Jan 112011
 
Join me in my mission of getting the most for your dollar. I so love to save money and have found the Internet is a fabulous tool for saving money compared to shopping at a brick and mortar store.  In fact, 90% of the Christmas shopping I do is done online and the same holds true throughout the year.  By doing a little research before clicking on the “pay” icon can put money back into your pocket.  Let me show you how you can do this too.
Here are the steps I follow:
1. First, search for the items you are looking to purchase to find the best deal on the Web.  I add the items on that website to my cart. *Note: if you have your Internet Settings set so your browser clears all your information when opening up a new browser or tab session, you may need to put the items back in your cart again once you get to step 6 (see tip in #5 to save you time).
2. Next, check each of the sites listed on the Internet Shopper Click-thru page of this site, for the store you are looking to make the purchase (I right click and click on “open a new window” so I can compare the sites easily instead of having to write down which site offers what as cash back). You are looking to see if the store you want to purchase at is one of their listed stores).  In checking each of these sites, I am ultimately looking for which site will give me the most return on my dollar spent. Once I figure out which site that is, I make sure I am logged in on that site.
3.  I then search google.com and swagbucks.com for coupon and promotional codes for that store.  You can use any other search engine of your preference, however; I find I get the best results from Google’s search engine.  Example: If I wanted to buy at Sears.com I type in: sears coupon and promotional codes in the search box.
4. I click on several of the links of the results from the search to see what they have listed for current coupons or promotional codes.  One of my most favorite sites for these codes is retailmenot.com, as they show the coupon code.  *Note:  Any link you click on that takes you directly to the store in order to utilize the coupon is not the coupon you want to use.  If you decide to do so, you will not be able to click thru the click-thru site you have chosen that earns you rewards, points or cash rebates.
5. Once I find the best coupon/promo code I either write it down or open a new browser session.   I then go to the Internet Shopping Click-thru site I have chosen for this shopping session.  I click the link on that site which takes me to the store where I want to make the purchase.  Now, if you are a person who is up and down from the computer, you will want to start a new session w/the click thru site you’ve chosen,  as some of these sites…not all…will boot you out of your click thru session if you’ve wandered away too long (I am famous for this, so I learned the hard way when my $ wasn’t pending in my chosen click thru site to restart a new session if I have wandered…no matter what the time frame was of being gone).
TIP:  And, I don’t know about you, but I get all flustered when a website has emptied my cart on me. So…to remedy this….I’ve even gone as far as copying and pasting my cart contents in an email to myself if I know I am going to be interrupted for a while.  Some shopping sites, if gone too long, will empty your cart (kohls.com is famous for this…uggg!).
6. Having already put the items in my cart, I proceed to checkout where I find the place to enter a promo/coupon code.  I enter the code I am looking to use in this box.  If by chance the coupon is not valid for some reason, I will search for a different coupon/promo code as explained in #3 above.  If the Click-thru site has a time limit on how long their link is good for, I will go back to their site and re-click through their site.  Most of the sites you shop at will save your shopping bag for this duration (read tip in  #5 above).
To give you an example of the process…lets say I am shopping for girl’s clothing and find a few items at oldnavy.com:
I search each site on the Internet Click-thru sites listed…mypoints.com, ebates.com, mrrebates.com, etc. for the Old Navy website on their site to see which site will give me the most back on my purchase.  I end up choosing ebates.com.  Next, I search the Internet for coupon and promo codes.  I find one that will give me 30% off my purchase so I write it down.  I then go back to the ebates.com website, click on the oldnavy.com link on their site, which takes me to oldnavy.com.  I then head to checkout and find the place where I am to enter coupon/promo codes. The reflection of the coupon/promo savings should show up in your total once you apply the coupon to your purchase.  I finish checking out, and I have saved two times over, sometimes three if the item was already on sale (BTW…I don’t usually buy anything unless it’s on sale)!
Let’s do the math…(this is ONLY an EXAMPLE):
Total price of items added to cart…. $165.00 –
Coupon code of 30% deducted……..$  49.50 = $115.50 –
Ebates click-thru of 4%……………….$    4.62 = $ 110.88 total spent on purchase
Clicking thru the ebates website gave me a 4% rebate on my purchase $115.50 x .04% = $4.62 in my ebates.com account.  Most click thru sites let you cash out when you reach $10.00, which really does add up fast if you are an avid online shopper.  However, please check the cash out policy on each site, as they are different.
I have now paid $110.88 for $165.00 worth of goods (which potentially may have added up to more if they were on sale to begin with).

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