how to save money shopping online

how to save money shopping onlineI don’t know about you, but my belly is full of all of the turkey and potatoes and stuffing and desserts I shoved in my face yesterday. I don’t think I can eat for a week.

I’m full and I want to burrow into a nice cocoon—not maneuver though stores filled with lunatics who will claw my eyes out if it means they can grab the last Rainbow Loom before I do. No thank you.

Instead, I’ll sit back, relax in the noisiness of my own home (or my in-laws’ home if you want to get specific), and plot my moves for Cyber Monday. That’s when I do most of my holiday shopping. And because I love you so much, I thought I’d write you a nice little post on how I save money shopping online, at home, in my pajamas, with only my own crazies clawing at me.

How to save money shopping online: ebates

Online shopping tip #1: Ebates.

I don’t care what time of year it is, before you do any shopping online you need to go to Ebates. Why? Well, my dear friend, Ebates gives you cash back simply for shopping through their site.

The number one excuse I hear people spout out for not using Ebates is that they don’t have the time. That is crazy business! After you sign up for your account, the only “extra step” you take to save money is going to instead of say From Ebates, you type in the site you want to shop from (you can even make a list of your favorite stores) and it redirects you to that site with a tracking code. Then you just shop. They do the work for you. It’s no more work than it would be to Google the name of a store and go to the site via the Google results page. And you save money! You are straight up crazy if you don’t consider it.

How to save money shopping online: Honey

Online shopping tip #2: Honey.

I never, ever, ever make a purchase online without doing a search for a coupon code. While it saves me money sometimes, it can be a bit time consuming—which is a total downer when you come up with nothing.

Enter Honey, an app that you can add onto Chrome. With one little click at check out time, Honey searches through promo codes and finds you the best deals available. It is amazing. It doesn’t work for all stores but it works for a nice chunk of the ones that I frequent (which saves me a nice chunk of time).

How to save money shopping online: flash sale sites

Online shopping tip #3: Flash sale sites

Another one of my favorite online shopping tricks is to keep my eye on flash sale sites. Sometimes that can also feel like a full-time job but you can really score big. They basically offer you discounted prices on popular brands for a limited amount of time.

Some of my favorites are:
Zulily for kids stuff.
Fab for fun, quirky pieces.
Groupon (which is not exactly a flash sale site but works similarly) for experiences (ie restaurants, theater, spa packages).
One Kings Lane for home goods.

While I love my flash sale sites, there are a couple of things to keep in mind before making a purchase on one. First is the cost of shipping. If I’m scoring a major deal on a gift for one of my ladies I can get so wrapped up in excitement that I forget to check shipping costs—which can sometimes be more than the cost of the item itself. In those cases, it’s absolutely not worth it.

Instead, what you should do before confirming your purchase is checking in with tip #4…

How to save money shopping online: google shopping search

Online shopping tip #4: Google shopping search, sorted by price from low to high.

A little price comparison shopping can end up saving you big time. My favorite way to do it is through the Google shopping search. I type in what I’m looking for, sort it by price and start poking around. Again, it’s important to keep shipping prices in mind.

Half the time you end up with a hand-forehead moment when you see something is much cheaper on another site that you didn’t even consider. These are my favorite times to feel stupid.

Online shopping tip #5: Make your list and check it twice.

This might sound silly, but another major money saver (especially when deals are rampant like they are this weekend) is to have an idea of what you want and need to buy and stick to your guns. It’s way too easy to get wrapped up in deals that look amazing, but you have to remember that it’s way less amazing if it’s a steal on crap you don’t need.

Having a list together ensures that you stay focused and don’t get distracted by all the madness retailers are trying to throw in your face and overwhelm you with right now.

Do you have any online shopping tips to share that I missed here? Please share them!

Please note: this post contains some affiliate links. In case that’s Martian to you, it basically means that if you click on one of those links and make a purchase I may make a small commission.

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.