Love shopping online? So do most of us. It’s the easiest, most convenient way to get things we need and, well, sort of need too.
But because it’s so easy and convenient, most of us are prone to doing a little too much shopping on the internet.
That’s why a few coupons and shopping tips can go a long way. We can save money so we stick to our budget and keep shopping.
Whether you’re solely interested in how to save money shopping online for a specific item, or just want to know some simple tricks to keep in mind next time you peruse Amazon, you’re in luck.
Here are 10 shopping tips you can use to save money.
1. Clear Your Browsing History
Suffice it to say, that’s a sneaky—if not frustrating—tactic. But the fix is easy. Simply click on the history tab of your browser and clear your history.
Depending on which browser you use (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.), the steps will be different. Simply Google it and you’ll find out how to clear your searches.
2. Use Coupons
Twenty years ago, we spent hours each week clipping coupons out of magazines and newspapers to save money at local shops and grocery stores. Nowadays, coupons are just as popular, but they’re all digital.
And unless you’ve got the right app or a link to your favorite website’s coupons (like these Amazon coupons), you might be spending extra money.
Check out apps like Honey and Ibotta for today’s hottest deals. You can even set alerts, so if something you’re thinking about buying goes on sale, you’re the first to hear about it.
Ibotta offers up to 10% cashback on some purchases, which brings us to our next tip…
3. Get Cash Back
Online portals like Rakuten (formerly Ebates) give you cashback for making purchases online and even in stores. You might only get a few dollars or a few cents depending on what you’re buying, but you can apply that money towards future purchases.
Shop around for other apps or see if the company you’re purchasing from (Amazon, Walmart, etc.) offers cashback rewards if you’re a member.
4. Create Money-Saver Emails
Let’s be honest: we all love coupons, but we hate getting 200 emails a week telling us about the latest deals.
One simple way to get the best of both worlds is to create a few “dummy” accounts; that way, you can opt into any money-saving deal you find, and not have to deal with the daily email alerts.
And in some cases, you may be able to apply multiple coupons to one purchase, so you save twice as much.
5. Set up Google Alerts
Many people think of Google Alerts simply as a way to see if anyone’s Googling your name. But you can also set up Google alerts to alert you of certain deals or sales for specific items.
This can come especially in handy if you’re in the market for a large item, like a new car or set of golf clubs. Chances are, multiple stores will have a sale at the same time, and you can pick from the top of the heap.
6. Join Loyalty Programs
If you’re a hardcore fan of how one company goes about their business (read: you buy a lot of stuff from the same website), take a look at their loyalty programs.
Many businesses help their loyal customers save even more money, and all you need to do is opt-in with an email (use one of your dummy accounts) or pay a small yearly fee.
7. Sign up for Store Credit Cards
We’ve all been at a store like Best Buy and had the cashier ask if we wanted to sign up for the store’s credit card. No, we think.
Then he or she tells us how much it’ll save us, and we think twice.
Many companies (especially retail) offer huge savings if you sign up for and use a store-specific credit card. For example, Kohl’s is highly motivated to give sales to keep up with other competing online distributors.
This means savings for you!
8. Leave Items in Your Cart
Hate to break it to you, but online stores are designed with one thing in mind: to get you to hit “pay.” Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the checkout process and sales pages before you click that button to ensure people don’t quit buying in the middle of a purchase.
This in mind, you can leverage it against companies. Simply leave the items you’re about to buy in your cart for a day or two. Don’t be surprised if you get an email saying they’re offering a 10 or 15% discount on your total order if you return to your cart.
Maybe patience is a virtue after all.
9. Buy Seasonal
This one works online or off, but the more you make buying things out of season a habit, the more money you’ll save.
Next year’s Halloween costumes? Buy them a little too big on November 2. You’ll likely pay a third of the price you would have a week ago, and now you’re all set for next year’s holiday.
10. Forego 2-Day Shipping
We all love how quickly Amazon delivers packages, but if you’re willing to wait an extra day, they’ll actually pay you $1. This used to only work with Prime Pantry but applies to everything now.
Shopping Tips to Save Money
The best ways to save money online range greatly.
From creating dummy emails to being seasonal with your purchases, a little thinking and planning can go a long way and help you stretch your budget (or just further enable your online shopping behavior—either way).
For more online shopping tips, take a look at our other blog posts. Happy saving!