With Christmas fast approaching, many of us are planning to spend some time and money shopping over the next few weeks. For those of us on a tight budget, it can be a tough time. I recently moved cross-country and the expenses of moving and starting over have put a huge dent in my budget, so I’m looking to save money any way I can. I’ve been doing a lot of research and am being careful about limiting my purchases and making sure I’m getting to best price possible. I’ve found a few great ways to save money that I thought I’d share. I’m planning on doing the majority of my shopping online, so most of these tips are for online shoppers. Here’s how I try to save money when I’m shopping:
Yes, this is a common tip, but it can save you a lot of money and it’s so easy to do now. There are a lot of websites that allow you to easily compare prices. If I see something I want to buy online, I’ll go to Pricegrabber first and search for that item to see if there’s a better price somewhere else. And a lot of times, there is! I’ve been buying furniture for my new apartment online and have found price differences of up to $200 on the same item! If you’re actually in the store you can use Shopsavvy, which helps you comparison shop by scanning an item’s barcode.
Get money Back
I’ve recently started using a couple rebate sites and love how easy it is to get a little extra money back. If you’re not familiar with rebate sites, they offer you a certain percentage back on items you buy online. They have rebates for most major retailers and offer about 4%-15% back. And it doesn’t cost anything. You just have to make sure to purchase the item through the link they provide you.
I’ve tried Ebates and Mr. Rebates so far and both have worked well. (You can sign up for them both by clicking on the links). There’s even a comparison site for rebates, Evreward. Simply type in the store you want to buy from and it will show you a list of rebate sites and how much they are each offering as a rebate.
Search for Promo Codes
Another quick and easy thing to do before you place your online order. Do a quick google search for promo codes or just go to Retailmenot and search for the store name. This can be hit or miss since promo codes aren’t always available, but it only takes a minute, so I think it’s worth trying.
Don’t pay shipping
I try to only shop on sites with free shipping or sites where I can meet the minimum amount to get free shipping. I also signed up for Amazon Prime last year and love it. It’s $79/year and you get free two day shipping on a ton of products. If you do a lot of online shopping, think about joining. (You can also use Ebates on Amazon, so you can save even more!) If you’re buying from Amazon a lot, it quickly pays for itself and then some.
I’m carefully planning my holiday purchases this year and really trying to stick to my budget so I’m definitely using all of these tips above. How are you saving money this holiday season? Do you have any other great tips to save while shopping? Let me know in the comments below!
Photo: Dauvit Alexander | Flickr