7 Smartest Ways To Save Money Using The Internet

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5126344583 9031352c31 m   7 Smartest Ways To Save Money Using The InternetHoliday shopping season has come and gone, but saving money should always be on our minds especially since we’re starting a new year, and probably want or need new items or necessities. Online shopping is like the recently developed and hyped phenomenon, which may not necessarily be a bad thing to follow. We can save more money than ever by using Ebay and Amazon instead of having to wait in line for items at the stores without a guarantee that we will even get what we want if more customers are also interested in the same products.

Online shopping just brings more convenience but there’s sometimes so much to learn and so much that’s hidden from us unless we’re actively seeking the deals we want. MakeUseOf has covered a lot of ground when it comes to saving money with online resources so it’s certainly a rich source of information but we’ll try to condense some of the best shopping tips here.

Let’s check out the best ways to save money online.

Using Cash-Back Programs

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Before buying anything online, check to see if the store participates in Ebates, the cash-back program that offers anywhere from 1 to 25% (depending on the store) back, or you can even check whether your bank offers a cash back program. Bank Of America, for example, offers the Add It Up program to debit or credit card holders.

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Trading & Obtaining Cash For Items You Already Own

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Instead of letting your books collect dust in a corner or selling them without getting much money in return, consider trading them to get books you want. Tina featured a number of popular trading sites that specialize in books, games and CDs. If you own an old phone, MP3 player or even a game console, you can sell it to Gazelle, which even pays you to ship your old electronics to them. To earn money for knowledge you already own, consider writing articles for major online knowledge bases, such as Bright Hub.

Getting The Lowest Price On Virtually Anything

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Want to score an amazing cruise package to the Caribbean for cheap? Last-minute booking sites can really help you save money on trips. Additional sites that weren’t featured on that list is lastminutecruises.com, which showed $139 trips to the Bahamas last time I checked, and VacationsToGo.

If you’d rather stay in your state or within the country and take a road trip instead, you can also check any of these 6 sites for the best prices in gas so you can save up big time, including my personal favorite, GasBuddy.

Maybe you don’t want to travel anywhere and just want to save money on everyday purchases. Amazon is probably the biggest online marketplace for you to get a variety of items for excellent prices, but you can still get lower final prices with the help of promotional codes for Amazon. Additionally, you can get even more heavily-discounted open box items (returned products that are guaranteed to be like new) at the Amazon Warehouse, which not a lot of people know about.

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If you’re looking to buy things not for yourself, but for others, check out GiftCardGranny or CardPool (see a quick review here), which offer tons of discount gift cards and buys your unwanted gift cards for up to 92% cash back.

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Taking Advantage Of Deal & Coupon Sites

You’re definitely not alone if you want to save some money. There are countless communities that focus their efforts in classifying best online deals so you can fully take advantage of them. There are general deal sites that aggregate all sorts of deals, while there are also plenty of comparison sites once you know what you want to buy. Then apply one or two coupons from any of the dedicated websites and you should be golden.

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If you’re constantly purchasing things online, it might be beneficial to integrate shopping-friendly plugins into your browsing experience. These Firefox addons were made with shoppers in mind (Google Chrome users should check out these extensions). iPhone owners should also check out the RedLaser app [iTunes link], which can scan the bar code of any product and tell you how much it is at other stores and online.

Using Alternatives

Monthly purchases that seem unavoidable, such as cable TV and phone service, but the truth is, there are emerging alternative services that bring extra convenience and savings once you add up everything. Netflix and Redbox are major cable alternatives that won’t really empty your pocket. In fact, you can even get free codes to score free Redbox movie rentals using InsideRedbox.

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There are also websites, such as Hulu and network sites, that let you stream full episodes of your favorite TV show for free. Don’t forget Crackle, which you can think of as Sony Pictures’ version of Hulu.

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When it comes to shrinking your phone bill, VoIP services are the most convenient ones as you can use your computer to make calls. VoIP services abound so you pretty much have lots of options in this area, but for starters, be sure to see 3 Alternatives to Local Phone Companies That Will Save You Money.

Buying in Bulk

Buying things in bulk makes sense as you end up saving money in the long run and have products to last for a while. One way you can save money by buying things in bulk online is with BulkTix.

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It’s a service that lets you purchase movie tickets and snack vouchers in bulk while saving tons. The tickets don’t expire and BulkTix takes Paypal, Amazon Payments and even Google Checkout.

