I’ve always been a deal-seeker. I buy a lot of things from the online classifieds, I love yard sales (when I have the time), and promo codes are my best friends!
I hate paying full price for anything.
I’ve had several people ask how I save money online, so I thought I would do a quick post on some of my favorite ways. Please feel free to contribute your own ideas as well!
*I recommend signing up for these programs, but I do not recommend that you participate in all of these programs all at once. I LOVE saving money, but even I do not actively participate in all of them at the same time because that would drive me insane and I just don’t have the time. Have fun, and let me know if I missed something! *Pin this post as I will update it every so often with new ones*
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How I Save Money Online
This site has become much more well-known in the last few years, but if you haven’t heard of it before, my number one site for finding promo codes is Retailmenot.com. I never buy anything online without going here first to see if there is a current promo code. I don’t like to do a google search for promo codes just because there are too many harmful sites out there that do bad things to your computer, but this is a site I have been using for years! And the best part? There is also an app! I have this on my iPhone so that I can use “in store” coupons as well. You’d be surprised how many stores have coupons! Just in the last month or two I have used this app to get a discount at Old Navy, Gordmans, and Hobby Lobby! I’ve never been very good at carrying around coupons, so I’m glad that most stores are starting to accept them from my phone!
I also like to use Google Shopping to look up particular items to see what they are currently selling for at different stores so that I can find the best price.
The Second thing I do before I purchase anything online, is login to my Ebates account. If you don’t have an Ebates account, sign up now before you forget about this one! They give you cash back for online purchases. All you have to do is click over to whatever site you are shopping at, and you earn money! I want to kick myself every time I make a purchase and forget to do it through my ebates account because it really does add up. I got $10 when we purchased a crib for the nursery online (Walmart) and it was something I had to buy anyway. Jingit is another that pays you to shop. You can also make money watching ads, etc. if you are a fan of earning money that way (I’m not). However, They have an app for your phone, so if you are standing in a long line doing nothing, you might as well get paid to watch some ads. I like to play some ads silently in the background while I’m nursing (hey! An extra buck while you nurse adds up fast! They also pay you to scan products while you are in a store, as well as taking surveys or using coupons.
Freecycle. My friend just introduced me to this one. It’s all run by volunteers dedicated to reusing items and keeping them out of landfills. Get stuff for free (or list stuff for free) in your community.
Dicount Sites. discount sites such as Groupon or Living Social or great for getting good deals on restaurants, activities and sometimes vacations. My husband and I scored a great deal for paragliding from Living Social. I don’t think we ever would have thought we could afford the activity if I didn’t see it pop up on as a deal on Living Social. I like that these sites now have apps so that I can just look up the deals on my phone rather than my email account getting cluttered with all of the offers.
Online Classifieds. I love to buy and sell from the classifieds! When we had our first kid I bought all of her clothes from the classifieds. Almost everything I bought was between 50 cents and a dollar, brand name, and excellent condition (or new). I also have bought the majority of our toys from the classifieds. Make sure and barter for a lower price, most people will give you a discount if you ask. I also like to sell stuff on the classifieds. I once bought a sewing machine at a yard sale for $5, and then sold it online for $400. I will do a separate post on how to sell online successfully, but BE SAFE. Don’t give out your address and meet somewhere public. I bought a brand new couch I had been drooling over, all from money that I made selling personal belongings online. I like using KSL, but if you live somewhere else Craigslist works too.
Swagbucks. My sister introduced me to this one. This is another site that pays you to shop, but there are tons of other ways to earn points as well. I always trade my points for Amazon gift cards. I don’t do much in the way of surveys or offers, but an easy way to earn points is through their search bar. If all you do is use their search engine instead of google, you will earn enough for gift cards.
Solid Financial Planning. With technology advances, there’s no reason not to keep good track of the money that you DO spend, so that you can be wise with all of your online purchases. Quicken has some awesome programs and you can sync your data between all devices.
Save Money Grocery Shopping
Saving Star. This is awesome for moms that use coupons anyway. Select the coupons you want to use, and every time you save $5 you get paid. For instance, I connected my Smiths Card with my account, so that I get paid for loading coupons onto my fresh values card (which is something I do anyway). There is an app for this one as well.
Ibotta. This is another great one for grocery shopping. Download the app on your phone and then click on the offers you are interested in. Then purchase those items when you go to the grocery store. Take a pic of your receipt, and then your account gets credited! Awesome way to save even more money in conjunction with coupons and store sales. I personally hate coupons (unless they are digital) and refuse to use them, but this is something I don’t mind using!
These next two aren’t deal sites per se, but they are two of my favorite sites to shop from and I save money shopping from them!
Vitacost. This is where I buy a lot of things health-related. If you like to buy natural or organic or you just want some good vitamins, this might be a site worth checking out. Plus, if you have never made a purchase from them before, You can get $10 off by clicking through this link.
Amazon Prime. I could write a whole post on why I love Amazon Prime, it is a mother’s best friend. My sister and I are obsessed. There are so many times that I run out of something, and instead of having to run to the store I just order it on Amazon and it arrives two days later. I especially love Amazon at Christmas time because they do all sorts of deals on kid’s toys and the shipping is always free! Just the free shipping is worth the membership, but you also get free streaming of movies (which is great for us since we don’t have T.V. at our house), and use of the kindle library. The best part about Amazon Prime is you can share the free shipping benefits with 3 or 4 (I can’t remember) other people. So I pay my sister $20 to share her account with me and I get free shipping for a year. If you’re not sure how much you’ll use it, try the 30 trial. I hope Amazon never changes how they do their Prime program because it saves me SO MANY trips to the store!
What are your favorite ways to save money online?