The Encouraged Mom

Helping moms find joy in the journey of homemaking, home schooling and home business.
Frugal Living

5 Ways to Save Big on Online Purchases



I do most of my shopping online. Toilet paper, pet food, laundry supplies, you name it. I even like to order my groceries online if I can. If I can find it online and have it delivered to my door it’s a win.

I don’t know about you, but keeping me out of the stores saves me money. So, even if I pay a little bit extra (which I usually don’t) I figure it’s still saving me money to order these things online.

Of course, my go-to shopping source is Amazon, so I’ll start there.

1. Amazon Prime – This is nearly the greatest thing in the history of things. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but if frequent online shopping is a new adventure for you, then you may not know how great it actually is. I pay about $100 a year to get free two-day shipping on everything all year from Amazon. I also get a ton of free movies and music I can stream for free, which helps me on the not-paying-for-cable front.

If you haven’t tried it before, you can get a free trial. I highly recommend it. You can click the banner below for your free trial.

2. – This is an excellent site for discounted gift cards. I do a lot of shopping at JC Penney because they have great sales, but before I do, I buy discounted gift cards. has them for sometimes up to a 20% discount. The discount varies based on what’s available at the time, but it’s always better than nothing.

They have soooo many stores to choose from and like in the case of JC Penney, many of them are e-gift cards that become immediately available and you can print them right then and use them. This is an important thing for me, because I don’t want to wait for physical gift cards to be mailed to me. By then, the sale’s over and I’ve missed my great deal. Of course, they sell physical cards, too, but it varies by retailer.

Also, if you have unused gift cards laying around that you don’t need, you can sell them to Raise to earn a little bit of money. Obviously, they won’t give you the face value of the card, but it’s better than just having a card you’ll never use.

3. Next on the list is Invisible Hand. This is a Google Chrome extension that you install on your browser. It creates a bar across the top of the screen when you visit online merchants and alerts you of any coupons or special deals available at that site. It also tells you if you can find the item for less at another online store. I looove this extension and use it every day. Use it to stack coupon codes with your discounted gift cards and you’re really racking up some savings.

4. No online savings post would be complete without Ebates. I’ve saved over $2000 in the past year using Ebates. You can install the button on your browser and a little window opens up with a button to click whenever you are on a site that has a rebate available.

Sometimes they even run specials with double or triple rebates at certain stores. For example, at today the rebate is 10%, but sometimes it is 6% or 3%. It just depends on the day. I’ve seen rebates as high as 20% at some retailers.

You just click on that button and then whatever you order during that session will have the rebate applied. These are paid out quarterly via Paypal, but they really add up. It’s fun to get $500 deposited in your Paypal account just for buying stuff you were going to buy anyway!

You can get Ebates from shopping at a gazillion stores, even Amazon, and these rebates can be stacked with online coupon codes AND discounted gift cards for even more savings.

5. Retail Me Not is my favorite site for online coupon codes. Just go to and type in the store you’re looking for. It will pop up coupon codes to use right then.

For example, I always use this when I shop at Kohl’s sends out mailers with coupons for 15%, 20% or 30% off your purchase when you use your Kohl’s card. Sometimes I only get the 15% one in the mail, but I always get the 30% code when I go to Retail Me Not first.

Another cool thing about RetailMeNot is they have a mobile app you can install on your phone to get coupons in store, not just online.

These are just a few of the great tools I use to save money when shopping online. What tools do you like to use?




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