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Ask the ExpertSeasonal

How To Save Money (And Sanity) While Online Shopping This Holiday Season

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Maybe you’re like me and don’t get into the whole Black Friday thing, but you still enjoy a good bargain…and you need to buy gifts. Personally, I love to shop online. I don’t have to get in the car. I don’t have to deal with crowds. I don’t have to freeze my nose off wading through the Minnesota snow. So I have figured out how to save money online shopping during the holidays, and hold on to some of my sanity, too.

These tips will help to make your holiday shopping easier - saving you money and time this holiday season.

How To Save Money Online Shopping

Here are a few tips for making the holiday shopping experience a little more sane and a little less expensive.

Have someone who’s difficult to buy for?

Yes, we all do. Check out sites like Etsy, aftcra, and Zibbet. They are great places to find unique and handmade items. Be sure to look at the shipping and manufacturing times before you order otherwise, you’ll likely end up without a gift you thought would be in your mailbox by December 24th. Definitely contact the owners of the shop if you have any questions. They can tell you how long it will take should you need a custom item as well as if they have any faster shipping options not listed on their store.

Want to be paid to shop?

Did you know you can get a rebate when you shop at some major retailers online? Yep, sites like Ebates and CouponCabin offer cash back on sales that originate from their site. All you have to do is find the store on their site and then click through. Your rebate will range from 1% to 7% of your purchase depending on the store. They also have current coupons and promotions listed as well. Also, if you refer a friend to Ebates, you get another bonus. Here’s my referral link if you’d like to sign up!

Coupons in your inbox!

Speaking of coupons, you should sign up for at least one coupon site. Some good ones include RetailMeNot, Savings.com, and ShopAtHome. You can sign up for their newsletter and get the coupons right in your inbox. The best part is that you can even find some travel deals, which will be especially useful when you’ve had it with the weather this winter. Odds are the coupons on these sites are pretty much the same, so don’t sign up for all of them and have your inbox explode.

What’s the deal?

If you’re feeling really adventurous, daily deal sites might be a good fit for you. Places like Woot! and Deal of the Day Tracker list deals on all sorts of stuff that are only available for 24 hours or until they are sold out. One of my old coworkers was addicted to these sites. He’d be surfing them first thing in the morning and at lunch. It is fun to see what’s for sale since the items change daily.

Pick it up!

No time for shipping? You can still do some of your shopping online. Places like Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, and Nordstrom will let you place your order online and then go pick it up in the store. It can be one of those things you do on the way home from work or after dropping off the kids at school. Normally, you don’t have to go to a checkout counter either. You go to the customer service desk, or some other designated area, and your items will be ready. Just check the website when you are shopping.

Do you have any other holiday shopping tips that could save time, money, or hassle?

About Amy Ruiz Fritz

Amy lives in Saint Paul, MN and is a freelance writer. She's been blogging since 2004 at the Chronicles of Nothing (www.nonchron.com) and loves to write. You can find her hanging out on the Twitter (@NonChron), where she met her husband, or drinking a glass of wine while writing one of her four blogs. She is currently working on a book about navigating the dating world and staying sane.

12 Comments

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  • Sierra says:

    I’ve just started shopping on line with Amazon as it was the only one I knew was popular. I am now seeing that the options are varied and wider that I definitely want to save money! Thanks for the tips!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I better get on this!! My shopping isnt even close to being done! Thank you for the great tips!!

  • Laina Turner says:

    I don’t enjoy the act of going out shopping like I used to. Online is much more my style.

    • Since I moved to Minnesota, I hardly go out shopping as much as I used to. Especially when the weather is bad, online shopping is so much easier!

  • Jinny says:

    RetailMeNot is a great app!

  • Adrian says:

    I’ve been online shopping for years now. I spend less and I depend on the reviews posted to see if it’s going to be a good choice. But I’m not paying $80 a year or whatever for Prime. Instead, I accumulate $35 at a time for the free shipping. And if I’m still a couple bucks short, I go to FillerItem.com and tell it how much I need to spend. It gives you a whole list of Amazon items that are exactly $2.87 for instance. So my grandson got a new winter coat AND a bottle of Elmer’s Glue for school. It’s wacky, but it works!