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15 Ways to Save Money and Time When Shopping Online

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a huge fan of online shopping. My reasons are many, but the fact that I have three young children is certainly at the top of my list. Dragging them out of the house to stock up on toilet paper and panties just isn’t something I love to do, so being able to order things from the comfort of my couch, and have them shipped right to my front door, is a huge plus in my book.

I’m also a fan of finding a good deal, so over the years I’ve perfected the art of online shopping. With three kids, I need to budget and be frugal with our dollars, so I look for ways to cut costs and, quite honestly, when I buy something that I think is a good deal I do a little victory dance and pat myself on the back for a job well done.

I’m always surprised when I mention some of the sites that I visit on a regular basis, and people have never heard of them. I use them all without even thinking about it now, and thought it was about time to share my tips and tricks with the rest of the world. As summer heats up, you’ll want to spend time playing with your kids and enjoying an ice cold lemonade on the patio, not schlepping them from store to store stocking up on household supplies. You can check out my favorite sites for saving time and money while shopping online below!

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  • Ebates 1 of 15
    Ebates
    Ebates is, by far, my favorite way to save money online. When you sign up for an account you can then use them as your shopping homepage. From their site, you can click through to tons of great sites (like Target, Old Navy, Gap, Dell, Home Depot, etc) and receive cash back on your purchases. Every 3 months you'll get a "big fat check" (or paypal payment as the case may be). It's like free money in your pocket!
    You can sign up here
  • Amazon 2 of 15
    Amazon
    If you are a frequent Amazon shopper, signing up for Amazon Prime is a no-brainer. While the yearly $79 cost can be a turn off, when you add up the amount you could spend on shipping in a year, it becomes the obvious choice. Amazon Prime offers free 2-day shipping on (almost) all of your orders, with the option to upgrade to next day delivery for $3.99. I can't tell you how many times that deal has saved me. You are also automatically signed up for the Amazon Mom program, which provides discounts on diapers and wipes.
    And if there are items that you buy on a regular basis, consider signing up for their subscribe & save program. You can have things you use all the time automatically delivered on a set schedule (with free shipping!) and billed to you at a reduced price.
    You can sign up here
  • ebay 3 of 15
    ebay
    If you're in the market for a specific item, ebay is a great site for getting deals on brand name goods. It might take some searching to find the item, and it's not always going to be up for grabs, but if you're willing to put in the time and energy, you can possibly save a good deal of money in the end. It's also a great way to find products that are no longer available through the original retailer.
    You can start shopping here
  • Etsy 4 of 15
    Etsy
    If I don't need a branded item, or if I'm looking for something unique, I always try Etsy first. A lot of the time, you can find really great items for much less than what something similar would sell for on a big name site.
    You can start shopping here
  • Price Grabber 5 of 15
    Price Grabber
    The name of the game is research, research, research. If you're in the market for a specific item, it's always a good idea to see what sites are selling it and for what prices. Price Grabber will compare the offerings of some of the internet's top retail sites, letting you know who has the best deal. You might be amazed at what happens when you factor in shipping costs and tax. After I find the best deals, I always check in with Ebates to see if the retailer is signed up with them and factor in those discounts as well.
    You can start shopping here
  • Retail Me Not 6 of 15
    Retail Me Not
    This is a great site for finding online coupons and discount shopping codes. You might not always walk away with a valid code, but it's certainly worth the few minutes it might take you to check it out.
    You can start shopping here
  • Groupon 7 of 15
    Groupon
    The most well known of the "daily deals" sites, Groupon offers items at a discounted rate. From local shops, restaurants and services, to trips and adventures (under the "getaways" tab), there's something for everyone. And with the recent addition of the "Groupon Goods" site, you can now find products, like linens, jewelry and electronics, at great discounts. I just bought a down alternative queen size comforter for $39, and a set of King size Egyptian cotton sheets for $44. Deals! They are there for the taking!
    You can sign up here
  • Living Social 8 of 15
    Living Social
    Another "daily deals" site, Living Social also offers local goods and services at discounted prices. I've purchased certificates at half price for a local ice cream shop, and custom canvas prints for 60% off of regular price. Like Groupon, they also offer trips and hotel stays (called "Escapes") at discounted prices.
    You can sign up here
  • Fab 9 of 15
    Fab
    An online members-only discount shopping site with limited time sales, Fab offers a wide array of modern, funky, whimsical and off-beat items. I use it frequently for gifts. Vintage baseball card colletions & old school travel posters are a few of my favorite finds.
    You can sign up here
  • Joss & Main 10 of 15
    Joss & Main
    Another online members-only sale site, Joss & Main offers mostly home decor and furnishings. It's great for those with traditional or contemporary tastes. Favorite purchases include a huge black and white world map wall decal that I can't wait to hang up in the new playroom and a gorgeous throw pillow for the living room.
    You can sign up here
  • Rue La La 11 of 15
    Rue La La
    This members-only sale site has a mix of home decor and furnishings, clothing for men, women & children, toys and travel. Favorite purchases include a wine preserver and a gorgeous throw blanket for my bed.
    You can sign up here
  • Zulily 12 of 15
    Zulily
    This members-only discount site has items that are geared toward kids and their moms. With toys, shoes, clothes and household items, there are some great deals to be had for the youngest members of the family. My kids, and my niece, each have some super cute outfits that have come from Zulily.
    You can sign up here
  • Facebook 13 of 15
    Facebook
    If you're on Facebook (and who isn't these days), it's a great idea to "Like" the pages of the brands and websites you enjoy. There are often extra deals for Facebook fans, and Ebates even has a special daily deal on their Facebook page that often doubles the cash back you can earn from certain retailers.
    Photo Credit : Flickr
  • FreeShipping.com 14 of 15
    FreeShipping.com
    Wildly popular during their "free shipping" day before the December holidays, FreeShipping.com partners with retailers to offer discounts and free shipping deals all year long.
    You can start shopping here
  • Soap.com 15 of 15
    Soap.com
    One of my favorite online retailers, Soap.com offers common household items at everyday prices. But, with next day free shipping on every order over $50, and its partnership with sister sites for babies & kids, toys, beauty items, pets and household decor, it is a real time and energy saver. I almost exclusively (unless I fail to plan!) buy our paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, diapers and kid soaps and lotions from them. It all arrives on my doorstep the next business day and I don't have to wrestle huge packages of paper goods out of the store and into my car. They're also partnered with Ebates, so I get cash back on my purchases. A total win in both time and money savings.
    You can start shopping here

***In the interest of full disclosure, some of the links above are affiliate links. My opinions, however, are completely my own, and I really do use all of these sites on a regular basis.***

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