TIPsy Tuesday: Guest Post: Online Bargain Shopping - Get it Delivered and Get it Cheaper!

I am so excited to share with you that I have a guest tutorial post at www.craftionary.net today that I am so excited to share.. BUT I'm just as excited to share with  you our first guest post ever from Meredith at www.themomoftheyear.net.  Meredith started out as a shopper at our etsy shop, but I noticed her email address @themomoftheyear and decided to do a little online snooping and ever since then we've been blogging friends!  She's fun, witty, and has a great tip to share!!!  Enjoy!

When Sabrina asked me to guest post for Tipsy Tuesday this week I was totally honored—and totally terrified!  See the thing is, when I say, “I’m not crafty”, I mean I’M NOT CRAFTY.  In fact, I’m completely DIY-impaired.  She quickly explained that any “tip” would suit—cleaning, home organization, what have you.  This felt better because I am organized, but what of my anal-retentiveness would fit well into a blog post??  After sufficient overly-dramatic agonizing, I decided to focus on what I do best—online bargain shop.

My motto is, “Get it delivered and get it cheaper”.  I make it an art form to get stuff shipped for free to my home and to pay less for it than I ever would in a store.  I do this with everything ranging from coffee filters to dog food to furniture.

I follow three basic steps:
1. Start at www.ebates.com.  If you aren’t a member on Ebates, become one.  It’s free and it gives you cash back on every purchase you make by linking to the store site through ebates.  Then every 3 months I get a check in the mail.  Every store gives you a percentage back on each purchase. At times, that 3% at Target may seem like nothing, but it adds up!  And be it a few cents or a few dollars, I am not one to scoff at free money!  Plus, getting that check in my mailbox is sweet!!

 2. Open a different window (this is important b/c to get your Ebates credit, you must purchase through the link opened through ebates), type “(store name) promo code” into google and see what pops up.  There are tons of couponing sites.  After doing this for a while now, I only bother checking out what is offered through www.retailmenot.com.  In my experience,this site has the best and most reliable promo codes.  But if you have extra time, you must be crazy poke around online and see what comes up.

3. Place your order, entering the promo code at checkout.  Don’t be afraid to try to use more than one. Most sites don’t allow this, but when my daughter was born, I scored 100 birth announcements on Shutterfly for $7.41 by entering 5 different promos!  It let me enter them all.

There are loads of other money-saving tips when purchasing online…

I almost always order enough for free shipping.  For example, I was ordering vitamins the other day and I had the choice to add $10 in product to my cart (to get vitamins my family would use anyway) and qualify for free shipping or spend  $6.95 on shipping.   No-brainer there…

Put stuff in your online cart and leave it there—stores will often send promos to your inbox.  DHC (my fav skincare product company) gets “grouchy” if I leave stuff there for a few days and almost always ends up sending me a promo for an extra 10% off (along with numerous annoying reminders to order what I left in my cart)

Even if you are going to the store anyway, still check out the situation online.  Some stuff just can’t be shipped for free, as was the case with our purchase of a patio set this week.  Even though we were going to have to go Home Depot to pick it up, I suggested we look first to see if we could order online(and thus buy through ebates and get cash back).  Ebates ended up scoring us $9 and then we also found a promo code at Retailmenot for $10. So we saved $19, but the real bonus was when we got to Home Depot and discovered that the sale price of $299 was an online special only.  If we had just walked into Home Depot and purchased the set, we would have paid $600!  By ordering it online before going to pick it up, we only paid $280—53% savings works for me!

Don’t ignore rebates.  Can seem like a lot of work, I know, but really, you just print and fill out the form and mail it in with the UPC code and receipt.  I ended up making (yes,MAKING!), $5.64 this way when I bought a cake pop maker at Kohls using ebates and promo codes.

Compare, compare, compare.  For example, before buying any common household item (as happened a couple days ago when I panicked, realizing were out of my beloved crisp linen-scented Lysol), I do a quick check on all of my top 4 online-shopping sites for such things: Target (the Red Card gets you automatic 5% off and free shipping on any item), Walmart, Drugstore.com, and Amazon (you often get the better price using Subscribe and Save, but as soon as your order ships, you can go in and cancel your subscription and re-subscribe in the future as many times as you want).

             MOM OF THE YEAR
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