When you are trying to save money or pay off debts, every little bit of cash can go a long way. Whether you give yourself a monthly budget, track your spending, or find new ways to cut your outgoings, everyone has their own way of saving. There are enough resources available online to help you come up with a plan to make the most of your money. Most people think that when you start saving, you can’t spend any money at all unless it’s going towards rent, bills, and food. But that’s not true, and you can certainly keep spending your money if you want to especially if it is going to save you some cash at the same time.
Now you might be wondering how on earth can you spend money and save at the same time? The answer is simple, you need to be smart with your spending and realize that it pays to look around online for bargains, great deals, and discounts. If you are unsure of where to start looking, do not fret, as we are going to tell you of the different ways you can save money when shopping online.
Always compare prices online vs in-store
You can pretty much buy anything online these days, from all your everyday needs like groceries and clothing to novelty items for a birthday or a Christmas gift, and more important things like car or home insurance. Whatever you can think of, you can probably buy it online.
There are some things that you may be used to purchasing in-store like medication from a pharmacy but you can even get this online (as long as you have a prescription from your doctor for certain medications of course).
What you probably didn’t realize is that some things you buy in-store can actually be much cheaper online, like glasses frames for example. If you have an eye exam, the eye doctor may tell you that you need new prescription glasses and you may feel obliged to buy them while you’re there, but you can take your prescription and buy them online instead, saving you money.
When possible, always compare the online and in-store prices to make sure you get the best deal.
Don’t fall for the dynamic pricing trap
Did you know that online retailers use a strategy called dynamic pricing to show customers different prices? They base this on your location, your spending habits, and how in-demand the product you’re looking at is at that current time.
You may have noticed this if you’ve been looking at a vacation, and when you look the very next day it’s shot up in price. The retailer will know your price range based on the previous time you were on their site, and this will prompt them to show you a higher value.
You can avoid falling trap in the dynamic pricing strategy by clearing your browsing history, clear your cookies, and switch to incognito mode when shopping online. By choosing localized website versions, this will show you the prices at a much cheaper and affordable cost.
Leave products in the cart
If you have an account with an online retailer, a good sneaky strategy to use is to add items to your cart and leave them sitting there for a couple of days. Retailers don’t like to see an unclosed deal, so they will often send an email reminding you of these left-behind products and some will send a coupon code for you to use as a way to lure you back in.
Not only does this stop you from making impulsive purchases and therefore saving you money, but quite often when you go back onto websites a few days later they will usually have deals on offering discounts.
Make use of coupon codes
If you want to be a savvy shopper you need to play the coupon game. Coupons can help save you so much money so use them to your advantage. There are websites that specifically search for the best coupon deals and all you have to do is copy the code over and save cash.
Some retailers only offer coupon codes that can only be used once. A way to get around this is by using multiple email addresses and signing up for newsletters and promotion lists and receiving the codes multiple times.
Sign up for loyalty reward programs
Some online retailers allow you to sign up for their loyalty rewards program and offer you a chance to access sales before other customers or provide you with a reward when you spend a certain amount. How much you can save varies from store to store, but if you shop regularly at some of your favorite stores it may be worth signing up for one to make use of the different rewards.
Make sure you read the small print when you sign up for a loyalty rewards program as each one is different and some retailers will put expiry dates on when you can use certain rewards by.
Some stores that offer reward programs are Starbucks where you collect ‘stars’ with every dollar you spend, Amazon Prime where you get access to early lightning deals and same-day delivery depending on your location, and NikePlus who offer perks such as an online store for members-only with exclusive shoes and clothing as well as priority access.
Know the right day to shop
There are certain days of the week where retailers will roll out discounts and deals, and when you become savvy with your shopping habits you will get to know when your favorite retailers do this. Most deals are usually rolled out on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays so try to hold off your online shopping until these days if you can.
However, it does depend on what it is you are looking to buy. Appliances like refrigerators are cheapest on Sundays and computers and laptops are generally cheaper on Tuesdays. So whatever it is you want to buy, know the right day when to make your purchase.
Hopefully, by being savvy and following the tips outlined above, you can start saving money when shopping online.