If there’s ever been a year to take advantage of online shopping, 2020 has been that year!

Whether you’ve been on lockdown status due to Covid-19 or you just want to avoid going to the mall, online shopping offers a quick, easy, and safe alternative.

Another great feature of online shopping…the savings. Using a combination of money-saving tools and savvy saving techniques, you can score some amazing deals online. And of course, the best part, you can shop in your jammies from the comfort of your home.

Here are three simple ways you can save big when shopping online.

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you. We understand being a trusted resource means being able to stand behind the products and services we affiliate with. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced in order to help you make the best choice for you. All opinions expressed here are our own.

1. Install a browser extension

A browser extension is a piece of software that is used to modify or add a service to your browser. The browser extensions on this list are all used to help you find the best deals online.

All you have to do is sign up for an account, install the extension, and start saving. Some of the top browser extensions include:

Ibotta

Ibotta is a free browser extension and app that allows you to earn cash back on your everyday purchases when you shop and pay through Ibotta online. Ibotta allows you to earn cash back on everything from groceries to pet supplies, pharmacy purchases, clothing, and more.

Rakuten

Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is a shopping rewards company that offers cash back, deals, and rewards on a huge selection of products and services worldwide. Once you’ve installed the Rakuten extension, cash back is added to your account as soon as you make an online purchase.

Honey

Honey works by searching the web for the best coupon codes available across over 30,000 popular sites and then it automatically applies the coupon to your purchase.

Once you’ve installed the extension all you have to do is shop! If a deal is available a pop-up will appear on your screen with the deal. If you’ve already found the best deal online, Honey will also let you know that so you don’t feel like you’re missing out!

Honey also offers an option called Honey Gold which allows you to earn rewards even if there isn’t a specific deal available. Honey Gold is available when you shop at over 5,000 participating stores. You earn Gold that you can then use to redeem gift cards for some of your favorite stores.

Camel camel camel

It’s a strange name but a useful savings tool!

Camel camel camel is a tool for tracking item prices on Amazon. Camel camel camel was founded in 2008 and since this time online shoppers have been using it for price drop alerts as well as for searching price history charts for products sold on Amazon.

All you have to do is log on to the camel camel camel website to sign up for a free account. Once you have an account there’s a number of benefits you can access like their wishlist importer which allows you to track all of the products you have listed in your Amazon wishlist automatically. It also allows you to manage all of your watched Amazon products in one place.

 

2. Buy used

If you can’t afford, or you simply can’t justify, spending a small fortune on a beautiful pair of jeans or handbag, buying used can be a great way to get what you want for a fraction of the price.

In addition to saving money, there are many environmental benefits associated with buying used. No additional energy or resources are needed to create a used product and they don’t come with a ton of unnecessary packaging, unlike their new counterparts. Buying used also prevents products from ending up in a landfill.

Thanks to some great online resources, it’s easy to shop for all sorts of gently used items.

eBay

eBay is an e-commerce giant. If you haven’t heard of it by now, I’m not sure where you’ve been for the past two decades!

Whether it’s fashion, electronics, art, or sporting goods you seek, you can find it on eBay. All you have to do is browse the site, or search for your item of interest, and when you find it you can you can look up the time details. If you’re interested in purchasing the item, you make a bid and cross your fingers that you will win the auction.

ThreadUp

ThreadUp is the largest online consignment and thrift shop. So, it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing when it comes to used goods. Unlike eBay, which sells virtually everything, ThreadUp specializes in the buying and selling of gently used clothing.

You can search and shop by choosing a department (kids, women, maternity, or plus), by brand, or you can use the Goody Box feature to shop by theme (work from home, colour coordinated). ThreadUp makes it easy to shop for beautiful, reasonably priced clothes.

Poshmark

Poshmark is another online marketplace that sells new and used clothing as well as shoes and accessories for up to 70% off. They sell items for men, women, and kids and list their products based on brand and popular collections.

Simply browse the site and when you’re ready to make a purchase, you can also get recommendations from millions of stylists who are part of the Poshmark virtual community.

