- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
How to Save the Most Money Online with 4 Easy Steps
Step 1: Search for the best price on your item
If there is a product that you are planning to purchase, but you have not decided on a particular store, it is always best to perform an online search for the product name to see what merchant offers the best price.
If you have already decided on a particular merchant, continue to Step 2.
Tips to perform your internet search:
If you have the particular name or model number, type it into the search bar. Depending on the search engine, you will usually find some shopping results and prices directly on your search results page.
There are certain sites dedicated to finding a low price on a particular brand of product or on types of products.
Here are some example sites:
You can also try typing "find the best price on [insert product name]" into your favorite search engine.
Step 2: Join a reward program
Start by joining a website that offers points or rewards for online purchases. These websites are usually free to join.
Some sites that I recommend are:
Once you've registered for these sites, any time you want to make an online purchase, you can log in to your profile and then search for the store on the site. If you click through the link from the reward sites you will earn points for every dollar you spend. You can then use your "MyPoints" or "EBATES points" to redeem gift cards in the future.
These sites also allow you to earn additional points towards gift cards through completing surveys, referring friends, or completing online registrations. Points can generally be redeemed for discounts, products, or gift cards. Ebates will send you a check for cash back on purchases. Rewards will differ for each site, so make sure to do some research before deciding where to purchase.
Step 3: Search for coupon codes
Perform an online search via Google or another search engine for a coupon code for the merchant you are wishing to make a purchase from. For example, search for "Lands End coupon code". Look at a couple of sites to see who offers the best coupons. Here are some great sites to get coupons from:
Also, many websites will send you a coupon code for a percentage off or free shipping if you sign up to receive their emails. If it is a merchant that you shop at regularly, the emails will notify you of upcoming sales and coupons. If it is a merchant that you only want to shop at once or minimally, it is easy to unsubscribe from the emails once you have gotten your discount code. Usually you can find out how to unsubscribe by clicking on the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the emails.
Step 4: Join a merchant membership program
See if the site you are making your purchase on offers its own reward program. For example, Lands End offers a free rewards program where after signing up, you can use your number to earn points for every dollar spent at Lands End, Lands End Canvas, Kmart, Sears, and more. What's better, is that you can redeem the rewards each time you shop for money off your next purchase. A lot of retailers have started offering rewards and some will even send bonus coupons and gifts on your birthday. Here are some large retailers that offer rewards:
- Lands End/Sears/Kmart
- Best Buy
- JC Penny
- Overstock - There is a charge for this program, but military can join for free
- Big Lots
- Dicks Sporting Goods
...and many more! The best way to see if a particular merchant offers a program is just to do an internet search for "[insert store name] rewards".
Online Shopping Success
Going through these steps can be a little daunting the first time, but once you've made a few purchases, it will all become much easier. When I decide to make an online purchase, I always first search for the best price of the particular product, then I try to find a coupon code, then I will click through to the website I plan to make my purchase on through a rewards site, and I will finally make the purchase using my rewards number on the company website. My husband always marvels at how much I am able to save by following this process. Keep at it and I'm sure that you'll be able to experience wonderful results too.
Have fun and save big!