Let’s be honest — the majority of us do a ton of shopping online these days. You can buy pretty much anything you want online without ever having to leave the comfort of your best sweatpants. And to top it off, the mail carrier brings you a package you get to open, like a present to you from you. It’s kind of the best.
Being the coupon-obsessed person that I am, I’m constantly looking for ways to save money. And after years of perusing the web for the best money-saving techniques, I’ve put together a short list of the best and easiest to use. With just a few clicks of a button — you’ll be saving cash in no time!
Ebates is probably my favorite of all the sites listed here. I’ve used it the longest and made the most money from it. They give you cash back on purchases — all you have to do is click through Ebates’ link to get to the store you’d like to shop at. Clicking through their link opens up a “Shopping Trip” to that site. Once your purchase is complete, Ebates records it. Then, once a quarter, you’ll get a PayPal payment for the cash back that you earn. (You can also have a physical check mailed to your address if you prefer.)
As you can see in the photo above, they regularly have special deals of double cash back, so it’s always a good idea to check here first! They also often have a list of available coupon codes for the shopping site.
In addition, I highly recommend installing the browser extensions they offer. I use Google Chrome, but they also offer them for Firefox and Safari.
If you’re searching Google for a store, the browser extension will show if Ebates currently has a cash back offer available.
Or, if you head straight to a store’s site without going to Ebates first, you’ll get a little drop-down in the top right-hand corner of your window.
All you have to do from here is hit the big red button. The little “E” icon for the extension will get a green box around it showing the Shopping Trip is opened, and you’re good to go!
Note: If you’re a tab shopper like me (i.e., you tab out items that you want to look at), you’ll want to be certain when you do check out that the tab you’re on is active for cash back (this is another place where the extension comes in handy). Also — if for some reason your Shopping Trip doesn’t show up in your account on the site within a few days, you can send a request to Ebates. Just go to the site and click the big green “Help” button in the bottom right. Then choose the “Where’s my cash back?” link. From there, find your open shopping session, and they’ll have you paste the contents of your purchase confirmation email. Then Ebates will add your cash in right away, no questions asked.
Honey is a bit newer onto the scene. As you can see, Honey is dominated by coupon codes. If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a ton of time Googling “(insert store name here) coupon codes” when shopping just to make sure you’re not missing anything. Honey will do that for you.
To use Honey, you can either search their site, or install their browser extension (do this). Check out this video — it explains the concept far more simply than I could!
With just one click of a button, Honey runs on its own once you get ready to check out. You don’t have to do anything other than click the button, and it scans all available coupon codes for a site. A lot of these are user entered, so if you have one, share it with the community!
This takes so little effort and really does work. And of course, you can use this in combination with Ebates. Set up your cash back through Ebates first, then once you’re at the checkout page, hit your Honey extension and let it get to work.
Paribus works a bit differently than the other two sites — it relies on your credit cards’ price protection agreements. You have to register for Paribus through your email address, and then Paribus scans your email for purchase receipts. It doesn’t work for every single retailer, but does work for a lot of major ones — and they’re continuing to expand. (These are mine — shoes for my Eleven costume, a book I’m checking out, a new dog bed for Honey and a good ol’ probiotic. Gut health FTW, y’all.)
In order for Paribus to make sure that your cards offer price protection, you have to log your cards in through the site. It’s secure, though. All good. Then, as you can see on the right hand side — Paribus tracks prices for 30 days (the length of most price protection programs) to see if the price goes up or down. (Check out those Chucks on Amazon!) If the price goes down, Paribus (no work needed by you) will reach out to your credit card company to get a reimbursement for you. Then, the money goes straight back to your card.
Basically, once you’ve signed up, there’s nothing further to do here. All you need to do is make sure you keep your credit cards and email address updated. Then, just sit back and wait for the dough to roll in.
These are my three favorite ways to save money when shopping online. They all require very little action on your part — if you install the browser extensions for Ebates and Honey, they’ll prompt you when savings are available. And Paribus just works in the background. So you can shop like normal, but save tons of money.
So…since I helped you find these — when you get your Scrooge McDuck-style vault of gold coins set up, can I go for a swim?