Saving money might not be nearly as difficult as you think. With a few key insider tips from someone who shops online all the time, you could save thousands of dollars each year, and make your hard earned cash work much harder. Here are my best online shopping hacks to help you save big this holiday season.

Start Using Paribus

Many stores guarantee they will match or beat the lowest price for 7-14 days after your purchase. Well, the only problem with this concept is that you still have to pay attention to the price comparison across all the stores! Instead of wasting your time watching your purchases to see if they lower their prices, Paribus will price watch for you! By accessing receipts in your email account (which, if you are shopping online, then they are going to send you an email receipt of your purchase), Paribus will contact stores on your behalf to get you a refund! The service does take a small commission for doing it for you, but you are basically earning money for doing nothing yourself!

Earn Cash Back On Your Purchases

Sites such as Swagbucks and Ebates can be combined with any other offers to help you earn money back on your purchases! Before making a purchase, be sure to sign into your accounts, or install the toolbar to make sure you never miss an opportunity for cash back again! Several years ago, I used to use the Swagbucks Browser for every internet search I did, but I felt like the search was not as good as Google so I stopped using it. Now, I use it whenever I want to buy a Discounted Gift Card and I can’t find the exact brand/store I want on Cardpool. I’m relatively new to Ebates, but with the Holiday season upon us, I’m planning to make all my Black Friday purchases using their cash back options… I figure if I’m already going to be spending the money, then I might as well earn some bonus money back while I do it, right?!

Install Honey On Your Toolbar

Honey takes all the search work out of online coupon codes! Before you checkout, use Honey to help you find the best discounts you can add to your cart. The part I love is that it will scan the web and test out the codes for you to make sure you are saving the highest amount possible on your purchase! Plus, you can use Honey in addition to gift cards, cash back offers, and anything else you’re using as well! A few weeks ago I needed to buy a temporary domain name for my website developer to use and I had searched for a coupon code on my own with no success. Honey found me one and saved me 60% Off! Woohoo!

Leave It In Your Cart To Save More

If you are not in a huge rush to purchase your items, then abandoning your online shopping cart can pay off big time! Here’s how: add the things you want to your cart, and leave it there. Then move on with your busy day and let it sit in one of your open browser tabs. Most companies will send you a follow-up email and include potentially offer discounts or unique codes to entice you to complete your purchase! That means you can rack up discount codes simply just by waiting it out! Although, slight warning: if you’re looking at a super hot deal, don’t wait too long or you might miss out.

Use The Waitlist

Sites such as Amazon have a waitlist for specific items. These are usually hot items or lightning deals only, but sometimes you can find them on special sales. Simply click the “add to waitlist” button and it will add your name to the waitlist. Then…. you wait… to get an email. If someone decides not to buy, you will be emailed! You only have a small window to act before they move on to the next person on the list, so if you join a waitlist, make sure you are paying attention to jump on the deal pretty quickly.

Use In-Store Pickup

Shipping charges can turn that great deal you found online into a horrible waste of money! Sometimes the shipping can end up being even more than the cost of the item you bought! Many online stores also have brick and mortar stores where you can have your item shipped for FREE! Avoid shipping costs by choosing to have your items shipped to your local store for you to pick them up.

Make Your Purchases Using Discounted Gift Cards

While using a credit card at check out may end up giving you a little bit of cash back, you will likely only receive 1%-5% on your total purchase. Instead, use a gift card exchange site (I use Cardpool, Swagbucks or Raise) to buy discounted gift cards to save up to 20%. Plus, remember that gift cards are just a secondary form of payment so they can be used along with any sales and promo codes! Score!

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