I’m a committed deal-hunter. Like most people, I want to pay the best possible price for everything I buy, from clothes and toys for the kids to household items and groceries. Almost inevitably, the lowest prices are online—until, that is, you tack on the shipping cost.
I just got turned onto www.FreeShipping.org, a site founded by Luke Knowles which lists free shipping deals for over 1,200 retailers, including Toys R Us, Victoria’s Secret, Target, Bloomingdale’s, Kohl’s, Sears, Banana Republic, The Gap, Old Navy, Nordstrom and Macy’s! Knowles understands that often shopping online is more than simply a cost-saver, it’s a green solution, a better use of time, and offers consumers more choices, especially in more remote marketplaces. Here are Knowles’ seven suggestions to save time, be environmentally friendly and stretch your dollar during challenging financial times:
1. Shop Online
How many times do you visit a retail store and leave with a heftier bill than you originally planned? Impulse purchases often accompany trips to bricks-and-mortar stores. When you buy online, you will find wider selections at lower prices because retailers have limited overhead. Also, when you shop online, you are less likely to make an impulse purchase.
2. Make a List
Create a list in three columns labeled “immediate necessities,” “future necessities,” and “non-necessities.” Writing everything down clears the mental clutter and helps you maintain focus when you are tempted to buy that expensive skin cream but you know it is not as important as bringing home bread and milk. Grazing online with no particular focus can be just as cash depleting as random mall trips.
3. Reduce Driving
Before you head out the door to complete your errands, schedule your trips. Write down where you intend to go and why. You won’t forget to purchase what you need, saving time and gas money. It is frustrating when you return home from the grocery store and discover you forgot to buy intended items.
4. Be Smart When Eating Out
Before eating out, visit www.Restaurant.com for thousands of e-gift cards for purchase at 40-60 percent of their value. Even with the minimum purchase required by most eateries, you’ll make out with a tasty meal and save money. The Entertainment Book is also still alive and well, offering numerous coupons for fast food eateries and fine dining restaurants.
5. Eat in Smart
Groceries online? Absolutely! Order your staples from Amazon.com, Meijer or Safeway while saving big bucks and avoiding the checkout lines. Some grocery stores will even deliver entire orders to your home. Check and see if a grocery store in your area has online ordering and delivery.
6. Rent DVDs from home
Online movie memberships through Netflix or Blockbuster are a definite cost-saver. Better yet, borrow movies from your local library for free.
7. Don’t pay for shipping
FreeShipping.org was created to provide consumers with a one-stop shop of online retailers that offer free shipping. A growing number of retailers are recognizing that free shipping is becoming a necessity, and not just a perk. Why pay for shipping when you can have it delivered at no cost?