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Learn to Save Money at Subway (and Get More Chow!)

April 21, 2015 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

When I was in college I once ate TWO footlongs in one sitting.  No joke. Once in college, I also clogged the dorm toilet. I was able to score two footlongs because our campus newspaper had coupons for buy one footlong, get one FREE. Best coupon ever and the main reason I made it through my early twenties fully nourished.

Unfortunately, those killer Subway coupons are few and far between these days, so we have to resort to some different tactics to maximize our savings. Here are a few of my favorites.

Subway Subs

Split a Footlong and Customize It

One of my favorite ways to save money at Subway, especially when dining with kiddos, is to order a footlong and have the “Sandwich Artist” customize each 6 inch portion to what my kids like. Some employees may not like doing this, but if you’re polite and not to demanding, almost all will happily oblige.

You may not be able to get a different kind of meat on each half, but you can definitely ask for different cheeses, produce, and condiments. This will easily save you a few bucks as ordering two separate 6 inch sandwiches costs 20% more than ordering a single footlong.

Beware of Add-Ons

If you can avoid buying add-ons like chips, soda, or cookies you’ll be winning the game. Instead, ask for a free water cup and split a bag of chips if your munchies are impossible to resist. If you’re with the kids, and decide to buy cookies, be sure to buy three as you’ll get a quantity discount that way.

Toasted Subs Can Cost You More

If you live in California, Subway is going to charge you sales tax if you get your sub toasted.  A toasted sub is considered a hot food and the state requires Subway to collect sales tax. While this is not really a tip, I figured it was just good information to know.

Ask for the “Softest” Bread

If you’re more interested in NOT getting stale bread, rather than a specific bread type, simply ask the employee “which bread is the softest today?” Soft bread equals fresh bread. They’ve been cutting bread for hours and can easily tell which is the softest. I do this all the time and always get very fresh bread, often right out of the oven if I’m getting my meal before noon.

Order the Subway “Old Cut”

As recently as 10 years ago, Subway sandwich artists cut there bread with a V shape taken out of the top of the bread. Nowadays, they call this “V-cut” the “Old Cut” and I have it on good authority that many employees are still trained to make this cut. While kind of funny looking, it helped the meat, cheese, and produce stay on the bread better and not tumble off.

OK, so now that you’ve had the history lesson, try ordering an “Old Cut” and you’ll typically get more bang for your buck. Meat and cheese will be the same, but toppings can get pretty crazy as the old cut can hold a lot more without stuff falling off. Simply ask for extra toppings and pile that sucker high.

Follow Subway on Social Media

I’ve been a little disappointed recently with the deals and coupons you can find from Subway. But if you follow them on social media, you’ll be kept in the know when they actually do release exclusive coupons and promotions.

  • Subway on Facebook – They often post special deals and coupons on their Facebook page that you can use on your next visit.
  • Subway on Twitter – A few special promotions are sprinkled in their Twitter feed. Mainly a fun way to connect with loyal Subway customers.

Join Subway Rewards Program

If you dine regularly, consider getting a free Subway Rewards Card and start earning points. I’m not a big pusher of reward programs in general, as they often entice you to spend more money, but the Subway program is pretty tight.

Just by signing up, you get 50 free points and earn 1 point for every dollar spent. 75 points gets you a free footlong, 50 points for a free 6 inch, 10 points nabs you a free cookie, and 20 points get you a free drink. Oh, and 80 points grants you access to the “clean” bathroom…oh how I wish.

Ask the Reader: How do you get the most bang for your buck at your local Subway? As always, I look forward to your comments.


By Kyle James

Photo by Random Retail

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Frugal Hack #24: Save by Booking Directly with Airlines and Hotels…Again

April 2, 2015 by Kyle 3 comments   •   Filed Under

There is no doubting the fact that online travel agencies like Expedia, Travelocity, and Hotels.com are convenient.  You can book all of your travel from one spot, and search through various companies to find a competitive rate. But to find the best deals these days, they’re not where you should be looking. By dealing directly with the airline, hotel, or rental car company you’re going to save significantly more.

United Airlines

Why? Well, these online travel agencies (OTAs) are charging a fee, often up to 15% to hotels, airlines, and car companies. Companies are sick and tired of it, and in many cases, would rather deal directly with the customers and pass the savings along to them in the form of lower rates, free upgrades, and free food & drink credits.

So think about it this way. If Embassy Suites is getting nailed by a 15% fee from Hotels.com, they’re very likely undercut them and offer you a 10% discount for booking directly. So in effective you’ll get a rate 10% lower than what any OTA can give.

