I vaguely remember the days before I had kids when I could shop for hours at a time for fun. Times have sure changed. As a busy mom I want to spend as little time shopping in stores as possible especially with the kids tow. Here are the ways that I save money and time shopping online.
This is pretty obvious, but using coupons when you shop online is one of the best ways to save money. If you do have coupons, make sure you remember to use them before they expire. If you don’t have a coupon. It is definitely worth your time to spend a few minutes searching for a coupon if you don’t have one before you hit the final payment on your online order. There may be times you simply cannot find a coupon for the store you are shopping at, but it sure doesn’t hurt to try. Here’s how to find coupons fast.
Visit the Store Website
Many stores now put their coupon codes on their webpage when you are shopping. Don’t forget to check at the top of their homepage as soon as you start shopping. They may also have pop ups that appear to remind you about their specials while you are shopping. Don’t overlook these!
Get On Email Lists
Email lists are one of the best places to get coupons from your favorite retailers. However, no one wants to have a million emails showing up in their inbox everyday. If you do sign up for a store email list you may run the risk of getting slammed with emails. There are certain retailers who get totally out of control with their emails. In that case, once you get a coupon you wanted, you can always unsubscribe or opt to receive less emails from an email list. If you regularly shop the same stores it is to your advantage to stay on their email list. You will get notified of sales first and receive coupons. Be ruthless with the delete button if the email doesn’t apply to you.
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Another way to find valuable coupons for the stores you love to shop online is by downloading their app. Many stores have awesome apps that will almost always provide you with coupon codes for online purchase. There is almost no reason to shop these kinds of stores without a coupon. I use apps for Kohl’s, Macy’s, Target, Michaels and Joann fabrics the most. If you have a favorite place to shop, make sure to download their app.
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Use Coupon Finder Services
My go to way to find great coupons for the stores I love is to use coupon finder services. These awesome websites or browser extensions have compiled lists of the latest and greatest coupons for all your favorite stores. It takes no time at all to check them to find coupons you can use. You can also install extensions on your web browser to find coupons even faster! Be sure to check out.
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Refresh the Page
If you are shopping at an online store for the first time, you will often be offered a discount code if you sign up for their email list. These usually pop up the first time you go to the page. You can always close your page and re-open it to see if there is an offer like this.
Navigate Away From the Page
Retailers will often try to entice you to stay at their page and shop by offering you coupon codes. Did you ever notice that when you hover near the X to close your browser that you get a popup with a coupon offer from many websites? If you are looking for a coupon code, make the store think you are going to leave their webpage and you might just get one.
Leave Items in Your Cart
Twice in the past two weeks I have gotten busy around the house and forgotten to finish purchasing an item online. In both cases, the retailer notified me via email that I had left an item in my online shopping cart and sent me a coupon code for money off. If you are looking for a coupon sometimes it works to just close out the browser window without finishing the order. Make sure though that you are signed into the website or they have your email address, otherwise they will not be able to send the money saving coupon code!
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Save On Shipping
Get Free Shipping Codes
You can get codes for free shipping the same way you can get coupon codes for money off. Get on store email lists, use store apps, use coupon finder services and check the store’s home page. That is usually the fastest way to get free shipping
Join A Store’s Membership or Rewards Program
Some stores have free rewards programs that will get you free shipping. Some stores have paid membership services. The most obvious example of a membership service where you can get free shipping with paid membership is Amazon prime. However, warehouse clubs and many other stores also offer free shipping.
Get the Store Credit Card
I don’t ever encourage going into debt, but if you are good with managing your credit, store credit cards have many advantages. One of these being free shipping. The Target Red Card gets you free shipping every time you order and 5% off every purchase. Macy’s credit card give you free shipping when you reach a certain Star status. If you regularly shop certain stores, the store credit card rewards can be terrific as long as you manage your credit wisely.
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Wait to Order Until You Have More Items
If you don’t need the items you wish to order right away, consider waiting to buy them. If you often shop at the same store, keep a list of the items you need and once you have enough items to qualify for free shipping go ahead and place your order. I don’t have that kind of patience, so I usually solve it with my next trick, over ordering.
I’ll be honest, I hate to pay for shipping. I do anything I can to avoid it. I don’t mind a little shipping cost, but some store shipping fees are outrageous. Many stores have a minimum order amount to get free shipping so if the items in your cart don’t qualify for free shipping, order an extra item or two. Then when you get the order, return the extra items.
Let me explain how this works. If I am shopping for my kids or my husband and I am not 100% sure on the size, I will order extra in other sizes to get the size just right. Or I will order an extra item I might want and if it doesn’t work out return it. I find having to make a short trip to the store for a return is worth the money I saved with free shipping. I’d rather do that than drag my family to the store to get the items I need. Most of the time (except after Christmas) I find it faster to make a return than take the family shopping.
Choose Store Pickup
Yes, it would be nice to never have to leave the house and run another errand again. However, there will be times when you will have to go out into the world. If you can’t find a way to save your shipping fee, a great option is to choose store pickup. You can get items you want from the store you want without the hassle of searching for it yourself. Many stores such as Target and the Container Store don’t even make you get out of the car to pick up your items. I call that a win. If your want to avoid the shipping fees and the hassle of shopping yourself in person this is a great option.
Saving money online might take a few extra minutes of your time. It might even require a short trip to the store for a pickup or a return. It will be totally worth it in the end as you watch your savings add up. The more you use these tips and tricks the better you will be at saving money online.
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