Finding Online Savings This Holiday Shopping Season

With the holiday shopping season upon us, it’s hard not to stress about finances. With most of our gift shopping happening online these days, there are a ton of ways to find some extra savings. Before you start Googling coupon codes, be sure to check out these other easy ways to save. Because, let’s face it, every little bit helps this year.

Click through a cash-back site

Cash-back portals, such as Rakuten or Mr. Rebates, have links to thousands of e-commerce websites. Once you sign up, simply access your shopping through one of the links in the cash-back portal to earn a rebate of up to 50% off your shopping total. These sites often run double or triple cash-back promotions, especially around the holidays. Both Rakuten and Mr. Rebates also offer a downloadable browser extension, which will remind you when you’re shopping on a site that offers cash back. Once your rebate total hits a certain amount, you’ll get a rebate check to use toward next Christmas — or perhaps a post-holiday gift for yourself.

Buy gift cards — at a discount

We often think of gift cards as something we buy for someone else, but they are also a great way to save money when we shop. Sites like Raise, Cardpool, and Gift Card Granny sell both physical and electronic gift cards at a discount off their face value. You can use these sites to buy gift cards for others, or double down on your savings by shopping with your discounted gift cards in combination with cash-back rebates or discount codes.

Use your credit card or travel rewards

If you use a credit card regularly, or even just for large purchases, you may have cash-back rewards that you can put to work. These rewards can be used to pay your statement balance post-shopping, or buy gift cards — sometimes even for less than face value. If you’re a frequent traveler, Points Loyalty Wallet allows you to redeem your hotel points or airline miles for shopping and dining gift cards. This is a great way to make use of these rewards, especially when your balance isn’t high enough to bankroll your next vacation.

Use a price tracker

If you’re shopping for a specific product, there are several sites and apps that will work for you to find the best price. CamelCamelCamel tracks prices on Amazon and can even alert you when an item is at an all-time low price. The Honey browser extension also automates the process of finding the best deal by checking for discounts and lower prices for items in your virtual shopping cart. WikiBuy works similarly, comparing prices, finding discounts, and offering rebates at thousands of online stores.

Bonus: Give back while you shop

While you’re doing your holiday shopping online, why not stretch your dollar even farther by supporting charitable organizations or causes you care about? If you shop on Amazon, you can use AmazonSmile to donate to an organization of your choice — even local ones. For eligible purchases, AmazonSmile donates a portion of your shopping total to your chosen charity. It’s easy to set up your account and select an organization to support whenever you shop using the AmazonSmile site. Be sure to also enable AmazonSmile on your Amazon Shopping mobile app!

The holidays can be a stressful time, especially as we think about the impact on our finances. This year, many of us will be leaning heavily on technology to shop safely from home. With a few extra clicks, you can find significant savings while you shop online — for the holidays and beyond.

Hannah grew up in rural central Massachusetts and now lives in the beautiful Berkshires. Hannah has BS and MS degrees in engineering and has spent most of her career working as a manager in the manufacturing industry — where there are few women, and even fewer moms. She is currently a senior quality manager in the aerospace industry, working on commercial airplane components. Hannah and her husband met during college, when they were both volunteering at a food bank. After graduating, building their careers, traveling, and even living on opposite coasts for a few years, they were married in 2015 and welcomed a son in 2019. Together, they love to camp, travel, and hone their DIY skills as they work to build their family's forever home. Hannah loves to volunteer, especially with organizations that help women and mothers advance their careers.