I live in the City now, we traded trees, nature and our car for airborne toxins and a U-lock for Justin's Bike. So maybe I've become a slight hermit, who would want to go out into that garbage, and my need to go anywhere is stifled by the ability to get everything cheaper online [Unless you use Ibotta, which unfortunately cannot be used with your online purchases due to the need for a regular physical receipt, and by-the-way I think that is BULLSH*T, Bryan Leach, CEO of Ibotta...but I digress]
Here are the ways I make my money work harder for me, without sacrificing anything that I want or need. [OKE, All honesty, sure there are things I WANT still, but this method helps all the same, and I am in NEED of nothing]
#1 Buy in Bulk [ It's not something you need a tax ID for anymore]
I am a hard core crafter. My glue gun looks like a small fuzzy roadkill that was placed delicately in my craft cupboard. My use of hot glue sticks is kin to an opiate addicts use of pills and heroin. It is Out Of Control! So when I go to the store to buy fuel for my gun, I am taken back by the outrageous price of gluesticks. 10 sticks for over $5, REALLY?! Do the math, crafting is hardly affordable at that rate, but they have the market cornered when it comes to walk in stores. So I took to the internet and found on ebay a pretty great deal, No shipping charge, no sales tax just 25lbs of large hot glue sticks. Even if I bought Surebonders best online price for large glue sticks I would still pay $162.25 for 25 lbs, and although if I bought that quantity I would recieve free shipping, I would still have to pay sales tax, Instead I paid $67.25 all inclusive [plus I received a Rebate on Ebates for $1.35 and another $1.35 in EBAYBUCKS, more on those lower in the list].
I used the same logic when my Jute habit got out of control, instead of paying $2-$3 for a 50 foot roll, I buy a 5,000 foot roll for about $40 after shipping. In the long run it saves tons, and YES I have already been through a roll and a half.
It goes beyond craft supplies, just cast your deal finding net out into the world wide web, most of the time you can get it cheaper than your local store [by local store I mean, Safeway, Fredmeyers or Walmart etc. I am 100% for buying local when you know it benefits real humans].
#2 Buy great brands Gently used.
Justin and I have been taking up Bushcraft and camping as a hobby. The only equipment we had going into this was the self inflating sleeping mat that I had from my trip to the Philippines. Clearly we had tons of equipment to buy.
I take after my mom a bit, I really am cheap. I would never go to a restaurant if Justin didn't insist on it once in awhile. I cannot justify paying $10+ for chicken fettuccine, when I could feed a family of four chicken fettuccine at home with the same $10. That being said It was not easy for me to shop Camping equipment.
Justin was pretty specific about the type of gear he wanted, and to a point I can understand. Brands that have been around and are known for being dependable will in the long run save you energy and money. But that alone wasn't enough for me to head over to REI and max out my credit card.
Which lead me to Ebay. I had always skipped the auctions and gone straight for BuyItNow. Never again would I do that just to avoid the hassle. Winning a Northface backpack for a fourth of its Retail is the greatest high for a penny pincher like myself.
#3 Buy person to person on sites like Ebay to avoid taxes
Sales Tax in Washington State is insane. I will tell you what, I have no interest whatsoever in paying it. I don`t collect any assistant from the state, and I am not even interested in walking on their broken A$$ side walks [But all the areas where I would walk otherwise are sold and commercialized, so they give me no choice].
Oh, I should pay because "Education", How about you take your No Child left behind bullsh*t and start teaching the youth things that really matter, like how to eat healthy, grow our own food and heal our own bodies [Maybe then we wouldn't need 16% of our tax dollars to go towards children's insurance programs, because the kids wouldn't be sick]. Start producing competent humans, and stop poisoning our water supply [Oh Lawd, Again, I digress]
The point is, Sales tax is expensive and If you shop around Online you can avoid it.
