I try to do as much of my shopping online, if at all possible. The one exception is groceries. The two local companies that offer online grocery shopping and delivery have a markup that just doesn’t balance out with the convenience of not having to fight crowds at the grocery store.
I buy books, CDs, movies, even toilet paper online. It’s so much easier to spend 5 minutes on a website than to pack up the kids, drive to the store, wander around while trying to avoid coming within view of the toy aisles, get what I need and get out without buying a bunch of crap I don’t need.
For a long time, I’d just accept the price as the price. I’d pay whatever was asked. Eventually, I quit overlooking the magic money-saving option on almost all e-commerce websites: the coupon field.
Here’s how it works: While you are checking out, you will usually see a box marked “coupon code” or “promo code”. Put in a coupon code, and poof! you save money. Magic is fun.
What happens if you don’t have a coupon code?
I crank up my second brain, aka Google. For example, if I’m shopping at the Gap, I’ll type in “Gap coupon code“. When the search results come up, I open the top 4-5 pages all at once and look for the best deals. If a site is trying to charge $30 for shipping, a free shipping coupon is a winner. If I’m ordering $300 worth of Christmas presents, a 15% off code is a real prize. Other times, I will concentrate on the buy-one, get-one type of coupons. Those are handy when I’m trying to buy presents for all of my nieces and nephews.
The real secret is coupon stacking. It’s usually not allowed, but some sites allow you to stack different types of coupons. If I can find a “15% off $300” coupon and a “free shipping” coupon for the same site, I’ll try to use them both. One Christmas, I was able to get $100 of free stuff shipped for $5 by stacking BOGOs, discounts, and shipping coupons. I love to get free stuff. Always try to use extra coupons, if you can find them. This isn’t extreme couponing, just using the system as it was designed.
I search coupon codes every single time I order anything online. No exceptions. How do you save money when you shop online?
Written on behalf of Dealtaker.com