If You’re Shopping Anyway…

I’m a little old school when it comes to certain things… I am grateful for technology and certainly utilize it daily, but honestly, I’d rather have the real thing. For me, handwritten letters, home-cooked meals and a live person on the other end of a phone call trump emails, microwaved dinners and automated Customer Service lines any day of the week. Typically, the same applies to shopping — I would rather shop at a store than online. But one of the things I have learned as a young wife and mother of three is that if I want to maintain my sanity, I have got to stay flexible. As you can imagine, with three children ages 3 and under, getting out of the house to do any type of household {read:boring} shopping is either A) a physical task worthy of qualifying for the Olympics, B) next to impossible {really, moms should have 4 arms} and C) simply not fun. My solution: online shopping WHENEVER possible.

The internet makes shopping so much easier these days. Instead of loading up my minivan and buckling kids in car seats and driving from store to store… I can shop with my fingertips right at my screen during lunch time, nap time or even while the kids are occupied at play time. My purchases are delivered straight to my door, too. And the deals you will find just can’t be beat! Here are a few quick tips for maximizing your savings when shopping online:

  1. Always start with Ebates.
    Whenever I begin a new online shopping trip, I start with Ebates.com. It is so easy to save a few dollars by starting here first. With Ebates you earn cash back on qualifying purchases and they send you a “Big Fat Payment” once some of your savings accrue. All you have to do is click through their website before you make your purchase. That’s it! 
  2. Check the item(s) and the store(s). 
    For instance, let’s say you were shopping for a new Name Brand printer and you typically purchase office supplies at Store A. Make to sure to search Ebates for both Store A and Name Brand printers, that way you will quickly be able to see if Store B, Store M or Store Z has a better deal.
  3. Install the Ebates Cash Back Button on your Toolbar.
    A few times I have found myself shopping without realizing it {a pitfall of online shopping, I suppose} and only after completing my purchase did I remember I could have saved with Ebates. Since I added this little guy, I’ve been able to prevent that from happening several more times! If you’re on a page that qualifies for savings, Ebates will give you a heads up.
  4. Look for discount or coupon codes.
    Once you have added the item(s) you want to your shopping cart, do one last search for any additional coupon or discount codes that may apply. Make sure to look on the store website’s for savings or check out a site like my tried and true, RetailMeNot.com.

And that’s it! It doesn’t have to take a lot of work to save a little money. Just a little time and effort and the savings will start to stack up.

Are you an online shopper? Do you use sites like Ebates or RetailMeNot?
How do you save money?

as reprinted in “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach

“When money is plenty this is a man’s world. When money is scarce it is a woman’s world. When all else seems to have failed, the woman’s instinct comes in. She gets the job. That is a reason why, in spite of all that happens, we continue to have a world.”

~Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1932

“It is easy to be independent when you’ve got money. But to be independent when you haven’t got a thing-that’s the Lord’s test.”

~Mahalia Jackson

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