#4 Use free online loyalty percent back programs to maximize every dollar you spend:
Ebates and EbayBucks have really enhanced my life [I hear how stupid that sounds also, but it's true]
In the past when I spent money on things I needed, it was spent, that was the end of the discussion. But now I get a percentage back, and since I shop ebay for most items I need I can pair the two programs to get myself even more for my dollar.
For Example: I bought a pair of Muck boots [gently used] For Justin to go in his bug out bag. I Paid $50 [which was a killer deal] received $1.00 in EbayBucks and $0.50 in Ebates Rebates. $1.50 may not pay your mortgage, but it certainly adds up quick to real savings. Also, Ebates gave me a newcomer $10 gift card to Walmart for spending $25 using Ebates.
#5 Buy at least the minimum to qualify for free shipping, but make sure they are things you would need to buy anyways.
Sites like amazon sometimes offer free shipping when you buy a minimum dollar amount from qualifying items.
For example I shopped around and found the best deal on a Large Toothed folding Silky saw [already in the warehouse, away from the confusion of customs, as it is an item from Japan] But It was only $40 (I received $1.20 back in Ebates rebates), and you need $49 now to qualify for free shipping. I wracked my brain for what else I already needed that would help me qualify for free shipping. I decided on 250 Feet of 550 cord.
#6 Online Grocery delivery
In the past I lived too far out of the city to even think of qualifying for grocery delivery, But now I am the perfect candidate.
I use safeway`s online grocery delivery, the weekly ads that come in the mail, and the APP that lets you easily select from current store coupons and some manufacturer coupons. I dedicate about an hour to carefully selecting items that will allow me to get the biggest bang for my buck. [My first order they gave me free delivery AND an 8 pack of Viva Paper towels AND a 24 pack of Nestle life water]
Fridays are often the best day to plan your delivery, because $5 Fridays allow you to get different items that are usually more expensive for only $5.
Take a good look through the Online Promotionals. Look at all the offers carefully before you start shopping. Now go through the coupons on your app [Or the online page for this] and select any coupons that may be relevant to your diet and needs, or ones that may coincide with the online promotional savings.
For Example. There was a Promo for buy three Nabisco products get $3 off, and there was also a Buy 2 pack of ChipsAhoy get $2 off, well those ARE nabisco. I had a coupon for wheat thins allowing me to get them for only $1.88 and a coupon to get the cookies for $1.99 a pack. So how much did I pay?
$1.99+1.99+1.88= 5.86 -3-2 = $0.86 for all three items. That is nearly FREE.
Online grocery delivery and the order process is a topic I plan to cover in more detail soon, There is a ton too it and you can save Sh#tloads.
I received $154 worth of groceries for $79 last week, just shopping carefully.
#7 Don't settle for bad deals at the grocery store, For example see if online can get you your coffee brand for $3 cheaper.
Sometimes safeway doesn't have the item I need on sale when I need it. I refuse to pay $10 for 32oz of folgers light roast coffee. I switched to folgers 2 year ago to SAVE money, not to lose my shirt.
So again I take to online. Walmart.com has my coffee for $7.85 and if I buy at least $50 I get free shipping. So I again thought about what else we needed at the house so I could take advantage of the deal.
UPDATE: I found the same coffee for only $7 on Dollar Generals website, and I am still covered by Ebates Rebates, as well as free shipping on orders over $40.
Many of these work hand in hand to produce ONE HUGE ORB of Savings.
How do you save money by shopping online? I would love to get some pointers from a person in the know. Leave a comment below!
PS. Be sure to have a Paypal account that you use for a few purchases here and there. They sometimes send you awesome deals. For example
which I thought may result in a minimum purchase amount, but it turned out I was able to get one 1oz bottle of Cedarwood essential oil for absolutely no charge to me. I kept my order below $10 [Including shipping charges] and voila I was able to take advantage of the good deal, without it taking advantage of me. Also, I went through Ebates and in doing so I actually made $0.13 cents, even though it actually cost me nothing.