We all enjoy the convenience of replacing crowded parking lots and shopping malls with the click of a button and having our purchases shipped right to our doors. Online shopping also gives us the opportunity to purchase products that we may not have access to in our hometown, which happens to be the culprit behind my love of online shopping. In addition to the obvious convenience and affordability of using the Internet, shopping online can save you a lot of money if you know its benefits.

1. COUPON CODES can save you a ton of money, and a lot of people don’t use them!
Most online stores offer coupon codes somewhere on their home page, but many shoppers don’t take advantage of the discounts. I’m amazed at the number of customers who shop at my store and don’t enter the 10% discount code at checkout. Who doesn’t want to save money? I’m sure you do, so you should pay attention to these offers. If you find something you like on a site that doesn’t display a discount code, search for the site at RetailMeNot.com or FatWallet.com. These are awesome sites that let you search for stores by name to find the current coupon codes they offer, and most stores do. You can also submit codes that you have found on your own if they are not already listed.

When you find something you like online, take a second to check and see if you can get it somewhere cheaper. Chances are you can. The Google Shopping tab is a great tool for comparing purchases. Most of the stores that appear on the first few pages of Google search results are larger, more established stores. Smaller boutique stores may offer the same products at lower prices, but they don’t have the luxury of appearing higher in the results list. Many small stores take the time to upload their products to the Google Shopping feed (a tedious process if I may say so), allowing you to search for the product by name and find the best price. Google doesn’t allow unsafe websites to show in your feed, so you know you’re safe. And don’t forget, if you find it cheaper elsewhere, check to see if the store has a coupon code too! Double score.

3. Find sites that offer DAILY DEALS for big savings
Many stores now offer daily deals to their online customers. They typically offer savings of 20-50%, which can add up to hundreds of dollars depending on the purchase. Run a Google search on the name of a product you’ve been looking at followed by “daily deal” or “deal of the day.” If any site offers a deal on that day, it should show up in the search results. This trick takes about 30 seconds and can potentially add up to hundreds of savings.

4. Take advantage CLUSTER Y SOCIAL LIFE discounts
Before going out to eat, to an event or to do anything; Why not check out Groupon beforehand? Sites like Groupon and Living Social offer discounts on things to do, eat, see and buy in your area. If you’re going to the movies, enter your area code and search for discount tickets near you. Buy them online through Groupon and save time and money. There’s no point in paying full price for something we smart people are using Groupons for!

5. Find sites that offer FREE SHIPPING
If you find a deal on a site that doesn’t offer free shipping, make sure the amount you’re saving is greater than the cost of shipping, otherwise it’s pointless. Many online stores offer free shipping on purchases over a certain amount of money, but you can also find a wide variety of sites that offer free ground shipping on all orders. If you’re an avid online shopper, you might consider purchasing a membership with a service like ShopRunner.com. Shop Runner offers unlimited 2-day shipping and returns for $79.00 per year. It only includes participating merchants, mostly big-name corporations, but it’s worth it if you shop at those stores often.

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