Tip of the Week- My Money Saving Online Shopping “Secrets”

 

Since I am in the midst of a little money saving series for holiday shopping {on how I get things free or really discounted}, I thought I would share some general money saving tips today.  I have been talking about specific places I use, but I thought now would be a good time to break from that and tell you some tips that will apply to most every place you shop. These things don’t take much time, and are very worth it.  This post may be a little bit long as a result, but I want all of these tips to be in one place to make it easy for you.  Save this post for a reference!

It takes awhile to get in to the habit of remembering to do these things, but if you create these “shopping” habits online, you will save SO much money in the long run (and who doesn’t love that?!)

 

 

     Tip #  1:  When I see places online I am interested in shopping at, I enter my email address at the site to be put on their mailing list. 

Why? 

Because this is the way you will get important savings details.  The companies I am signed up with email me everything from Free Shipping deals, to Free gift cards every now and then , to special sales, discounts, free gifts, and more.  In fact , several companies out there offer a special new customer sign up gift.  I have gotten either free gift cards , special discounts, or my favorite- Free gifts, just for signing up to get emails with a company for the first time.  The place I wrote about last week {Click here to learn more about No More Rack and get a free $10 gift card} for instance not only gives you $10 when you sign up for the first time (using this referral link), but they have sent me random free gift cards other times too {just for being a customer on their email mailing list}.

Side note:  Sometimes you get freebies or special promotions from “liking” a website’s facebook page.

Another side note:  My friend Becky pointed out in the comments that she got a Free gift card for her birthday.  I forgot to mention that another perk to signing up to get a website’s emails is that you will get Free birthday gifts or discounts ! Thanks for the reminder Becky!

   Tip # 2:  Little tip number 2, is that you may want to set up a separate email account just for your online shopping stuff so it doesn’t clutter your regular inbox.  I have a sort of “junk mail” account that I do most of my offers and sign ups through so I don’t get overwhelmed.  It’s easy to get a second email via yahoo or gmail {my favorite}.

 

For numbers 3 & 4 -there are 2 good shopping habits I have formed that I ALWAYS do-no matter what.  If you get anything from my tips on saving money today, these would be the 2 most important things to do each time.  It can be easy to forget in the beginning, but like with anything, once you get in the habit of it, you won’t forget as much.  In the mean time, Tie a string around your finger, so you don’t forget!  ;)

Tip # 3:  I ALWAYS make sure to use one of my rebate places before I check out. 

You will MAKE money shopping this way and can get paid either via check or Pay Pal {I think you can also convert it to money you can spend on Amazon} and this translates in to either extra money in your wallet, or more money you can spend for other gifts you need.  I just got about $40 in the mail from doing this one simple habit.  You will need to set up a rebate account if you haven’t already done so, but no worries, it’s free and super quick.  You can refer to my post on how to do this HERE, or just click on the banners below for both Mr. Rebates and Ebates to get started.  Once those are set up, you will want to make sure you go find your store at one of those places { I always compare to see which one has the biggest rebate} and then click on the store link through the rebate place.  They will track what you spend and give you money back.  It may sound too good to be true, or like there is a “catch” , but I promise there is not.  No scam- just an easy way to get more money out of your shopping.  {I have been doing this for years now}

Ebates:
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

And Mr. Rebates:
Mr. Rebates

 

     Tip #4:  I ALWAYS make sure to check for coupon codes before checking out as well.  {You will see places to enter promo codes at check out}

How do you do that?

It’s pretty simple.  First off , both rebate places mentioned above will list current coupon codes or deals they are aware of.  That is a good place to start.  Second, I just simply Google what I am looking for.  An example is to Google the name of the store/website along with other key words such as “free shipping” or “Coupon codes”  “promo codes” , etc.  { One of the websites I use for promo codes is www.retailmenot.com} Most companies don’t let you combine codes, so you would want to pick the one that saves you the most money of course.  Some places out there DO allow you to combine offers.  I will be sharing those places in another post.  You would not believe the extra free gifts or discounts I get from doing this!

 

Tip #5:  I always start with the Clearance or Sale section!  Same thing as when you go to a department store and head for the clearance racks.

 

Tip #6:  The last general smart shopping tip I have is about timing.  Timing IS everything when it comes to discounts! 

 

I try to hold off on my shopping until the timing is right for me to save the most money.  If you subscribe via email {to the stores you want to shop with}, they will usually alert you about days when you can get better deals.  I always wait for free shipping days {I rarely pay shipping when I shop online}, buy one get one free days, and special promos {especially the ones where you can get free gifts with a purchase}.

  • Holidays: A general tip that seems to fit across the board for most stores, is that you will find special freebies and discounts on holidays or on black Friday, or Cyber Monday {those are right around Thanksgiving}.  I tend to shop all throughout the year on any holiday sale days {from President’s Day, to Christmas, to Mother’s Day, etc.}.
  • Semi-Annual Sales:  A few of the stores I use have these.  They usually happen twice a year- around January and then again around June
  • Seasonal Sales:  Usually at the end of each season, you will find lots of markdowns
  • After Holiday Sales:  It may seem too early to think that far ahead, but on occasion if I see after Christmas markdowns of 80-90% off {in January} I will pick up a few things.
  • Timing side note: Timing also applies to the rebate places.  At certain times of the year {typically holidays or seasonal times} you can get double cash back rebates.  Double the money back!  No worries- when you set up your rebate accounts through the links in this email, you will get email alerts letting you know when these places do double cash back.

 

Let’s recap a bit so you can see how I make the most of my budget:  I pick a store I want to shop at, I go and look at the “clearance” section {I almost always find something I want for a low cost!}, I combine the low prices with coupon codes, I wait for special shopping days where I can also get free shipping or free gifts with a purchase, and I make sure to always always use one of the rebate centers above to get money back after I shop.  Are you starting to see how this can really add up to save you a lot?  :D

 

Have fun Holiday Shopping and don’t forget to be on the lookout for more articles on where and how I get things free or heavily discounted!   ~Rebekah

 

Linked @ Tiny Tip Tuesdays (Nature’s Nurture), Tuesday Tips @ Be Simply Better, Teach Me Tuesdays @ Growing Home, & Mercy Ink

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4 Responses to Tip of the Week- My Money Saving Online Shopping “Secrets”

  1. Becky Firesmith says:

    Here are some of the deals that I have received in the last week or so:
    I got a $10 gift card from Kohl’s for my birthday. Not sure if you have to have their credit card to get this or not. And I have $30 in Kohl’s Cash ($10 for every $50 you spend) so a total of $40 worth of free stuff that I get to buy at Kohl’s! And I am also BIG into using the rebate websites like Bekah does everytime I shop online. Free money!

  2. Rebekah (We Live Inspired) says:

    Awesome Becky! Planning on talking about that subject more in the future actually. What I forgot to mention was birthday specials places send out. Thanks for adding that . I am going to have to add that in to this post :) Don’t you love free stuff?

  3. Tonya says:

    These are great tips! I setup a separate email address for newsletters and to give to companies so that my regular email doesn’t get bombarded with those emails. I check my newsletter email address frequently, but it’s not the first one that I check.

    I also check out the clearance and sale section online and in stores. I usually find some great deals there!

  4. Jane Arnold says:

    Hii..!!!!
    I am a “PURE” shop-alcoholic and buy almost all of my stuff online.
    Indeed you need a bit of smartness to shop online so that you can utilise the online offers and pay less.
    Great post buddy.
    Cheers..!!!

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