frugal hacks: honey

a cut up credit card with the words "frugal hacks honey" overlaid

One of my favorite ways to save money while shopping online, next to Ebates of course, is honey. With this app, you earn “honey gold” that can be exchanged for gift cards at popular stores like Amazon and Target.

What makes honey different from other apps is that it will check for coupon codes when you are checking out at most stores.

My typical process, if the store doesn’t participate in Ebates, is to check Honey next. Since both Ebates and Honey are browser extensions, they don’t always play nicely with each other. If you run Honey during an Ebates shopping trip, you might negate the Ebates.

Let me show you an example:

I recently bought some gardening supplies from Aerogarden. I needed a bell pepper starter kit and some more plant food. I also splurged a little and bought some syringes for the food since my brother is going to be watching the plants and fur-kids while we’re out of town. Anything to make his life a little easier while he’s here. Anyway, I digress…

Any time that you go to a website, your extensions will indicate if Ebates (with a gray exclamation point) and/or honey (with a number that indicates the number of coupon codes available) work with that website. I’ve circled this in the picture below. Aerogarden doesn’t work with Ebates, but it does work with Honey.

From there, you just need to click on the Honey to see what coupon codes are available and if the store participates in honey gold. In my experience, most stores will have coupon codes, but not many have honey gold. Aerogarden has both!

For stores with honey gold, you need to “activate” the reward by clicking the button. You’ll notice that it has a percent range indicated for the reward. That’s because the reward amounts aren’t fixed. When you click on the activate button it randomly selects the award amount that you’ll receive. On my last Aerogrow shopping trip, I got four percent.

After activating the reward, shop as normal until you check out. A pop-up, shown below, will appear to prompt you to check for coupon codes that work with your order. All you need to do is click on apply coupons and honey does the rest for you.

If you earn honey gold with the purchase, it’ll be credited to your account once the merchant has notified honey of the transaction being complete. That usually happens after the return period has expired. Once you’ve accumulated 1000 honey gold, you can exchange it for a gift card. It really is that easy.

Full disclosure: I did have a minor issue the last time that I redeemed a gift card, but the customer service was spectacular. I emailed them about the gift card not showing up and less than 20 minutes later they emailed me back with the gift card attached. I was blown away.

You can join honey and download the browser extension here. (Note: This is my referral link. You and I both get $5 if you sign up via the link.)

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