One of the top resolutions for the New Year is to spend less and save more. We’re doing more and more of our spending online – shopping for everything from diapers to groceries to new workout gear, including booking and paying sitters! Here are 5 tips for saving money when shopping online.
5 Tips for Saving Money When Shopping Online
1. Use Coupons
Did you know you’re more than likely to find a coupon or promo code by spending a few minutes searching online before checking out at your favorite sites? According to eMarketer.com, more than half of online shoppers redeemed a coupon code and more are expected to use them in 2014. If that’s old news to you and you can’t remember the last time you purchased online without a code, how about this tip – many sites will allow you to “stack coupons,” which means you can use more than one coupon code per purchase. The trick, according to savvy cyber shoppers, is to enter them in the right order. A percentage off coupon goes first, followed by dollar amount codes. Not all retailers permit this, but many do and many more are getting onboard.
2. Don’t Pay for Shipping
Make a commitment to never pay shipping fees. Many online retailers will offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount. In that case, wait to buy until you need (or can afford) enough to hit the target. If that’ s not an option (you needed it yesterday or can’t find it locally) search for free shipping coupon codes. Also, there’s always Amazon Prime!
3. Register with Favorite Sites
Many stores will give you a discount just for registering with their site. Unfortunately, you often have to wait a day or two before you receive their email with promo code. Plan ahead.
4. Don’t Forget to Use Your Gift Cards
Money Watch claims that more than 20 percent of gift cards are never used. Make sure that those you may have received as gifts this year don’t go MIA in the bottom of the junk drawer. Beware that many cards, usually the kind that are redeemable at multiple retailers, charge purchase fees and/or charge either “dormancy” or “maintenance” fees after the first year. Yikes! If you’re not sure how to spend the cards you have – perhaps they aren’t for the store of your choice – consider using one of the many services out there that buy and resell gift cards, such as CardPool. They allow you to get cash back for your gift card and you can to buy others’ gift cards at a discounted price.
5. Shop for Babysitters By Rate
UrbanSitter offers a nifty feature that allows you to search for a sitter who is not only close-by or a favorite of a friend, but who also charges a rate that matches your budget. Rather than booking a sitter offline and waiting until the often awkward moment at the end of the job when you ask how much you owe her, avoid surprises and book her, and even pay her online.