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Shopping online is something I think we can all agree we do (or have done). As convenient as it can be, it can also help you to save money compared to some in-store prices.
I personally love shopping online. Besides shopping on Amazon, I often find myself shopping at Kohls, Kmart, or some other large retailer around the holidays because it helps me to save a ton of money on Christmas.
Stacking coupons discounts, and deals online are just as much fun (if not more) than extreme couponing in person. The big bonus is that you don’t have to deal with crowds, getting dressed and everything is conveniently shipped to you (or the store for free pickup).
There are a lot of different ways to save money online, but knowing how to properly use coupons online is key to big savings. Keep reading to see how to use coupons online.
A Few Tips for Stacking Online Savings
If you’re already a savvy shopper then you know about Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and how it’s pretty much the best way you can possibly save money online shopping right? Well, this is true, and with the downloadable toolbar for Chrome, it’s even easier to use than ever because it helps you to search for coupons and apply discounts on your behalf!
Note: If you sign up with this link you get a free $10 with your first purchase.
Similar to Rakuten (but not really) is another FREE service designed to put money back in your wallet after you’ve already given it to a store or business. Paribus by Capital One (yes the credit card people) links to your email account and searches for your shopping receipts. If after you’ve purchased an item, it goes on sale- then it contacts the store on your behalf and gets you the difference (minus a small percent- this is how they stay in business!)
A lot of store policies have a price match or money back guarantee, even Amazon had it for a while and Walmarts store policy once stating that if you could find the item cheaper at a third party seller, they’d refund the difference. (Neither of those policies lasted long because of people abusing the system).
So while you might get a few dollars back from shopping online at stores like Kohls or Macy’s, you won’t get money back from Amazon. That being said, if you have a delivery arrive so much as a day late, Paribus will email you asking if you want to complain to Amazon.
If you select yes, Amazon gets sent a letter on your behalf (by Paribus) and 9 out of 10 times I get a free month of Amazon Prime membership, the other 1/10 is some sort of store credit for the inconvenience.
Signing Up for Store Rewards
You can sign up to be apart of your favorite online store’s rewards programs and get emailed exclusive coupons, sales events and more. It’s one of the easiest ways to save money online shopping, but I do recommend making an exclusive free email account to contain all of the promotional emails you’ll receive.
I signed up for my favorite online clothing thrift store and get emailed discount codes up to 75% off about once a month. I look forward to the bigger holidays because that’s when I can score the best shopping deals.
Stacking Online Money Saving Deals
First shop through a store portal (like Rakuten) or simply log on to the store you want to save money at and make sure that you’re logged in to the Rakuten toolbar.
Second, load your shopping cart. Shop around the store and add everything you planned on buying.
Third, apply discount codes. With the Rakuten toolbar, all you have to do is click a button. As you enter your cart, it will pop up on the screen saying that it looks like you’re about to checkout and if you would like it to add coupons for you. select yes and watch what it can do.
You can still use codes listed on their website, found in your email, found in a mailer or even codes you searched for online by typing “store name promo codes” into the Google search bar. Rakuten mostly uses the emails listed on the website, so if you find codes elsewhere it doesn’t hurt to try them.
Fourth, use a store rewards card if possible.
Kohls and Victoria Secret both have incredible deals to save money when shopping online with their credits while other stores like Target have a debit card to give you good deals without the debt.
Fifth, Check out and officially pay.
Sixth, wait for your money back.
If you shopped through Rakuten you’ll see your money arrive back to you in a few months (slow, I know) but if Paribus catches a price difference, you’ll get that money refunded back pretty quickly.
So now you saved money before you shopped, while you shopped, and (possibly) after you shopped and can feel confident that you got the best price deal for your money.
Welcome to virtual couponing and saving money while shopping online
An important thing to remember about online deal shopping is to avoid buying things that you don’t need. While there may be the need to spend an extra $5 to get free shipping or to qualify for a coupon discount with a threshold limit, there’s a big difference between adding a filler item to your cart and purchasing a $50 set of throw pillows that will never be used.
The goal of using coupons to save money isn’t just hunting for deals, but finding out when it’s actually a good deal and jumping in when you can.
Spending $50 on something you won’t use and saving $100 is actually just wasting $50. You should have an actual plan for your purchase so you aren’t buying excess junk and wasting money. Try to keep a minimalist attitude with your money.
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