This week I will be sharing 10 more ways that our family saves money on household expenses. #1 & #2 focused on additional ways to save money while shopping for things your family needs. #3 & #4 showed two ways that our family saves money on hair care. #5 & #6 discussed two ways to save money on school expenses and kids activities.
Today we will be talking about saving money while shopping online. First of all, I can't say enough great things about how much I prefer to shop online when I can. It's simple, I can do it during off-hours, I don't have to drag the kids into a store with me, and I can do price comparisons so easily. I have purchased just about everything possible online- including groceries, drug store items, clothing (even jeans and swim wear for myself!), electronics, major household appliances and the list goes on and on and on. So when I say that I am a bit of an “expert” when it comes to online shopping- I am not exaggerating! So here are my best tips for online shopping:
#7- Compare price on everything!
When you are shopping online- you should shop around, look anywhere you want, and do your product research if you are looking for a tech or a high-end item, but before you purchase anything- always compare price first! A simple place to compare price is to just google “compare price” followed by the item you are researching, and include a model # if you have one. You can sort the results based on the lowest price, and you can even filter the results to just show retailers offering free shipping. Once you have found the best price, you should look to see whether or not that online retailer is currently offering any coupons. My favorite sites to check for online coupons is retailmenot, or you can also just do a google search for the store name followed by the word “coupon”.
One other tip to share about finding the best price on the web…. if you are looking for shoes, handbags, or clothing items- check out 6pm.com which is Zappos outlet site. I pretty much buy all of my shoes from this site, and most of what my kids are wearing for their footwear too. You do have to pay for shipping- $6.95 no matter how many items that you purchase- but you will more than make up for that in merchandise savings. You can also sign up here to receive their daily email that alerts you to that day's special deals. I'm not kidding- every friend or family member that I have shared this site with has come back to thank me (and no, I am not affiliated with 6pm in any way!)
#8- Take advantage of rebates, and free shipping
Before completing any online purchase, you also need to double check whether or not that retailer is partnered with any of the rebate sites. What's a rebate site? These are sites that direct Internet traffic to a retailer, and as an incentive, the retailer pays these sites a commission. The rebate site then shares part of that money with you, in the form of a rebate check that is mailed to you. Last year, I signed up with www.ebates.com, and I used them every time I made an online purchase for the holidays. A few weeks after Christmas- I received a nice rebate check in the mail for 5-10% back on everything that I had purchased through ebates. This included a 5% rebate against a PC that we purchased. The good thing about ebates, is that you don't have to start your shopping process on their site. I can shop the Internet, find my best price on an item, and then put it into that retailer's online shopping cart. Then I open another browser window, and search the ebates site and some other rebate sites to see whether or not that retailer offers a rebate, and who is offering the best % rebate. I then can click on the retailer's name within the rebate site which will launch a new browser window for that retailer- and my shopping cart will be in the newly opened window, with my item still in it. Some other rebate sites worth checking out are : extrabux.com, and shop at home.
Another online shopping tip that I take advantage of all of the time- is free shipping from amazon prime. Amazon Prime is a membership program within amazon.com that gives you unlimited free 2-day shipping and one day shipping for $3.99 on eligible purchases. (And I found that most of my purchases have been eligible for this benefit). Normally, this service costs $79 per year, but I signed up for a free membership in Amazon Mom a month ago, which gives me three months of free Amazon Prime service, perfect for shipping my holiday purchases!
I highly recommend that you grab a post it note or a p-touch labeler and post these tips and sites on your computer monitor so that you won't forget to use them when shopping online….. otherwise you are just “leaving money on the table”!