From the Magazine

Your Junk Mail Can Save You Big Bucks — Here’s How

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If you’re like most people, you get rid of your junk mail without even looking at it. However, you may want to hold on to that mail. It turns out, you can save hundreds of dollars every year by simply taking a closer peek. Keep reading for five ways your junk mail can you money today. 

Uncover a $100 Bonus

Sure, you know that Valpak envelopes are stuffed with money-saving offers from stores, restaurants and service providers. But did you know the offers you get have been selected specifically for you? That’s because Valpak customizes its coupons based on where you live and other demographics to ensure you reap the biggest savings. Another reason to go through these coupons more closely? One in every 50,000 Valpak envelopes contains a $100 check made out to “cash.” If you find one, all you need to do is cash it — no strings attached! 

Score Free Goodies

You’ve probably gotten so used to the constant flurry of oversize colorful postcard advertisements from stores that you hardly notice them anymore. “But if you scan them carefully, you’ll likely find money-saving coupons on them,” say Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer, co-founders of TheKrazyCouponLady.com. For example, in the past, Bath & Body Works has sent “free with purchase” offers, Macy’s has mailed out 10%- to 20%-off coupons, and Target has delivered exclusive cash-saving coupons to REDcard members to celebrate new openings, remodels or other local store events!

Save Cash at Local Shops

Store catalogs and those free neighborhood magazines tend to pile up? Here’s why it’s smart to flip through them quickly: “In addition to recipes, tips and new products, most of these publications have coupons that can save you cash on groceries, dry cleaning, restaurants and other products and services,” say Wheeler and Demer. However, they typically have a short window of time in which they can be used, so the faster you find them, the more likely you’ll be able to take advantage of them before they expire!

Nab Low Rates for Services

All those offers for credit cards, cable TV and more could be worth $100, $200, even $500! How so? “You can find a great deal with a different company, which you can take or use as leverage to get a lower rate with your current provider,” says Kelsey Sheehy, personal finance expert for NerdWallet. All you need to do is call and let your service provider know that you’re being offered a lower rate elsewhere to switch. If they can’t match the offer, they may still offer you a credit or discount. Proof it works: In a new survey, a whopping 81% of folks who asked their credit card company to reduce their interest rate received an average reduction of six points!

Found money!

Sign up at SBKCenter.com, then send the market research company your unwanted junk mail (they use it to study direct mail trends), and they’ll reward you with a Visa gift card!

This story originally appeared in our print magazine. 

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