The holidays are coming up! For many of us, that means it's time to shop and get everyone the perfect gifts. With the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing restrictions, this year, shopping online is the way to go! Don't worry; you can still save money! In fact, shopping online provides many unique opportunities to ensure you are getting the best possible price. Read on to learn about seven different ways you can squeeze every penny out of your online shopping experience.
7. Use Coupon-Finding Browser Extensions
Coupons exist online in the form of promo codes that you can use at checkout. Sites often have dozens of active discount codes, but it can take some digging to find them. Many discount codes can be found if you search around online, but these code-collecting websites are not always up-to-date. It can be frustrating when you have to spend time testing your luck with a lot of expired codes.
The solution? Browser extensions like Honey find all of the relevant coupon codes for you and apply them with just a click of the mouse. It will attempt a collection of codes and automatically apply the best discount. To install Honey (for free), make an account on their website (https://www.joinhoney.com/), and download the browser extension.
6. Sign Up for Store Emails
Most online retailers will encourage you to sign up for their emails when you visit their websites. When you sign up for a store's email list, you automatically become among the first to receive all of the information the store has to share. This includes upcoming deals, which items are on clearance, and any fantastic sales they might be having. Many places will also send out exclusive coupons to members of their email list. To sign up for a company's email list, create an account on their website. This account will also help you make purchases, save your receipts, track shipments, and save payment information. When you create your account, search for the "check this box to receive emails" and click on it. You'll be receiving updates about money-saving opportunities in no time!
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5. Don't Only Rely on Coupons! Cashback is Great Too!
Cashback is an excellent reward for shopping! After all, who doesn't love earning money doing something so simple? Apps such as Rakuten and Ibotta let your earn cashback on purchases. Setting it up is similar to setting up Honey. Go to the website, create an account (for free), and add the extension to your browser. Now, you can start collecting cash back! Click on the browser extension to ensure it is active, and it will track your purchases. Then, you'll receive a check in the mail (some sites offer alternative ways to redeem your cash) for the amount you've earned.
4. Automate Your Price Comparisons
Different retailers often have different prices for the same items, but there can be hundreds of sites to go through to find the best one. As a result, we often end up going with the easy option; buy the first thing we see. Luckily for us, there is a browser add-on that can do this for us as well. It's called Price Blink! Once you find what you're looking for, click on the extension and let it search hundreds of sites for the best price!
Installing Price Blink is similar to installing the other extensions. Simply go to their website, create your account (like the others, this is free), and download the extension!
3. Participate in Rewards Programs
It's no secret that businesses want you to come back and purchase again. Many will even reward you for doing so! A loyalty or rewards program differs from an email list, which sends everyone information regardless of past purchases. With a rewards program, you'll be entitled to "members only" deals (which are often even better than the ones you find in your email). Along with that, when you shop, you'll often earn points or credits to spend at the store. Generally, businesses will ask you to sign up right before you make your purchase. In most cases, it is free.
2. Store Sales
This list cannot be complete without mentioning good, old-fashioned store discounts. Certain stores will have different items on sale, depending on the week or even the day. You can often find massive deals at certain times of the year (like Black Friday or post-Christmas). Plenty of stores have discounts for students and seniors. Check your email and watch their websites closely. Your best bet is often for you to wait just a little bit because the item you're looking for could jump on sale at any moment.
1. Discounted Gift Cards
Discounted gift cards are great to use to purchase items or even just give as gifts themselves. What are they? Exactly what they sound like! You can get a gift card at a discount, meaning you end up paying less than the gift card is worth. For example, if a gift card is worth $50, you can get it for a lower price ($45, for example) on gift card sites. Then, you can use it as usual ($50 value) for your purchases! Or you can gift it to someone! You can even choose to purchase electronic or "e-gift cards", which you can redeem right away without having to wait for it to arrive in the mail. Several sites sell cards like this, including Raise, CardCookie, and GiftCards.com.
The holiday season is going to change this year. Shopping online is different than in-person shopping, but there are many benefits to it! Saving money is easier online once you find all of the cool websites, browser extensions, and add-ons that help you do so! Thousands of coupon codes can be searched, the best price can be found, and you can get cashback, all with the click of a button and just a few seconds of your time! Happy shopping!
Let us know in the comments below - how do you find the best price?