6 Web Sites That Help Us Shop Smarter Online

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Image: Flickr Tim Reckmann

When it comes to shopping, I prefer to go online. Sorry brick and mortar stores, I find my time more useful when I can comparison shop, find great coupons and promo codes, and not fall into impulse buys. If I do shop at brick and mortar, I’m actually finding myself shopping local. Supporting small businesses now, will hopefully come around when we start a business in the future. It’s karma folks, and I’m not messing with it.

Again for day-to-day items we’ll go with the standard generic brand items with the occasional name brand if it’s cheaper on sale or has a proven quality difference. For example, we tried a dishwasher detergent from the $1 store and noticed it didn’t get the dishes all the way washed. We thought it was the dishwasher but wanted to try the regular stuff first. To no one’s surprise, even the generic brand detergent from Wal-Mart was better at cleaning dishes than the $1 store brand.

For the non day-to-day items, whether it be clothes, electronics, housewares, accessories, plane tickets, etc., I’ll try to find a coupon or deal online and purchase when there’s no sense of urgency, otherwise you’re dead in the water spending whatever it takes to get something at the last minute. We’re all guilty of this once in a while. But with time to spare, some of our go-to sites we use are below:

1. Slickdeals.net

This is one of the few sites I actually visit almost every day. It’s easy to scour for things that may be pertinent to us and they usually post some great deals which I jump on even though I normally wouldn’t have considered buying. Sometimes you’ll see awesome stackable coupon codes or cheap prices for various items at popular stores like Lowe’s, Amazon, Macy’s, and many online stores.

2. Yipit

I subscribe to this so I get a collection of all the local ‘groupon’-style deals. This site aggregates all the local daily deals from categories you choose from LivingSocial, Groupon, Google, Amazon local, and others. It also helps cut down on the daily email blasts from each provider, saving me time when there all in one place. Also, this is our way to try new local restaurants at a sweet discount. There’s always a risk for companies overselling these causing service issues, so plan accordingly. Thanks to Nikkie Z for showing us this one!

3. Retailmenot

Before I click on the “Place Order” button anywhere, I’ll google “promo code” and the store name. Retailmenot usually pops up with a promo code to use for an extra 5-15% off. This usually pays for tax and/or shipping, so definitely worth it for just a few extra clicks.

4. Kayak

Much like Expedia, Travelocity, and other fare and hotel search engines, it’s an easy way to just make sure the airline with your frequent flyer miles has a comparably low fare. It’s an easy way to get alerts too if you have ample time to wait for a cheaper fare.

5. ebates

You get cash back by doing something you’re already planning to do, shop online. They give varying cash back percentages and advertise sales to many popular stores and they’ll send you a check when you’re ready.

6. Techbargains

Another site for coupons and price hunters for primarily electronics. We all need more electronics right?

Happy hunting for those deals! Let us know if you have some go-to sites for discounts and steals.

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