Online shopping is a popular guilty pleasure and has become increasingly more mainstream over the years, so why not save a little money for your next purchase while you’re at it? Between cashback sites, online coupons, or just some sneaky tricks to score extra savings, the possibilities are endless for ways that you can save big on your next shopping haul.
Pro-Tip #1: Sign up for Groupon
My mom has been an avid Groupon user for years, and when I became a college student in charge of paying for my own entertainment and restaurant outings, I also decided to give the popular coupon app a try. From discounts at some of our favorite local restaurants to BOGO coupons at our local bowling lane, my mom always found ways to save on activities for our family to do together. In fact, my family and I use Groupons so often that they have become a perfect stocking stuffer every Christmas.
You can use Groupon for nearly anything, from hair treatments to restaurants to discounts on popular attractions. Each coupon is for new customers to a specific venue, so the site is great if you’re looking for something new to do in town. You can also adjust the location you want to focus on, so you can also save money on attractions when you’re traveling.
Pro-Tip #2: Check out Ebates
Another popular site to conserve some of your cash is Ebates, which gives you cash back for online purchases from thousands of different retailers. While most stores offer an average cash back amount of 2-4 percent, some stores can get you as much as 25 percent cash back on your purchases! You can redeem your cash back for a check as soon as you earn $5.01 in cash back value, or you can continue to save and redeem your rewards down the road. The best part? Signing up is both cost and commitment free, and you’ll also get notified of special deals, like double cash back days. Why not treat yourself to the item you’ve been eyeing up online? After all, you’re almost making money by buying it.
Pro-Tip #3 Leave items in your cart
A little-known secret: Instead of checking out, place an item in your shopping cart and leave the site, for some retailers will actually give you a discount if you leave an item in your virtual cart for an extended period of time. After a day or two of storing the item in your cart, you might receive an email alert from the retailer, “reminding” you of your “carted” selection, and possibly providing you with a discount incentive to purchase the item. Even if some retailers won’t give you a discount automatically, places like Amazon will alert you when an item you already have in your cart goes on sale. Maybe second-guessing pays off after all!
Pro-Tip #4: Sign up for email newsletters and subscriptions
While having emails from online stores can crowd up your inbox, the pesky subscription emails can sometimes save you money! Many online retailers will offer you a discount when you agree to join their mailing list, and once you’re a member, you can keep receiving additional discounts as well. What’s more, some retailers will offer secret sales or early access to new products for their members.
Pro-Tip #5: Acquire Store Credit Cards
While my mom always warned me about the danger of having too many credit cards, having some credit cards for your favorite stores can pay off! I know, I know– the interest rates of most store credit cards are astronomical, yet those rates are not a problem if you pay off the balance each month. Many stores, especially large chains, offer credit cards that give cardholders extra discounts, reward points, or other perks like free shipping. For example, with the Target RedCard, you get 5 percent cash back on every purchase and free shipping (with no minimum). For stores like TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls (all owned and operated under the same company), your store discounts will apply at all of the partner stores, so you can save more no matter what you need.
Oftentimes, online shopping sprees are something we’re made to feel guilty about. But why feel guilty about saving money? Besides, we all need a little retail therapy every once and awhile. Need some help signing up for Groupon or Ebates? Ask a Pup! We’re happy to help!
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