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A Savings Story: Wedding in the Windy City

For this month’s “Savings Story”, we got an ecstatic email from Donna R. about her smart shopping leading up to the event and how amazingly guilt-free it made the entire trip.

“Hi, this is Donna and I’m a Hoopla member. I just recently started using your browser extension and wanted to tell you about a recent experience. I was super excited to be going to Chicago for my friend's wedding. I had never been to the city before, and I was looking forward to seeing all the sights. I had also been saving up for a while because I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap, and I didn’t want to cheap out when I was there. But I know me, and if I just went on a full shopping spree without a worry in the world I would feel too guilty to enjoy it so I wanted to be responsible.

I started by booking my flight through Expedia, and sure enough there was my little Hoopla friend popping down and getting me a huge discount on my ticket with a deal tracked down by the browser plug in. Then I paid using my Capital One cashback credit card, so netted another 2% cash on that one plus I got the frequent flier miles (perks perks perks!). Got the seat I wanted too, one the aisle, middle seat still open (and nobody ended up sitting there!) and boarding group 3 so I can carry on and not worry about the packed overhead.

Next was the hotel. I’m a Hilton points person, so I knew that was going to be the spot. Plus it was right across the street from where they were getting married. Went to the Hilton website, my little Hoopla helper dropped down with 4.5% cashback. Hit the button to get it locked in. Then checked out with my Hilton Honors Amex to stack the points and the cashback.

Finally, I needed a new dress for the wedding - all I needed was an excuse! Checked out Bloomingdale’s first but then realized that Macy’s had the same one and Hoopla sniffed out a 50% off active coupon (the key word being active!) and tacked on 2.5% cashback. Yes, you tried to tempt me to buy more with like 40 active coupon codes too but I stood strong! Saving it to shop in Chicago! 

When I arrived in Chicago, I was blown away by how beautiful the city was. I spent the first day exploring the city, visiting Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Willis Tower. Just a tip, I searched Hoopla and found a company called Viator that has special deals for private tours and you can get 3% cashback on that little excursion too! I didn’t have time, but I was tempted! I also threw down some insanely delicious deep dish pizza with old college friends that I haven’t seen in years.

The next day was the wedding, and it was even more amazing than I had imagined. The ceremony was held in a gorgeous church and the reception was at a fancy hotel. All I could think was: imagine the cashback they could be getting on all of this! Haha. Actually, I was really thinking these shoes are coming off the second they play Taylor Swift! Love tay tay!

The last day I went to the south loop to shop before heading back to o’hare for my departure. 

So how did I do…between Hoopla and my cashback credit card, I got about $97 in cash back, I saved about $440 with hoopla coupon codes and deals, I racked up enough hotel and airfare points to now be able to cover a flight and hotel for a girls trip to Phoenix (another city I haven’t been to) and I got 3 bruises on my feet from dancing all night at the reception! Looks like I might be in the market for a new pair of shoes… hello hoopla! I think when it was all said and done, between the savings and cashback and travel perks, the trip to Chicago barely cost a thing and I had the time of my life. Sign me up for that again and again and again!”

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