Looking after the cents – saving money online

Save Money online in blue

With the rise of smartphones, tablets, notebook computers and other innovative and accessible designs, the internet has become easier to use and more avail

able to a vast number of people than ever before. A world of information and opportunity is literally the touch of a fingertip away at any given moment and that wealth of potential access also opens up unique opportunities for people to save money. Set aside the initial cost of a smartphone or tablet with the latest software, as well as the cost of internet access, and consider that the internet actually makes a wealth of money-saving options available, from coupons and discount codes to online-only specials and events. In addition, many websites were created and are dedicated to saving the consumer money on things such as food, clothing, medications and entertainment.

Tips for saving money online

Keeping a few practical tips in mind when shopping for anything online will go a long way toward avoiding imprudent purchases and will help save a great deal of money.

Online coupons, promotions and discount codes are available for nearly every type of purchase made online, and many websites create huge

databases of these special money-saving opportunities. Take the time to register with one of the top online coupon services; most are free to access and send regular updates on the latest deals.

When shopping online and comparing prices between websites, as well as comparing prices of the same product available in-store, remember to keep the cost of shipping in mind when calculating the cost benefit. While one website may offer a product for a lower price, the cost of shipping and handling, as well as any tax on the product, may bump the price up and make the higher price on another site or in-store the better deal. Be patient and watch for promotions that offer discounted or free shipping.

Take the time to read customer reviews, not only for the product but for the website itself. A number of professional review websites are also available and offer a wealth of pertinent information to help make each purchase a well-informed one.

Saving money on groceries

Global economic conditions and unpredictable factors such as weather and disease often result in food prices climbing higher and higher. The need to feed the family, however, never decreases, so finding ways to save money on groceries and getting the most out of that weekly or bi-weekly trip to the market is always paramount. Most grocery stores offer online access to their weekly flyers, as well as providing online and printable coupons. Discount cards are also common now and many grocery stores allow online sign-up, as well as offering shoppers the opportunity to keep track of points and other benefits accrued through using the card.

Toiletries and other personal care items can frequently be purchased for discounted prices, either through discount marketplaces, such as Amazon, or by using downloadable and printable coupons from the manufacturers’ websites.

Saving money on medications

As the baby boomers reach their retirement years and begin to face the illnesses and conditions that come naturally with age, the list of prescription medications, non-prescription drugs and supplements that are taken on a regular basis becomes longer and more expensive. Online pharmacies, both domestic and international, have become a mecca for shoppers hoping to save money on their medications, both prescription and non-prescription. The internet has made Canadian pharmacies especially attractive, as the drug oversight and manufacturing practices allow Canadian regulators to keep the prices low. Purchasing medications online allows the shopper to take their doctor-ordered prescription to buy Zetia online, for example, and to purchase up to three months’ worth of that prescription medication at a discounted price, as well as providing access to a wide range of over-the-counter medications and supplements.

Saving money on clothing

Clothing can be a difficult area to save money: on the one hand, discount and budget buying may save money short-term, but the item of clothing may not hold up to wear and tear; on the other, higher quality clothing comes with a higher price tag. A number of websites have sprung up that specialize in discounted designer clothing, shoes and accessories, with many offering deep discounts and specials on a regular basis. Many high-quality pieces may also be found at competitive prices through marketplaces.

Another innovative option that internet users may take advantage of is the subscription site. A popular option with children’s clothing, subscription sites allow shoppers to set parameters for size, sex and other preferences, such as color and style, and regular packages will be sent, all for a set monthly fee.

Saving money on entertainment

Even the most frugal household still needs to have a bit of fun, whether at home or out and about. Entertainment costs can add up quickly and, with the average trip to the movies costing up to $20 per person, finding alternatives and discounts becomes a necessity.

The rise of online publishing and e-readers has made it easy to access a wide variety of free and low-cost books. Websites such as Amazon also offer a lending library, allowing readers to purchase books and lend them out to friends or family for short periods.

Many websites that offer books, movies and music have embraced the subscription option, offering monthly or yearly subscriptions to the site that provide unlimited access and other benefits, including special discounts on purchases of entertainment as well as other items throughout the site.

Video game fans can enjoy free trials of new games or rent games by the month from a number of sites. Dedicated gamers may also wish to participate in testing games; this is a great way to play new games first and even earn a little money in the process.

Movie theaters often have deals available, either for discounted ticket prices or coupons for food and beverages. Film screenings are another opportunity to see a new movie for little or nothing and many production companies and sponsors will offer a pair of free passes for a premiere of a new film.

Discounts for amusement parks, fairs, concerts and other social events may also be accessed online, either through the event or park website, or through discount ticket sites.

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June 3, 2014 Looking after the cents – saving money online