I am not ashamed to admit that I am somewhat frugal and love getting the best deal possible. I love to shop, which doesn’t really work well with goals of frugality, so I try my best to get what I want for the cheapest price around.
My top 4 steps to saving money on almost anything you want to purchase are below.
1. Use the internet – This is the natural first step to savings. Comparison shopping online is easy, fast, and extremely helpful, saving you gas money, time, leg work as well as cash. Sites like google shopping and shopping.com aggregate several stores so if you know exactly what you’re looking for you can find the best deal on the web.
2. Use invisible hand – If you run firefox web browser you are in luck. There is a wonderful free add-on that will let you know if the item you are viewing on your screen is offered for less (or more) on other websites. It’s an unobtrusive skinny yellow bar that will slowly slide down from your toolbar showing you your cheaper options. I was grateful for this, as I hate “pop ups” and automatically click close on them. Invisible hand has saved me tons!
3. Rebate Sites – Two of my favorite websites are ebates.com and mrrebates.com. (I told you about them HERE) These sites give you cash back when you shop online clicking through their website to your choice of store. They will often have “double rebate” days where you can save even more. I’ve received rebates of up to 20% at some stores for simply clicking through their site. Be sure to check both sites, though. For certain stores, either ebates or mr rebates will offer a bigger cash back amount. You receive quarterly checks with your rebate money. (I love that ebates calls it a “Big Fat Check”)
4. Coupon Sites – This list would not be complete without mentioning the coupon sites. These websites provide promotional and coupon codes to enter into your shopping cart while shopping on the web. These often note expiration dates, but I’ve been able to use certain coupons that were posted as expired. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to try! http://www.retailmenot.com/ is a favorite of mine, but other great sites include http://www.fatwallet.com/, http://www.couponcabin.com/. A quick Google search for coupon codes will garner tons of other similar sites.
So to recap, first we go online and comparison shop at google or shopping.com. Then we find what we want and bring it up on the screen. Once it’s on your screen invisible hand will let you know if it’s cheaper elsewhere. Once you know where you’ll be shopping, you check ebates/mr rebates for which gives you the best percentage of cash back. Click on the store you wish to purchase from and put your item in your cart. Head over to http://www.retailmenot.com/ to get additional money off, or http://www.freeshipping.com/ to avoid shipping charges.
Honestly, writing that last paragraph took more effort than actually taking the steps. It’s an easy way to save tons on every purchase you make!
Do you know of other rebate sites, coupon sites or other sites to save when shopping? Do tell!