As you probably already know, our family loves to shop online and we love to save money. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know most of the benefits of shopping online already, but humor me for a bit because I may teach you a thing or two about simplifying your online shopping experience and save you some money along the way.
When I say “simplifying” I really mean saving money online by using a few specific tools rather than browsing around for hours trying to find a good deal. This is NOT a sponsored post and the only tools I’m sharing are ones we use ourselves. So…if you see something in the following paragraphs, know we actually use it ourselves and believe in it.
Warning: if you are shopping (whether in a store or online), please stick to your budget and don’t buy 14,000 of something when you need one, just because you found a good deal on it. Otherwise you’ll break your budget and end up with a bunch of junk around your house. Understood? Okay, let’s dive in.
Let’s start off with the most recent tool I’ve found and fallen in love with: Honey. In its most basic form, Honey is a browser extension that automatically searches for coupon codes whenever you’re checking out at most of the major online stores. Basically, once you install Honey, you hit a little button and Honey looks for any discounts to apply for you. Simple and awesome.
There are only two downsides I’ve found: 1) It only works on your computer for now (sorry, not yet on mobile) and 2) it doesn’t work on every browser (it works on Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera at the time of this writing). You don’t have to register or any of that jazz, so it is a win-win in my opinion. To learn more, visit http://www.joinhoney.com.
Retailmenot is one of those websites you should continuously think of whenever you’re shopping online. Why? Because all the site (they also have a mobile app) does is compile promo codes, coupons, and discounts for various online shopping sites. Let’s say you’re shopping at target.com. You can go to http://www.retailmenot.com, type in TARGET in the search bar and see all the current coupons, promos, etc. going on for their website. A lot of them won’t apply and you’ll sometimes end up with a code that doesn’t work, but for the 30 seconds invested, you can often save some money and it makes it totally worth it.
There are lots of other sites like Retailmenot: Slickdeals.com, CouponCodes.com, etc. but it seems they aren’t as accurate or up to date as Retailmenot. No matter what site you’re using to grab a coupon code – the key is to always look for a coupon code before you check out at the online store at which you’re shopping.
We are big fans of both Amazon Prime and Amazon Subscribe and Save and Stacy has written about both in the past. These are slightly different than coupon codes in that you pay a fee up front for full-year discounts or agree to a “subscription” to receive a discount. I won’t go into a lot of details on these but I will recommend you check out the posts Stacy has written about them and consider if you shop at Amazon enough to make these benefit you. For us, they save us lots of money and let us receive our packs of toilet paper without ever leaving home. #awesome
One last place I often look before buying something is eBay. eBay started out as an auction site, but it has become an online marketplace similar to Amazon only with fulfillment handled by individual sellers instead of centralized warehouses. A lot of things are cheaper on eBay than anywhere else, but a lot of things are more expensive. So…normally if I’m looking for something that’s basically a commodity product (a charging cord, for example), I’ll check Amazon and eBay to see which is cheaper (including shipping). Just a thought…
Our world is filled with awesome technology that has made it possible to quickly and easily buy something from someone anywhere in the world, pay for it, and have it at your doorstep within a few days. This technology has also made it possible to quickly and easily shop around. If you install Honey or check Retailmenot, or hit up Amazon or eBay, you’ll often find you can save a ton of money on just about anything you might want to buy.
Your turn: what tools do you use to save money when shopping online?