead of printing out), e-mail filtering will become even more helpful -- at least if you have a smart phone. You can just scroll through potential coupons on your phone once you're at the store -- no need to remember to print them before leaving home.

Hopefully this strategy will help a few of you save some money. If you have questions or other good ideas for saving money, please feel free to leave a comment.

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