Adapted from an article that originally appeared on Mashable
Saving Money Online? Yes, You Can!
Who likes saving money? Me, Me, Me! With three kids, never ending monthly expenses and the loom of college tuitions in our future, it seems like a Herculean task to save on a monthly basis. But if you break it down and make small changes every day, the little bit here and there can add up.
If you’re an avid online shopper like I am, here are a few handy tech tips and services to help save a little extra:
On the web
People balked at Amazon increasing its annual Prime membership fee from $79 to $99, but the extra $20 still makes it worth it for people like me who do a lot of online shopping there. Not only do I get 2-day shipping, but my family gets access to thousands of books/movies/TV shows that we’d otherwise have to pay for. Even adding the cost of our Fire TV, weekly family movie nights just got a lot cheaper.
Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program is another great way to save a few bucks. For items that you know you use on a regular basis like diapers, wipes or a favorite kind of granola bar, this is a great way to get them delivered consistently and much cheaper than you would if you ordered it manually each month.
This handy Chrome extension finds deals for you when shopping online. When you’re checking out, a little Honey pop-up will appear asking if you’d like to apply coupons. It will then scour any current discount codes and automatically deduct any that apply. While it has never worked for me on Amazon, it has on sites like Land’s End, Children’s Place and Bloomingdale’s.
With extended family in Seoul, having a free international texting plan is a huge money saver. Since it’s available for Android and iOS, nearly all of my family members can participate and it’s really nice to be able to hear from them in real-time, even being halfway around the world.
I’m a big fan of warehouse clubs, but not a fan of the time it takes away from us on the weekends to make the journey there. Not to mention trying to wrangle those humungous shopping carts. Which is why I am obsessed with the Boxed app, letting me order my household items, kids’ snacks and much more from the comfort of my home. And it’s at my door within two days. (Free, iOS and Android)
Ever find that bag of new clothes in your closet that you forgot to return? Ugh. Never again with ReturnGuru. You simply take a photo of any receipt and this app automatically keeps track of the return dates, even alerting you when you are approaching the expiration date. (Free, iOS and Windows)
I have previously sung the praises of FitStar for being a great way to get a quick (and challenging) workout at home. There are a handful of free programs on the app that offer 10-30 minute workouts, but there is also an annual membership you can purchase which is still much less than a gym membership. There’s a FitStar Yoga app too. (Free, iOS)
Over the years, I have signed up for a lot of “loyalty rewards” programs but have lost the cards, which means that I miss out on accruing points and reaping savings. CardStar lets you digitally store all these membership numbers in one place, eliminating the need for your keychain to be bogged down by those little plastic tags. But more importantly, saving you money whenever you make purchases. (Free: iOS, Android, Windows, Nokia, Blackberry)
While you might not suddenly be swimming in loads of discretionary cash by employing these tips, it’s nice to know that extra dollars in savings are available with a few taps or clicks. Every little bit helps, right?
What do you use to save a little cash online?