Every month, I always find myself surprised at how much I spend on things like coffee and lunch. It's always more than I expect, and those little expenses add up quickly. I wanted to find a way to save even a little bit, even if it meant going to Dunkin' Donuts a few times less per week. I was asking a friend for tips on how to cut back on expenses when he asked if I tried using Raise. Raise is an online marketplace that offers discounted gift cards from hundreds of retailers, restaurants, and businesses. Gift cards were not the first thing that came to mind when it came to a way to cut back, but if I was going to spend money with a merchant anyway, getting more for every dollar was obvious.

Being honest with myself, I'd sooner quit breathing than quit coffee, so I took my friend's advice and searched Raise for any Dunkin' Donuts gift cards, and to my surprise there were a lot of them listed, with savings up to 20% on $25 and $50 cards. Considering $50 was about how much I spent on coffee a month, I could save $10 instantly by buying that card. I nearly broke my phone with how fast I jumped on that deal. I searched the site for other places I shop at and found a ton of cards available at varying discounts. In the past few months since I've started using Raise, I've bought:

  • A $100 NFL Shop gift card for $85.59 to buy a jersey for my brother's birthday
  • Another $50 Dunkin' Donuts gift card for $40.50
  • A $50 Nike gift card for $46.50 to replace my old sneakers
  • A $50 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card for $45.52
  • A $50 Express gift card for $44.82 for a new dress shirt for work
  • A $50 iTunes gift card for $46.70 for my Apple music sub
  • A $30 Domino's gift card for $26.92 for my shameless pizza fix
  • A $25 Fanatics gift card for $20.82
  • A $25 AMC Theatres gift card for $21.60

Even though I never thought I'd spend $378.97 on nine different gift cards, I've gotten $430 of value out of the cards, so I've saved $51.03 on purchases I was going to make anyway. A lot of the eCards can be downloaded right to the Raise app and you can use them online or in-store. Even if I'm only saving a little bit at a time on each purchase, it eventually adds up.

With Raise, I found an unexpected way to save on ordinary purchases. I have notifications set to let me know when there are new Dunkin' cards in stock, and if I go to a new store, I always check the app first to see if there's a card I can buy to get a discount. Every card bought on Raise also includes a one-year money back guarantee for any inactive or inaccurate cards, so it's completely risk-free. Raise has gotten me to be smarter about how I spend (while letting me keep my coffee fix), and I couldn't be happier.

UPDATE 11/1/17: Don't miss out on instant savings. Follow this link to sign-up with Raise today.