Today’s guest post is from Kyle Robinson, the marketing director at CouponCactus.com, an online coupon and cash back site. They offer coupons and cash back for over 3,000 stores, with free membership. Even if you don’t shop online much, it’s worth checking them out and maybe doing it more often!
With the holidays coming up, there is no doubt that many of you FrugalDad readers are already thinking about what you are going to get for your friends and family members, and more importantly, how you are going to get those gifts as affordably as possible.
When you have an idea of what you want to buy – either a specific product or even a general category – shopping online can be not only fun, but it is often the shopping method that leads you to the best deal. We at CouponCactus.com want to provide you with some tips that will help you do just that.
1. Always check online and ALWAYS check for Coupons
Many frugal shoppers clip coupons from the paper and take them to the grocery store, but there are still many who are unaware that they can use coupons (also called coupon codes or promo codes) online! Making a habit of checking prices online and checking for coupon codes each and every time you shop will shave serious money off of your budget.
If you use Mint.com or a similar budget/finance tool, try keeping track of your online purchases and start adding up how much you’ve saved over time – you’ll be surprised!
2. If you know generally what you want to buy, but not from what store – Let Coupons and Cash Back Guide You
Price comparison sites like Pricegrabber and BizRate are great for checking prices at different merchants for a specific product, but they don’t include discounts from coupons. Plus, if you only generally know that you want to buy some shoes, or a laptop, then start with our category pages on CouponCactus.com, which will allow you to “drill down” to a specific category and view all of the best coupons for stores in that category.
By allowing the coupons and discounts to be your guide, you can browse merchant pages for exactly the product you will eventually buy, all the while knowing you’re going to get a great deal!
3. Take advantage of free shipping whenever possible
Many online merchants offer free shipping by default when you place an order over a certain amount. You can often find “coupons” that will give you free shipping on those orders as well, but check the merchant’s site to see if they offer it without one so you can use a better coupon or combine the free shipping with the coupon. Eliminating shipping charges makes online shopping an even clearer winner over in-store shopping.
4. Check to see if the merchant offers a discount when you sign up for their newsletter
Many stores will give you an extra discount off your first order when you sign up for their promotional newsletter. It’s easy enough to forward those emails to a special folder or unsubscribe later if you don’t find value in them, but it’s certainly worth signing up if they are offering 10% off!
5. If you’re not getting cash back, you’re missing out
It’s easy to see a coupon on a coupon site or in an email (sometimes directly from a merchant) and click through to use it without thinking about how much cash back you’re throwing away by doing so.
Even if the cash back for a specific store is only 2-3%, it’s certainly worth the extra 15 seconds to come to our site, sign in, and click the coupon to save that much more.
We allow you to easily see the cash back you’ve earned on each of your purchases, and what you’ve earned on purchases from friends and family members you’ve referred. Over time those numbers add up, and you’ll get a nice check or Paypal payment each quarter.