The methods of reaching hotels, airlines, and car rental agencies directly is as simple as calling the front desk of a hotel, the corporate phone number of a rental car agency, or the customer service number of the airline. Also, keep in mind, that most of their websites now have “Live Chat” operators standing by who can offer you a good deal as well.

I recently wrote about this on Lifehacker and some of the comments provided some great insight as well.

“Yeah, I was very annoyed last month when I thought a scored a great deal on the Doubletree via Hotwire, only to find out my friend got the exact same rate via Doubltree’s website (and got points for the stay where I did not).”

From a hotel manager, “If you want the best deal, go online and find what the OTA has listed for the price. Then call the hotel and speak to the front desk manager or general manager and tell them you found a $100 rate on Expedia, and will book directly with the hotel for $80.”

“Most hotel chains offer a lowest price guarantee if you book directly so if you find an advertised price cheaper for the same room they will meet or beat it. Plus you get rewards points for booking directly whereas you typically don’t get them if you book through a 3rd party.”

Ask the Reader: Have you booked directly with hotels or airlines recently? If so, tell me what kind of a deal you scored.

By Kyle James

Photo by Curi Media

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Birthday Freebies: The Ultimate and Definitive List

March 4, 2015 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

Having 3 kids running roughshod over my feet, crotch, and budget for years, I’m all about looking for ways where they can actually pay off financially. So a few years back I realized that I needed to start cashing in on their birthdays whenever possible. Whether it be a free burger or dessert at their favorite restaurant, or free tickets to the movies during the week of their birthday, the savings quickly starts to [...] Continue Reading…

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What to Expect If Your Bank or Credit Union Fails

February 25, 2015 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under

I have personal finance on my mind these days, and a list of questions I want answers to. So I figured why not use my blog to start answering some of these finance questions rattling around in my brain. The first one I am going to tackle is what happens when your bank or credit union goes belly up. I always wondered how the heck that worked and how FDIC insurance works. I hope [...] Continue Reading…

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March Buying Guide: Where To Find the Best Deals (and Worst Deals Too!)

February 23, 2015 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

Let’s be clear, as we near March it means I have college basketball on my brain. I love a good Cinderella story who ends up shattering everyone’s bracket. I also love figuring out where to find the best shopping deals this month based on consumer trends, what coupons we are given at Rather-Be-Shopping.com, along with March data from years gone by. I have also done the research on stuff that is a terrible purchase [...] Continue Reading…

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7 Spring Break Travel Hacks That’ll Save You BIG Money

February 19, 2015 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under , ,

As a big chunk of the country is frozen solid, I’ve got warm, sunny, weather on my mind. I know I’m not alone in this thought as many Americans are starting to think about, or book, spring travel plans. Whether you’re a college student traveling on a shoestring budget, or a family looking to plan a Spring getaway, I have some easy to implement tips to help you maximize your travel dollars.

Fly Out on [...] Continue Reading…

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What would you say if I told you that you could call Verizon Wireless, Dish Network, and AT&T today and save $708 per year by negotiating a lower bill? In recent months I have done exactly that and it took me about 2 hours in total. $354 per hour ain’t too shabby, right? So I figured it was time to document how I did it so you can make it happen as well. I [...] Continue Reading…

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23 Popular Retailers that Hand out Coupons via Facebook Messenger

January 29, 2015 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

Being a total coupon nerd, I am always on the hunt for new and unique ways to score a discount. Some of my favorites include using live chat, abandoning your virtual cart, and using social media. So last month when I was looking for a coupon for Shutterfly.com to finish my Christmas shopping, I decided on a whim to hit them up via Facebook Messenger to see if they would give me a coupon [...] Continue Reading…

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5 Genius Ways to Use Social Media to Save Money in 2015

January 22, 2015 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

As we quickly head toward the end of January, I figured it was finally time to put fingers to keys and write an article about the best way, and hottest trend, to save money shopping in 2015. Put simply, it is social media. The main players in 2015 are Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. By using all 3 on a regular basis you can almost guarantee you’ll never pay full price. In many cases, you’ll [...] Continue Reading…

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Valentine’s Day: Make It Affordably Awesome This Year!

January 16, 2015 by Kyle 2 comments   •   Filed Under ,

Last year, according to the National Retail Federation, the average person spent just under $135 on Valentine’s Day, with total spending over 17 billion bucks. Wow, those are some BIG numbers. The interesting thing is that most guys wait until the day before V-Day to buy gifts or make dinner plans. The result is spending WAY more money than you should on flowers, dinner, and popular gifts like jewelry, candy, and personalized gadgets.

I’ll admit [...] Continue Reading…

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