By Jamie LaBree
Let’s face it ~ just because the economy’s in a rut doesn’t mean we have to ~ or even want to! ~ give up shopping. Sure, you can clip coupons from the Sunday paper, wait a year for your fave store’s annual sale, or just play it by ear as you go, but did you know you can save even more money by using what the internet has to offer?
A lot of manufacturers’ websites offer coupons you can print out and use anywhere. And if they offer shopping directly from their website, check out Google promo codes; chances are they’ll get you even more discounts. Sites like www.retailmenot.com and www.couponcabin.com have a vast selection of printable coupons and online promo codes for just about everything under the sun. Whenever possible, sign up for email alerts: a lot of companies offer exclusive savings that way, so keep your eyes peeled.
Speaking of peeled, you can find some great deals in the outlet center @ www.apple.com (Get it? Peeled? Apple? Well, fine…I thought it was clever!). Refurbished items sell for less, and depending on what you’re looking for, you can save about a hundred dollars on average. What’s that I hear? The sound of a dollar stretching? Dealsofamerica.com can help you stretch it even more ~ they surf the web for the best deals on electronics and other odds and ends, then they post their findings on their website.
www.fingerhut.com offers an additional 50% off clearance items a few times a year, as do www.Hottopic.com and www.torrid.com. And if those sites don’t tickle your fancy, it’s a pretty safe bet that a good portion of your go-to sites offer amazing deals on in-store purchases with special on-line print-it-yourself coupons.
For students, www.amazon.com offers free shipping and competitive prices on textbooks. If you’re looking for software, www.microsoft.com offers Office Professional Academic (a 499.99 value) for only $79.95 ~ talk about killer savings! Just email them a scan of your student ID and you’re good to go. And of course there’s the granddaddy of all on-line shopping, and still the most popular: eBay! On-line shopping wouldn’t be the same without eBay.com, where you can bid on everything from total junk to the highest-end couture to cars. www.etsy.com is a great site for supporting your local artists (and one line on etsy, Toadstool Soaps, makes some of the best handmade toiletry products ever (I highly recommend the scent “Lick Me All Over.” The name says it all)!
So, no matter what you’re looking for ~ a steal, a deal, or a rarity ~ check on-line first. The savings could be pretty major ~ plus it’s fun to have the package show up after you’ve forgotten what you ordered ~ it’s like Christmas year-round!
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