It's that time of the year when folks are shopping for special gifts for family and friends. Some brave souls took the challenge of entering retail establishments on Black Friday looking for those unbeatable bargains.
I am not one of those souls! I have no desire to become part of the madness that Black Friday--well, really it starts on Thanksgiving evening--has become. I prefer to shop from the comfort of my home in pj's with a cup of coffee in hand.
There are so many good deals to be had online that it doesn't make sense to me to even consider fighting the crowds. Plus I am saving the money I would have spent on gas.
When I shop online, there are 4 steps I take to get the best deals:
1) Look for the sales--do an internet search for the item you are looking for. This will find various stores that carry the product. Scan through the sites looking for the best price offered.
2) Next, do a search for "coupon code" and the name of the store--or you can go directly to such sites as RetailMeNot or CouponCode or such. (I have no affiliation with any of these.) I usually just do a generic search and work my way through a couple of sites to find the best code deal. You will find codes for percentages off and/or free shipping. Some online stores allow you to stack multiple codes, others permit only one. If they only allow one, do a calculation to see if you will save more using the free shipping or percentage off.
3. Once I find the above-needed info, I log into my Ebates account to see if the store is a registered store. There are a lot of retailers registered with Ebates and offer a percentage of your purchase back in cash (paid to you periodically by Ebates via check.) During the holiday shopping season, a lot of the stores offer double the value--even more savings! If you are not an Ebates member, you can check them out via the link below--please note, I will receive compensation for anyone who signs up through this link. Just want to clarify that in this case, I am putting a plug in for Ebates. :)
FYI: sometimes it will save you more cash to choose a different store that is registered with Ebates if they offer a higher percentage back that offsets the starting price of the item. You will have to calculate how you can achieve the highest savings. Takes a little math, but it all adds up to more cash in your pocket.
4) And last, when I check out, I use my cash back credit card--yes, yet another percentage back! But vow to yourself to pay the credit card balance in full when the bill comes, or watch your savings go out the window. :(
How's that for stacking savings? I'm all about saving money wherever I can and love it when I can take advantage of all these ways to multiply my savings and lower the cost of the item.
How about you? What money-saving shopping tips do you have? Please do share. I'd love to hear them.