Scoring Free Stuff

You might have heard of any of the freebie sites that accumulate free offerings from all over the net. Most of them are offerings that you don’t really need, but the next one might be of interest if you’ve ever reserved a table to a restaurant over the phone. Instead of calling the restaurant, create an account at OpenTable, and reserve tables through the website. Every time you show up for your reservation, you accumulate 100 points towards gift cards to any of the OpenTable participating restaurants. Some restaurants offer 1000 points for honoring a reservation, and once you get 2000 points, you score a $20 gift card, or you can wait to accumulate 5000 points for a $50 gift card.

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The restaurant selection at OpenTable is still expanding so you may not find all of your city’s restaurant, but you might want to give it a try as it’s pretty much effortless to be on your way to receiving a restaurant gift card!

You can also learn how to get find free Internet/Wifi and even hotel stays! Don’t forget MakeUseOf offers free PDF guides on a variety of topics for you to learn fast!

Share your money-saving tips with us in the comments!

Photo credit: o5com

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16 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

megamelfina

Groupon and other groupon-like sites can certainly help consumers to save money when they are using the internet to shop. Find daily deals and group-buying opportunities.

A great way for consumers to find groupon and daily deals is to use http://www.dailydealpool.com. It compiles a list of the great sales and deals in your local area and emails them to you daily. This keeps you from having to search for a great deal, and can lead you to a great local business!

Reply

Eileen

Great list of savings tips. As far as coupon sites go, I really like http://www.couponmountain.com for their exclusive coupons and the giveaways they’ve been doing on their blog. Also, check out their Firefox Extension: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/coupon-digger-60487/.

Jessica Cam W.

Nice, informative suggestion, thank you! I only used RetailMeNot.com and know of CouponCabin.com, but that site looks useful too!

Reply

Aibek

No mention of Groupon.com? That’s the first thing comes to my mind when someone talk about getting discounts or deals online :-)

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Aibek

No mention of Groupon.com? That’s the first thing comes to my mind when someone talk about getting discounts or deals online :-)

Jessica Cam W.

Groupon did slip off my mind, but good thing you mentioned it. Everyone should check it out! I like that it ‘makes’ deals come to you, instead of making you having to go hunt for deals.

Reply

Paulsjenkins33

Thank you Jessica. This is very useful for me as i travel a lot and I’m hoping to find cheap hotel deals and/or flights and save some money that way. Is there any website that offers only travel deals?

Jessica Cam W.

For flights, I use Kayak.com, Hipmunk.com and Orbitz.com (for both hotels & flights). If you travel a lot from your city to the same spots over and over, you can sign up for Kayak’s (weekly or daily) price change email alerts, which tell you the average fare over time.

You should ask at the MakeUseOf Answers community, which a lot more users see so you can get additional recommendations.

Reply

Pam

It’s a great article. Online shopping provides a lot of opportunities for saving money while shopping. Several cash back sites, coupon sites, rewards programs are available on the net that help shoppers saving online. Such facilities are not available in the brick and mortar stores. Moreover, online retailers provide special offers to the online buyers. Being a frugal online buyer, I always use cash back websites like ShopAtHome, FatWallet, AAfter Search and Ebates, and MrRebates.

Reply

FreebieExpert

Excellent and informative post. There are so many ways of saving money – virtually everyone can find something that benefits them – that is what is so great. You can get downloads that will show you coupons for everything you search for! Try http://www.freebiesanddeals.co… downloads. How did anyone save before we had the internet?

Reply

Marian Jane

great post! There are so many ways to save money using the internet and of course we have to be able to learn with that how to

Reply

Marian Jane

great post! There are so many ways to save money using the internet and of course we have to be able to learn with that how to email money transfer safely and some security tips online. We should protect our money that we send to and from our account online.

Reply

Jessica Cam W.

Nice, informative suggestion, thank you! I only used RetailMeNot.com and know of CouponCabin.com, but that site looks useful too!

Reply

Jessica Cam W.

For flights, I use Kayak.com, Hipmunk.com and Orbitz.com (for both hotels & flights). If you travel a lot from your city to the same spots over and over, you can sign up for Kayak’s (weekly or daily) price change email alerts, which tell you the average fare over time.

You should ask at the MakeUseOf Answers community, which a lot more users see so you can get additional recommendations.

Reply

B Super

Good info here. There are also several other ways to make money including list building. As you can see at the top here, this very site has a list of members. This can provide instant traffic. For more information on list building check out http://internet-business-world

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Paulsjenkins33

Thanks Jess. I was using some discount coupons I found online but I’ll definitely give those websites a try. I heard Orbitz are actually really generous with their discounts :)

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