5 Tools for Saving Money Online This Christmas

By ERIN TURNER

All week I’ve had people asking me for tips on saving money while Christmas shopping.  Most of their questions have been related to online shopping so I thought I would focus on five of the tools and resources I depend upon to save money this Christmas season when I shop online.

#1: Retailmenot.com or Hellocoin.com

I have used Retailmenot.com for awhile and it is always my first stop when I am purchasing anything online.  Type in the store you are considering purchasing an item from and this website will show you any coupon codes, discounts or specific sales which apply.  Simply copy the coupon code and paste it in the Promotion Code Box when you check out.  I usually find a code for about 75-80% of what I’m shopping for.

I have not personally used Hellocoin.com but I have read good reviews by other trusted frugal bloggers.  Looking at the website, it looks very similar to Retailmenot.com so probably works the same way.

photo 1

These coupon sites are invaluable to anyone who wants to save money online.  Once you start using it, it just seems like a no-brainer to always check for a coupon code.

#2: Swagbucks or Ebates

These two sites are rebate websites.  You sign up with them and then shop through their website to earn rebates on your purchases.  I have to admit I have not been a dedicated user of these sites but in order to maximize every penny this Christmas season, I have been faithful about logging into my Swagbucks  and Ebates accounts and searching the web and shopping through their sites.  The other day I earned 6 swagbucks for every dollar spent at Amazon.com.  Once you have earned a certain amount of swagbucks then you can use them to “purchase” gift cards from various retailers.  I now have over $15 in Swagbucks racked up and will be handing those over to Santa to use for the boys’ wish lists!

#3: Google search for a coupon for the specific item you’re purchasing/Looking for coupon on website or item’s Facebook page.

If you can’t seem to find a discount any of the above sites, then I always recommend people go directly to the store or company where they want to purchase an item.  Search their site for tabs that say, “Coupons or Promotions”.  Another little tip is to check out the company’s Facebook page for a coupon or promotion.  This time of year you should be able to find a coupon somewhere on the web for anything!

Don’t forget to do a Google search for coupon codes too.  A lot of times bloggers will get a special coupon code for items they promote on their blogs.  These are only available through their blog sites, so a Google search will help find those coupon codes.  Type into the search bar something like this: ‘coupon codes for Legos’ (or what ever you’re looking for).

photo 2#4: Free shippingcodes

One of the biggest drawbacks to shopping online is having to pay for shipping.  I listened to a woman the other day tell me about finding a $6.50 book for her granddaughter online but was going to have to pay $9 in shipping.  Obviously she didn’t order it.  From now until the end of the Christmas season, you should be able to find free shipping or a minimal flat rate shipping fee all over the web.  Search the above sites for free shipping codes or look directly on the websites for those codes.  Don’t settle for outrageous shipping costs this season!

#5: Using credit card rewards

I am usually an advocate of using only cash but obviously if you shop online that is not possible.  So, use a credit card that will pay you to use it.  This holiday season I am using an Amazon card which earns me discounts on that site.  It is so nice to hit the check out button and watch my total decrease because of the rewards I’ve earned on my card.  Almost every retailer out there has a credit card available.  Apply for one which earns you the best rewards at places you shop frequently.  But remember…do NOT abuse this card.  Use it only for online purchases and pay it off every month.

Okay, I’m going to throw in a bonus tip for you this week!  Check out daily deal websites.  I am signed up for daily deals through the Amazon website and this week they offered high-end stainless steel water bottles which you could personalize.  They retail for $19 each NOT including shipping but through this daily deal I could get them for $11 each WITH free shipping!  Guess what the kids on our lists are getting?

This next week will be filled with lots of Christmas shopping for everyone so I hope some of these tips will help you navigate the world of online savings while maximizing the money you’ve budgeted for Christmas gifts!

 

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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