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How to Save Money when You Shop Online

Someone once asked me my favorite places to shop and I answered “anyplace that begins with www!” When I can, I support local, independent stores, but I don’t spend time “going shopping” anymore and prefer ordering online when it’s from chain stores.

One of the problems I had with ordering online was the flood of email notifications I was obligated to receive from my favorite stores if I wanted to know about specials, bargains and sales. Well, not anymore. Thanks to two websites I recently found, I am saving money on the items I want and I have opted out of all those pesky sale emails.

The first site is called RetailMeNot.com. Think of it as the Library of Congress for coupons. If I’m buying something online, I first check RetailMeNot for any coupons I can use on my purchase. All you do is enter the name of the store on their website and a list of coupons and sales for that store will appear. Typically, I don’t care for the extra sale announcements that are mixed in with the coupon listings, so you can check a box to just see the coupons. It makes it much easier to actually find the deal.

This is how I use RetailMeNot. After I’ve selected what I want to order from a particular online store, I go to RetailMeNot and enter the store’s name in the search bar at the top. If there’s a coupon I can use, I copy the coupon code and go back to finishing my order from the online store. Usually on the page before you enter your credit card, there will be a place to enter a coupon or promotion code. I paste the copied coupon code and pat myself on the back!

RetailMeNot is especially useful for items that I really want to purchase right now, but if I’m willing to wait for an item to go on sale, I use Nifti.com. Nifti follows the prices of any items you want to watch and will alert you via email only when a price has fallen to an amount that you have set. For instance, if there is a particular pair of pants at J Crew that you love but just can’t justify paying full price, set an alert for Nifti to email you when they have been reduced by 30%. Love a Kate Spade bag, but definitely have to wait until it goes on sale somewhere? Track it on Nifti. And it’s not just for tracking prices on clothes. You can set alerts for kitchen items, linens, tools, appliances, electronics – just about anything you can buy online.

The easiest way to use Nifti is to add their tracking button to your internet browser’s toolbar. Go to Nifti.com and sign up for an account. Click on the three lines in the left corner and then click on How it Works. Drag the blue Nifti button from the middle of the page up into your toolbar (it may not stay blue once it’s up there). Now, anytime you are looking at an item online and want Nifti to watch for a price drop, just click on “Track with Nifti” in your toolbar. Select the price at which you want to be notified. If you are not on a site that Nifti currently tracks, you can enter your email address to be notified when they add that website. By my rough estimate, Nifti can follow items from over 500 online stores, including Amazon.

Now, liberate your money as well as your time!

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