My name is Jackie from Jade and Oak and I'm thrilled to be posting for First Friday Financial at the Charming. Now, I try to do my best to save my money but I still do my fair share of shopping. However, that doesn't mean I don't love a good deal. Here are my favorite tips for online shopping deals.
1. Use a cashback program. If you haven't used Ebates before, you should really check it out. You just sign up for an Ebates account and then go to that website first before you check out at your favorite store and you get cash back!!
Example: I recently perused some pretty clothes on the Ann Taylor website. Once I filled up my shopping cart, I checked Ebates which was offering 2.5% cashback. I just clicked through the Ebates website when I was ready to check out. Now I can expect some cash back on a purchase I was going to make regardless. So easy. The cashback amount changes often and can sometimes be pretty substantial. Once I got 10% cashback at J. Crew!
2. Search for promo/coupon codes. All websites have an area for a promo code. Just do a quick google search and there is a good chance you'll find a code. Sometimes they are out of date but it's worth a look. I have found useful coupons before through Retail Me Not and Coupons.com.
3. Get free shipping. I hate paying for shipping so I will go out of my way to avoid it if possible. First up, a lot of store credit cards offer free shipping to cardholders. If you don't want to get a credit card, most stores offer free shipping when you buy over a certain amount. Again, back to my recent Ann Taylor purchase. I knew that I could take back unwanted items to the store in the mall, so I made sure to order over the minimum amount to get the free shipping. Ta-da. (Even though now I have to drive to the mall to return stuff, but I knew I'd most likely have at least one return anyways so no big deal!)
4. Get a credit card (maybe). Credit cards are definitely not for everyone, so only get one if you know you can be 100% responsible for it. Now if you are feeling confident/comfortable, store credit cards offer some great perks (as long as you pay your balance off every month!) As mentioned in 3 above, you can often get free shipping with a store credit card. Some cards offer other perks too (5% off all purchases at Target) so figure out which is right for you. I have a few store cards but I rarely use them and pay them off immediately when I do. I just want those perks!
5. Sign up for emails. If you don't mind getting a ton of emails, signing up for store email alerts is an awesome way to find some great deals. I know that there will be fab sales around holidays too, so I try to wait for an upcoming holiday if possible before a purchase. Rugs.com has great prices on rugs and when I was ready to buy one, I waited until the 4th of July sale when I got this rug at 65% off. Oh and I try to immediately delete emails when I know that I'm not looking for something specific. Avoid the unnecessary temptation!
Living on a budget doesn't mean you can't buy fun things you love - you just have to find a good deal. I rarely pay full price for anything if I can help it and just love a deal! What are your favorite ways to save while shopping for things you love?