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Coupons. Cashbacks. Promos. Black Fridays.  So how do you shift your budget around? How do you plan them? One wise woman said to live within your means and I’d like to add one more word to that and make it: live within your means, wisely. That doesn’t mean you don’t improve your lifestyle, it only means if you do then do so in a practical and strategic manner so that it doesn’t burden your income and will not eat up your hard-earned margin.

I’ve always been on the look-out on how to save money while earning more. I’ve tried a lot of apps and the problem I’ve always encountered is that they require a lot of time-consuming steps before you get to actually getting some sort of reward. And time is one resource very precious to me. Otehr sites limit the cashback or offers very high prices that if I look at it I am not saving anything at all. Other sites do not allow stacking deals plus coupons plus cashback option! I do coupons, cashbacks and watch Black Friday sales  but one particular site that caught my attention are cashbacks on Ebates and BeFrugal.

Things I look for in a cashback company are the reviews, the length of business and most importantly the stores affiliated with.  You get the general feel of how a company works by the number of dissatisfied consumers. The length of business is important too because you’ll be earning over a period of time and it would be devastating to try and cash out your cashback (starting to sound like a tongue twister!) and find out that the program is closed or that the company has been terminated. The wide selection of stores affiliated with the cashback program is also key. The more selections you have, the more possible opportunities for shopping within  the affiliate ranks equals more cashbacks.

Some hardcore coupon buyers would combine cashback, a sale price and a coupon. So always be on the look out for possibilities of combining these three to save on your purchases. I also look at convenience when choosing a cashback site.

EBates

EBates has a huge following. This is no surprise because they allow users to earn back a portion of money spent online and with the  push of a button. They also have coupons or price comparison tools to find the best money-saving deals online. Their cashback payout happens every three months with the payout covering cashbacks from the previous quarter. Ebates also offers more than one way of earning your money back. They have a sign up bonus of $10 (affiliate link) referral reward of $25 and lets you know of big cashback opportunities through their Daily Double deals! The sheer volume of affiliated stores (over 2,000!) linked through their website allows users a wide variety of shopping opportunities. The site also allows donating your cashback directly to charity.

Befrugal

Another site that caught my attention is BeFrugal. They currently carry 5,000 (and growing…how awesome is that?) affiliate stores that you can choose from including restaurants.  This means I can choose between shopping at BeFrugal or at Ebates portal depending on the cashback offered. BeFrugal pays out cashbacks through Paypal, check or direct deposit and can be initiated as soon as you have reached the minimum pay-out required while Ebates is paid out quarterly. They also have a sign up bonus of $10 (affiliate link) and referral award of $10. Be sure to click through the Bonus Cash Back section on Befrugal to maximize your savings at featured stores.

So which one is the best cashback site? It depends. If you are looking for an easier cash out term then choose Befrugal. If you are looking to donate your cash back automatically then choose Ebates. Looking for bigger rebates? Then compare the offers on both sites. It really depends on what you are looking to buy. Ebates and Befrugal allows you several possible options to be more strategic with your budget but I would choose between the two (or both!) as my two top picks for cashback sites.

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