Christmas is around the corner. Here are some ideas that will save money as you shop.
Money cannot buy love, but buying gifts is one way to share love with others.
There have been many times in my life when the list of loved ones I needed to buy gifts for was longer than my budget. I have had to learn how to save money when shopping online.
Here are some of the things I have learned.
- Before shopping online, make certain the electronic device you are using to shop online has no viruses. This is important because certain viruses allow others to steal your identity.
- Invisible Hand. Invisible hand is a browser extension that tracks prices at over eleven thousand online stores. It is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, as well as Safari, and it does not collect any personal information. When you are shopping for an item, it sends you a pop-up notification if the item is cheaper elsewhere. Click on the pop-up page, and Invisible Hand directs you to the same product where it is less expensive.
- Use online coupons! I do not google coupon codes. Instead, I use a browser extension called Honey. It finds coupon codes for me and automatically enters them when I check out. Install this great browser extension, and you will benefit when you check out online. You will see a pop up box asking if you would like to try all available coupon codes for the items in your cart. Say “YES” and Honey will apply as many coupons as possible to your cart in a matter of seconds.
- Abandon your cart! Years ago, I was online looking for a computer printer. I was on the HP website, and I abandoned my cart because I thought I might find a better price somewhere else. The next day, HP emailed me the best deal on the internet on that same printer. I have used this trick to get a better price on many many many other items, including Amazon.com items.
- Shop online on Black Friday sales. I am a techie and use my computer lots. Naturally, my printer died right before I Christmas. I found my next printer at Staples during a Black Friday sale for just $20.
- Pretend you are a newbie. I bought curtains from one online store a few years ago. I decided I needed more curtains and returned to the same website. The discount I had gotten before was no longer available to me because I was no longer a new customer. I used an alternate email address and got the same discount that I had received as a new customer.
- Buy yourself a gift card. On websites like Raise or Cardcash, you can buy a gift card for less than its face value. I have saved between 3 and 20 percent by buying myself gift cards and using them to pay for the gifts I am buying for others.
I do not charge up credit cards and spend the entire next year paying them off. Instead, I guesstimate how much money I will need the next Christmas and find ways to save that amount during the year. Then I shop very carefully.
I have always found a way to buy gifts for everyone on my list even when my money was tight. Hopefully these tips will help you to do the same thing!
Parents, use these ideas to save money when shopping for your kids! Your kids will never know that you saved money and you will have more money after the holiday season to care for them.