Discover Books

If it’s used books that you’re after, you can check out Discover Books online. Discover books was founded with the goal of sustainability and literacy. Keeping books out of landfills and encouraging literacy around the world.

You can easily search for books by category (kids, non-fiction, sports), popularity, or by author or title. While their prices are already low they also offer a number of additional ways to save including buying in bundles, joining their online rewards program, or subscribing for additional coupon offers. In addition, they offer free shipping on all orders to the contiguous 48 states.

 

3. Sell your unused gift cards

In 2020, over $3 billion in gift cards will go unused. This is a staggering amount of money. If you’ve received gift cards that you won’t use, don’t just forgo the money. There are some great sites you can use to trade or sell your unused gift cards.

Cardcash

With Cardcash.com you can purchase gift cards to your favorite store, restaurant, or online retailer at a discounted price. You can also sell your unused gift cards to Cardcash.com. While you will have to sell them at a discounted rate, at least you can get some money back instead of sitting on a bunch of unused cards.

Raise

Raise is similar to Cardcash.com in that you can save money by purchasing gift cards to a variety of stores at a discounted rate. Whether it’s a gift card for you or a present for someone else, there is no longer a reason to pay full price for a gift card.

If you are looking for a way to put cash back in your pocket, you can sell your unused gift cards and store credits to Raise. The best part, you set the price! And, it’s easy to get paid. When you make a sale Raise will deposit the funds through Direct Deposit, Paypal, or check.

 

How do you save online?

With these easy ways to save online, there’s no reason to be paying full price for your purchases.

We want to hear from you. Do you have any strategies that you use to save money online? Do you have a “go to” for saving money while letting your fingers do the shopping?

 

 

Folks who are starting to feel that telltale chill in the air might feel a little extra motivation to take a fall trip this year. Outdoor activities are still the safest during the pandemic, and in many parts of the country, winter weather will limit outdoor options very soon. Here are five ideas for enjoying the great outdoors and staying safe inside this fall.

 

1. Go to a movie

 

 

Many families are packing into the car and rediscovering classic drive-in theaters tucked away around the country. Movie screens are also popping up in some non-traditional venues, like on the sides of public buildings or in parking lots outside bars and restaurants.

To drum up business despite the lack of new movie releases, the major theater chains have also added new pandemic-friendly options. In states that have reopened theaters, seating capacity is usually limited so people can maintain social distance from audience members outside their households. Some chains are even giving families the option to rent out entire theaters for private screenings at reasonable prices.

 

2. Take in the colors

 

 

Daytrips are still among the safest pandemic activities. Somewhere within an hour or two of your home there’s a park or forest preserve where your family can hike, play games, eat a picnic lunch, and snap some Instagram-ready photos of autumn foliage.

 

3. Pick apples or pumpkins

 

 

Although public health experts tell us outdoor activities are less likely to spread Covid-19 than indoor ones, it’s still a best practice to avoid bunching together with people outside of your household bubble. That’s why many orchards, farms, and nature centers have started offering reservations and one-way paths through their facilities. Show up at your allotted time, wheelbarrow your way through apple trees and pumpkin patches, and load your haul into the car at the end.

 

4. Book a cabin or cottage

 

 

For longer getaways, consider renting a house that’s adjacent to outdoor activities like fishing or hiking. A well-cleaned vacation home for just you and your family is much safer than sharing indoor space at a hotel. How nice does a relaxed evening sitting around a campfire with friends and family sound?

 

5. Rent an RV

 

 

Have you and your spouse ever dreamed about buying an RV and traveling around the country in retirement? This might be the perfect year to test drive that idea. RVs let you bring your bubble wherever you want to go. For added safety, many rental companies have ramped up their cleaning procedures and upgraded their phone apps to minimize contact with staff. And if you find out you’re not really a road warrior, at least you’ll have something to cross off your retirement bucket list.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to still get out and live life and remain safe. We hope these five ideas spark something in you to make this fall a memorable one and not just let life pass you by.