Sure, there are five million articles on the web that tell you how to easily save money using online resources.
Count this as article 5,000,001.
The recession — though generally depressing — has taught us one valuable lesson: save money!
How can you save money, outside of clipping coupons, shopping for sales and using generic brands?
It’s actually pretty simple. No, you won’t save millions of dollars, but using some creativity (and a few online resources) you can keep your hard-earned money in your pocket instead of retailers’ cash registers.
Or, you stick the money you save in a savings account and earn interest. Just a thought.
Here are three easy ways to save money online:
Ebates is a simple, easy-to-use online shopping portal that directs you to sales, deals and special offers on everything from Alaskan Airlines to Wal-Mart.
So what, a lot of websites do that. What’s the fuss?
Well, shop at these retailers by using Ebates links and you’ll actually get cash back for what you purchase. For example, Ebates users get 1 percent cash back on their purchase at the Apple Store if they go through the site (as of Oct. 2010.) So, buy that $229 iPod Touch and you’ll get $2.29 back on the purchase. It might not seem like much, but make several purchases through Ebates and you’ll get a pretty hefty amount sent to through PayPal or a check.
The downside? You won’t receive your cash back for a few months after your purchase. This is likely to keep unscrupulous people from getting money for items they sent back to retailers. For example, your Ebates from purchases made from Oct. through Dec. won’t be sent to you until Feb. 15. The upside is that you’ll see bigger savings than if you received small payments consistently.
Ebates also offers additional incentives from time to time, like double cash back on purchases from certain stores. Interested to learn more? Sign up with Ebates and get started saving money on your normal purchases.
Once only available in New York City and Los Angeles, Groupon has now expanded worldwide and includes cities in all 50 states. Here’s how it works: you sign up to receive Groupon’s daily deals. Then, each morning you get an email detailing a new deal in your city. The Groupon deals are usually 50 percent off the retail price of the offered item — for example, if a spa is selling a $60 facial package on Groupon, you’d pay only $30.
You can also sign in to the Groupon website to view recent deals offered in your city, along with current deals in other cities around the country and world.
Really want a deal ? Access Groupon through Ebates and you’ll get an additional 6 percent back on your purchase. Score!
A Full Cup
For some, couponing is an (almost) full-time job. Some enterprising coupon fans put together the incredible deal website A Full Cup. The website offers a full database of coupons available through everything from retail circulars to cash register printouts and everything (and we mean, everything) in between.
Check out A Full Cup’s active forums to learn about the latest retail specials to hot freebies or even read about coupon success stories. It’ll take awhile to get used to the lingo — and the coupon game — but once you do, you’ll be swimming in savings.