This post may affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to address your curiosity.
Online shopping. One of the modern marvels of the 21st century. It checks all the boxes. It’s convenient. Check! It provides instant gratification. Check! It’s an easy way to find those elusive beanie babies. Check! (I may be dating myself to the 20th century with that one.) Online shopping is an excellent way of saving cents too.
Grab a cup of coffee, put on your comfy pants, and let’s peruse some of the easiest ways to save money when shopping online.
The Value of Research
An easy way to save money is to dive into the world of online research. This may take some time away from your Netflix bingeing but it’s worth it! Search for which retailers have your desired item and price shop. Also, look at the reviews or what has been rated well from other online sources. Be sure to do a quick search of coupon codes before you finalize your purchase too. I haven’t had a ton of success with coupon codes but it does work occasionally.
Quality Over Quantity
I am a big supporter of buying quality over quantity. I prefer to buy something once, pay more up front, and then have the item for a long time, like the-span-of-my-life long. Buying something cheap and having to replace it yearly is definitely not my jam. Usually companies that make quality items support the environment and have ethical labor practices, which is great because I am all about that – just take my money why don’t you?! I am not alone in this sentiment; there is even a website called BuyMeOnce which is a guideline that I use for buying quality items.
The Persuasive Power of Patience
Believe it or not, patience is a big saver of your cents. It also kinda defeats the whole instant gratification thing, which is a blow to my ego. But all the cents I save is worth it! Once you researched your item and found perfection in all its shiny glory, watch it for a while. I am referring to saving it to your cart and checking on it a few times a month. Sometimes walking away from an item will make you question purchasing it in the first place.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.Aristotle
This is great because it gives you time to decide if you really want the item. If you end up not purchasing it, you save money which is still a win. However if your desire is still holding strong, waiting for a better price will pay dividends. Ideally Black Friday is great for deep discounts but not all things can wait until November. When the item does dip significantly in price, I jump on it like someone said free money, which is basically what we’re talking about.
I had my eye on a $400 Patagonia 3-in-1 jacket. Big money I am not willing to spend, even if it does last longer than the average jacket. So I watched and waited. Then many moons later it went on a 30% discount. Then I used my online savings methods and saved even more. By the end of day, I had paid 65% of the full MSRP value. That’s a $145 dollar win! My husband used to work at a sporting goods store and that’s not too far off from their employee discount!
Rakuten, As in I Have No Rakuten Idea How to Pronounce It
If you’re online shopping, I highly recommend starting at Rakuten. You sign up (of course, there has to be a catch somewhere!) and type the online retailer you are going to shop at. It pulls up the amount of savings anywhere from 1% up to 40%. As long as you use their link from their website, you will get cashback. Typically the more common the online retailer i.e Amazon, Target, Walmart will have smaller savings amount. There are coupon codes too. Once you earn over $5 they will send you a check or you can use PayPal to cash out. How about another tip, use my referral link for your first $10.
Caution: Credit Card Rewards
If you pay off your credit card at the end of every month, then using credit cards for rewards is a great option. If you are still working on this part of your financial journey, don’t fret. You do you. I was awful with credit cards too. I had a hard time paying them off every month, so I used them less until I could build up that reduced-spending muscle. Then I started down the path of finding financial freedom. You can too. But I also recommend skipping the next paragraph.
I use credit cards for all my purchases and as many bills as I can. As I mentioned, I pay my bill in full every month. Why not get rewarded for it too. I love Discover because I get 5% cash back. Full disclosure: they have revolving quarters of themed rewards. This quarter is grocery and pharmacies. Next quarter its gas stations and wholesale clubs. I usually cash in about $200 worth of rewards at the end of the year which I use for Christmas gifts. Here is a $50 referral link to sweeten the deal. Win!
Gift Cards More Like Great Cards
Okay, you are officially a part of the money saving tribe. Congratulations! Did you know that you can buy discount gift cards? It. Is. Amazing. I frequently use CardPool and CardCash, they are definitely not scams and I have yet to be disappointed by their services. My one recommendation is reading the fine print as some gift cards are online only or are a paper copy. Common sense stuff, as long as you read and pay attention. How about an extra $5? CardCash and my referral code can help with that.
Delivering the Cash
That was a lot. You survived! Congrats! In the not too distant future you will have a pile of saved money. How are you going to leverage that savings towards moving your financial future forward and checking off items on your Life List?
If you’re wondering what I do with it, I have a serious money challenge I will be throwing this extra savings at. I am a woman with a plan. What’s your plan?
You got this!