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I may be a senior, but I have learned many of the newest ways to save my money when I shop. I have moved from the art of tracking down and clipping paper coupons to all of the current ways to save money shopping online. If you’re not using them, you’re missing out on cold hard cash!
The internet has completely revolutionized the way we shop and if anything, staying at home during this pandemic has made it even more important. So if you are going to save time and gas by shopping online, why not make it a trifecta of savings and also save on your actual spend? That’s why today I am talking about some surefire money savers for online shopping!
What Are We Doing Online Today?
While people are spending about the same amount of time shopping today as they did ten years ago—roughly ten hours a month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) American Time Use Survey—Americans are doing way more of their shopping online. In fact, over the last ten years, before the pandemic, Americans had increased their spending on e-commerce by more than $110 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
But what hasn’t changed is the desire to save money while we shop. Luckily, there are also more ways to save money while shopping today than ever before. Between comparison shopping engines, promo codes, coupons, cashback apps and portals, cashback credit cards, and even more ways to save at the checkout, shopping online to do most—if not all—of your shopping might be the best way to save. It’s something we all can do and it saves us time and money, too!
Sure Ways to Save Money Shopping Online
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) can provide you discounts every time you shop. They partner with over 2,500 stores to provide cash back to customers, simplifying the way you save while you shop. Whether it’s 5% cash back on your favorite book at Book Outlet or 2.5% when you use it to book a hotel stay with Hilton, you’re not going to want to shop any other way.
To earn your cash back, you’ll need to start by signing up and then navigate directly to your store from the Rakuten portal. When you see a confirmation pop-up alerting you that cash back at that store is active, you’ll know you’re on your way to real savings. After you complete your purchase, your cash back will be automatically added to your account. Rakuten pays out earnings quarterly once you reach $5, and you can choose between receiving your earnings by check or through PayPal.
To sign up, all you need is an email and password. Then, make sure you download the Rakuten mobile app, so you can continue to save whenever you’re on the go.
Ibotta is a cashback app that rewards you for shopping both in-store and online when you buy groceries, home goods, clothing, travel, and more. From 10 cents cash back for grocery items, all the way up to $15 for gift card purchases, and with over 300 retail partners, it makes it easy to save when you shop at your favorite brands.
First you sign up online for Ibotta. Then, open the Ibotta app and browse the offers you want in the online shopping category. After that you select the “Shop” button on your desired offer and you’ll be taken to the retailer’s website where you can shop like you do normally. Once you make your purchase, you’ll automatically earn cash back for each qualifying item.
You can be paid when you withdraw your money through PayPal, Venmo, or by purchasing a gift card. There is a minimum of $20 to redeem your cash. To sign up for Ibotta, all you’ll need to do is enter your name, email, birthdate, and a password, and you’ll be on your way to saving in no time.
Even if you scour the internet for sales and coupon codes, and get your cash back flowing, there are still those times when you buy something and days later it goes on sale. You probably don’t even know when it happens, losing out on valuable cash. Now you can sign up with Paribus to save money shopping online and it will monitor your purchases for price drops and help you get the difference refunded.
To sign up, you’ll need to let Paribus monitor the email you use for online shopping receipts. It will check your receipts from over 20 different major retailers, including Amazon, Target, and Costco, and alert you when there’s been a price drop. Then it will either file a claim with the retailer directly or give you all the information you’ll need to do it yourself. When the retailer issues the refund, it will go directly to your method of payment. And Paribus itself is completely free.
MyPoints is a website that allows you to earn points when shopping online. Those points can then be redeemed for cash through PayPal or for physical or online gift cards from a variety of online stores, restaurants, hotels, and airlines. It’s a similar idea to Rakuten in that you start your shopping trip from MyPoints, and then navigate to the retailer where you then shop like normal. It differs, however, in that there are other ways to earn, such as watching videos, taking surveys, and even playing video games.
When you shop online using MyPoints, you’ll earn 25 points per dollar spent. When you watch videos, you can earn up to 500 points per day. Surveys will earn you up to 300 points per day, and you can earn 10 points per dollar spent playing video games. There’s a lot of money to be earned on MyPoints.
Similar to MyPoints, you can earn points with Swagbucks by shopping online, watching videos, answering surveys, and even by just searching the web. When you’re ready to cash out, you can redeem your points for gift cards or get cash back through PayPal.
When you sign up for Swagbucks, you’ll get access to 1,500 retailers to shop with, including popular brands such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target. There is a mobile app, so you can earn Swagbucks even while you’re on the go.
How to Save Even More Money by Stacking Your Rewards
Now you’re familiar with the variety of ways you can save money when you shop online, from mobile apps to cashback credit cards. You may already be saving online at a place like Amazon, but at Amazon you can save even more when you stack rewards.
If you were to navigate to Rakuten and search for Amazon, you’ll find offers for upward of 5% cash back. You’ll be able to earn on everything from clothing, electronics, and jewelry to furniture, Amazon devices, and even groceries.
When you’re ready to check out, use your cashback credit card to make a purchase and typically 1, 2 or 3% cash back is earned on your card. Also, keep in mind that it’s good to be aware that Amazon sometimes makes its way into the 5% cash back rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 quarterly) of certain cards like the Chase Freedom card.
After you make your purchase, keep your receipt in your inbox so Paribus can take over. If your recent purchase drops in price, you’ll save even more.
Considering how easy it is to save money shopping online, the hardest part might be remembering all the different ways you can go about doing it. It can take a few tries to remember to check with some of these cashback sites before you shop, but once you do it a few times, it will become second nature.
Even with using all of these new “savers”, hands down the easiest way to save money shopping online every single time is by always using a cashback rewards credit card. But the opportunity is so much greater these days and you’ll quickly and easily earn cash no matter where you shop and no matter what you shop for when you add these extra ways to save to your shopping methods!
Have you tried any of these ways to add savings to your shopping? If not, why not? What did you save and when did you save it?