Smart Shopping Advice from a Coupon Queen

Savvy Leading Ladies know being fashionable, doesn’t mean you can’t be frugal. Our friend Nicole from Nicole’s Nickels is dedicated to finding the best money-savers on the web, and she’s letting us in on a few of her online shopping secrets. Thanks, Nicole!

I do most of my shopping online these days, mostly because I know I can get great deals online, sometimes even better deals than what you get in the store! Here are 5 of my best online shopping tips:

1.  Always use a cash back shopping site.  Cash back shopping sites like Ebates and Mr. Rebates are free to use and you’ll get a certain percentage of your purchase as cash back into your account.  Sometimes you can get as much as 52% cash back but generally expect 2-8% cash back from most merchants.  You just log in to your cash back shopping accounts and click through to the merchant so your shopping can be tracked and your cash back deposited.

smart shopping advice

2.  Search for coupon codes.  I always search for coupon codes before I shop.  I use sites like Retail Me Not and CurrentCodes to make sure I am finding all of the valid coupons out there!

3.  Sign up for store/website email newsletters.  Most merchants have email newsletters that are completely free to sign up for.  They then reward your interest by sending you exclusive coupons and invites to private sales/  I use a separate deals email address (sign up for one for free using gmail) for these kind of email newsletters.

4.  Don’t use a debit card.  If you use a debit card online and your account is ever compromised you are out the money debited from the card while you wait for your bank to investigate.  If you use a credit card you just dispute the charge and aren’t responsible for paying it while the credit card company investigates.

5.  Research shipping options.  Many stores now offer a free ship to the store option.  I do this when I don’t have time to shop in the store but live close to one and am happy to have everything sent there.  Try on the clothes in the store and then just return them to the store right then if they don’t fit.  Also consider joining ShopRunner and Amazon Prime for free 2 day shipping! You can get 30 day free trials of both to check out the services!

It is possible to save more money online than in store and what better convenience is there than to not have to go to the store, find a parking space and drag all your purchases home!

About Nicole:  I started Nicole’s Nickels in February 2009 to bring all of the great deals I was finding to my friends and family and then it took off! Since then I’ve continued my full-time day job as an attorney while blogging in the evenings and on weekends. I help my clients during the days at the non-profit I work for and then my Nicole’s Nickels readers trying to find the best deals for their family! I live in south/central Florida and have 2 cute dogs (see their picture under “mascots”) and an amazing husband who has a spunky 6 year old we get to spend a lot of time with. I love telling my readers about great deals and also about the cool products I get to try. Most of all I love giving stuff away to my readers! I hope you’ll take the time to “like” me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and/or subscribe to get my daily updates via email to stay in touch!

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