Top 6 Ways to Save While Shopping Online

There are so many ways to save money while online shopping that it’s hard to keep track of them all! Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the best tips for online savings. Check them out and bookmark this page to remember next time you need something online!

1. Fill up your cart, then leave it.

While it may be more satisfying to click that “Checkout Now” button immediately, it’s best to fill your cart and leave it. Retailers will realize you have unpurchased items in your cart and may send you a coupon code to encourage you to finalize that sale. Especially if you don’t already have a great deal on something, it’s best to “Add to Cart” then resist the urge to complete the sale for a couple of days. We bet you’ll have a coupon in your inbox within 48 hours.

2. Don’t pay for shipping.

Ever since Amazon started offering free two-day shipping with Prime, other stores have been scrambling to keep up with the retailing giant. Tons of stores now offer free shipping, no matter how much you’re buying. Online shops like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Zappos, MAC Cosmetics, AbeBooks, Ray-Ban, and Kate Spade all offer free shipping with no minimum purchase.

Even if the store you want doesn’t have free shipping for all purchases, there are plenty of other ways to score this perk. Some stores offer a minimum purchase amount to get free shipping. These amounts are low at a lot of popular stores. Target’s minimum purchase for free shipping, for example, is $25. You can frequently add a small item you already needed to buy to get yourself over that threshold. If you’re a few dollars short on Amazon (and you’re not a member of Prime), try to find those items that will qualify for free shipping to get you over that $35 minimum.

Other stores may have interesting ways to get free shipping. For instance, the purchase of any beauty item at qualifies your entire purchase for free shipping.

If you can’t get it shipped to your house for free, you could try the buy online, pickup in-store option. Many stores that do not offer free shipping will offer this service for free. You still save time by not cruising through the store to find your item, and you may not even have to get out of your car in some places, perfect for moms with little ones in car seats!

3. Shop online on days that are also good for in-store deals.

The focus for online deals around the holidays has traditionally been on Cyber Monday, the unofficial holiday created after Thanksgiving for web retailers. However, many retailers also offer discounts on Black Friday online, not just in stores. This goes for any other days that brick-and-mortar stores provide deals. Just because a store is advertising in-person deals for that big semi-annual, annual, or holiday sale doesn’t mean that those deals are exclusively in-person. Check online before undertaking the hassle of going to the store. You might find the same value - or a better one - on the retailer’s website.

Don’t discount (pun intended) online-only holidays either, though. More and more stores are getting on board with “Free Shipping Day”, a day where all shipping is, you guessed it, free. This year’s Free Shipping Day is December 14. If you’ve got Christmas shopping left to do at that point, make sure you check to see what stores are participating!

4. Sign up for stores’ newsletters.

This may seem like an easy one but stay with us. You need to sign up for the stores’ newsletters for two reasons: first, you usually get a coupon code just for signing up. Second, you can continue to stay informed about sales and coupons that are exclusive to subscribers.

If you can’t stand the constant influx of emails from retailers, we have a few ideas. You could sign up for a free email address from Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo! And give it exclusively to retailers. Then you can check it only when you are about to start shopping or want to know when the next big sale is. You could alternatively create a filter in your current email address to put all of your sales emails into a folder, bypassing your inbox. Finally, for Gmail users, you can drag all of the emails from online shopping sites into your “promotions” tab, so that they won’t clog up your primary tab. Gmail usually figures out which emails should go in each tab on its own, but you can drag and drop for any mischaracterized emails. These are a couple of options to stay in the know for online sales without being inundated with newsletter email.

5. Shop on the right day for the deal you need.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to shop online overall. Still, if you’re looking for a particular type of item, another day may be best.

  • Mondays are best for beer and wine, electronics, cars, and houses (although we hope you’re not buying a car or a home online!)
  • Tuesdays are best for movie tickets and airline tickets.
  • Wednesdays are best for grocery shopping, shoes, kids’ clothing, and jewelry.
  • Thursdays are best for most other clothes, handbags, and entertainment.
  • Fridays are best for accessories.
  • Saturdays are best for books, outerwear, and lingerie.
  • Sundays are best for major appliances, swimsuits, and personal care items. Keeping this schedule in mind can help you get the best deal, whether online or in person.

6. Clear your browser history.

This is a neat little trick. If online retailers are tracking your browsing habits, they may hide certain deals from you. If you want to check if you’re missing something, delete the cookies from your browser, clear the history, and/or open a private window and try the website again. You might find something different than you did before!

Keep this list of easy tips and tricks handy, so the next time you feel the urge to do some online shopping, you can make sure you’re saving money while you do!