Food

Super savings tips: shopping online

Aren’t we all trying to save money these days? Food is more expensive, clothes, activities, utilities….the list goes on. I was talking to some of my friends and it seems like everyone has some strategies they use to  save – if it’s cutting coupons, hitting the big box stores, or swapping services with friends. I decided that every week or so I’ll write a blog with some tips on how to save money when buying certain items, services, or just getting something done.  I would love to hear tips from you too, so please submit any ways you manage to keep costs down in the comments section.

So here we are in week one – tips for saving when shopping online. I have a friend (let’s call her E-saver Esther) who is a master online shopper. She finds incredible deals, always gets free shipping, has all the coupon codes. I have asked her to share some of her best tips with me:

1. Ebates.com

Esther swears by this website eEbates.com which she got me to sign up for as well. It’s free and very secure. The deal is you sign up to participate in the program and whenever you are going to shop online, you go to the ebates website and go to the retail site from which you are going to shop from the ebates site. You get a percentage of your purchase “deposited” into your ebates account every time you shop, and four times a year you get a check from ebates. I got my first check and my husband thought it was one of those fake checks you sometimes get – but no, we deposited it, and it’s real. Most of the major retail sites are part of the ebates program – at least I haven’t ever looked for one that hasn’t been on the ebates site (Old Navy, Gap, J Crew, Barnes and Noble are all part of ebates). They also list special coupons for some retailers that are only for ebates shoppers. So if you are going to shop online, you might as well get some money back – check it out!

2. Google for promo codes

Before she is going to buy something online, Esther always googles “*storename* promotion codes” (especially for the rare retailer that doesn’t participate in ebates). She has been able to save a ton of money this way (she has ALSO gone to a store via ebates, AND been able to find out a promotion code for free shipping by googling, so was able to input that promo code at checkout and got ebates bucks PLUS free shipping!).  

3. Order directly from the manufacturer

Esther recently was looking to buy a scooter for her daughter’s birthday. She knew my son had one that worked well for him, so she asked me for the info. I had ordered it on amazon.com. Esther knew there was a bargain to be had so she looked up the info on the scooter on Amazon, then googled the manufacturer, and went to their website where she was able to order it with no tax and free shipping. Excellent work Esther.

4. www.tigerdirect.com

Tigerdirect.com is the place Esther has gotten great deals (and no tax) for tvs, computers, etc.  Plus, they are part of ebates – she purchased a $500 flatscreen there when they were having double cashback dollars and ended up getting $25 ebate bucks!

5. Find coupon codes

Esther always checks www.retailmenot.com for coupon codes (for either combining w/ebates or for stores who don’t participate in ebates!).

So online deals are plentiful – take a little extra time and you too can save while shopping online. Until next time – and remember, send in your tips!

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Rachael Ray