There may not be a very long list of things I’m great at, but there is one thing I’ve always prided myself on. That’s being a very good shopper. Random skill, but very useful. Today, I’ve purchased primer, paint, dress shirts for Joe, and an organic cotton pillow. Here’s a short breakdown of my online shopping method:
Step 1: Go to http://www.swagbucks.com (or here for my referral link). It’s free, has lots of ways to earn “swagbucks”, and those can be redeemed for gift cards for places like Amazon, Home Depot, Southwest Airlines, etc. The easiest way to win swagbucks is to use their search engine. Instead of typing in a url or using Google, I type the site I’m looking for into their search box. For shopping purposes, I type in “Ebates.”
Step 2: Go to http://www.ebates.com (or here if you’d like to use my referral). It’s also free, and by using this portal, stores will send a certain percentage cash back to your Ebates account. When you have accumulated $5 or more in your account, Ebates sends you a check. It may not be much in a single transaction, but I’ve received a total of $112.74 back. They have hundreds of participating stores, and most list their coupon codes. Pick the store you want, check out coupon codes, and shop.
Step 3: Confirm things like free shipping minimums, tax, etc.
Step 4: Buy!
Here’s how that’s worked out for me today:
Used swagbucks to search for Ebates.com. Didn’t win any swagbucks this search, but I did earlier for searching for my email. 🙂 Clicked through to Home Depot on Ebates. Added the YOLO zero voc primer and paint to the cart (1 gal of primer, 1 gal semi gloss white for trim, 1 gal of flat for ceilings). Used coupon “DADHD10” I saw on Ebates for $10 off of a $100 purchase. Paid $105, will get 5% back via Ebates, bringing total to $100, including tax and shipping. I figure this is a pretty darn good price for zero voc products when I can’t find any locally, and the price is in line with high quality conventional paints. We’ll definitely post about our results with this product.
Next, Joe mentioned at lunch that he could use some new white dress shirts. I buy almost all of our clothes at Goodwill, including his work clothes. Usually we have great luck there, though it does take some time and patience. However, finding white dress shirts in his size in great condition can be hard, and since I don’t have time to spend looking for used ones right now, I turned to the interwebs again! This time, I did steps 1 and 2 as usual, decided to see if Lands End had anything good, and clicked through a promotional link on their page on Ebates for 25% off anything (including sale prices) with free shipping. The overstocks section had one that looked like it would work well for $10 each. So 2 of those, plus an organic cotton pillow I found in the home section of overstocks for $10 made it into my cart. $30 minus 25% off from the coupon link, plus free shipping, plus tax left us with a total just under $25. We’ll get 6% cash back via Ebates, bringing the total down to about $23.50 for both shirts and the pillow. I usually pay $4-5 for each of Joe’s shirts used at thrift stores or Goodwill, but hopefully these will last longer since they’re new, and they’ll show up at our door.
So there is a very long winded version of my online shopping strategy. Anybody else have neat ways of saving money online or off? Sometime later I’ll dive into my coupon, thrift store, side of the road shopping strategies. I get giddy about things like shopping…. obviously. Oh! And swagbucks.com now lets you print coupons from coupons.com, and gives 10 swagbucks for each one redeemed. WIN! Ok. I’m done. For now. Swears. 😉