Warning: If you get a rush from adding up all of the dollars and cents you save on a shopping trip, you might be spinning in circles by the end of this post.
I’m an online shopping couponing geek, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
Ever since the beginning of this blog, I’ve loved sharing tips for saving money as I’ve picked up more tricks, like my favorite places to buy affordable farmhouse style decor, how we buy thrifted clothing online, how to budget for a room makeover, and a whole bunch more
It tickles me pink to know that all of those posts have helped people over the past few years. So I thought it was high time I rounded up my 10 best sneaky ways to save money while shopping online. How to get rebates, how to get alerted about price drops, and how to use every tool out there to stretch every dollar from buying clothing, home decor, furniture, appliances, groceries, whatever you can think up.
So maybe being a total geek about this stuff comes in handy sometimes. 😉 Because friends don’t let friends pay retail.
10 Sneaky Ways to Save Money Shopping Online:
(Some affiliate links are provided below for convenience)
- Keep items on your wish list in your online shopping carts. You’ll get emails alerting you when a price has dropped. Not all retailers use price drop alerts, but it’s quickly catching on in email marketing. Target is one that does it a lot. Make sure you have an account on the shopping site and keep it logged in with your cart to get alerts. I like to have a separate email account set up to use for online shopping so I don’t have lots of promotions and spam in my regular email account.
- Use Ebates every time you check out. If you haven’t heard of Ebates, it’s a website where you can get cash back on most online purchases and couple them with coupons. You just click a button at check out, and it’ll give you an automatic rebate as well as add any coupon codes to stack discounts before submitting your order. In the past year, I’ve saved $442. You can sign up here, or here is more info about it.
- Check coupon sites for promo codes. Retailmenot.com, Groupon.com, and Coupons.com are sites I check frequently, in case Ebates doesn’t generate any promo codes.
- Search “As Is” on shopping sites for deep discounts on returned items. This little trick works on Overstock.com or you can check warehouse deals on Amazon, which is a similar feature. Items are sold at 50-60-70% off if they were returned. Just check the description to find the return reason. Many times, it’s being discounted because the box has been opened, or some stitching has come loose but can be fixed, or an item has a scratch on it but can be buffed out. Here’s a post with more info about it.
- Double up coupons with sales. If you have retailer coupons mailed to you periodically, hold out for a sale before you use it. Usually an item will go on sale once per month, especially around holiday weekends throughout the year.
6. Search in Google’s shopping tab to compare sellers’ prices or get the PriceBlink browser add-on. Before you make a purchase on a retailer’s site, type the item’s name in Google (on the shopping tab) to see the price at a glance on other retailers’ sites. PriceBlink does something similar but is a button you can add to your browser toolbar.
7. Plan big purchases for seasonal trends. Retailers mark down items when they are trying to purge old inventory to make room for new items. Outdoor furniture is often highly discounted in the fall, as are outdoor tools like lawn mowers and grills. (Here are more tips for the best time to buy things.)
9. Sign up for email discounts and loyalty clubs that allow you to redeem points. Many retailers will regularly reward 10-15% off coupons when you sign up as an email subscriber. Use an online shopping email account so you don’t have promotions constantly filling up your regular email account. If you already have junk email cluttering your inbox, Unroll.me can come in handy to unsubscribe or send one email with all of your subscriptions summarized each day.
10. Shop at home and pick up in store. If you’re not eligible for free shipping, see if you can order the item you want and pick it up at your local store instead. Sometimes you can even pick up the same day you order, if the item is already in stock.
The biggest trick of all though is to see how many strategies you can use together. Find a discount on Groupon for a new restaurant you’ve been dying to try, click on your Ebates button to get cash back on it, and combine that with a 20% off coupon, and you’ve got a cheap but awesome date night, right?!
Total rush, I tell ya.
Do you have any favorite online shopping tricks of your own? Or favorite apps to get discounts? Share them below! I’d love for this post to become a resource to share savings tips.
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