Need some strategies to save on things you already need to buy?

“We’re out of dog stuff.”  “Stuff” is notoriously expensive heartworm and flea meds. That stuff adds up. What adds up more? Fleas. So, it was time to buy. With coupons on the site and Black Friday approaching, it’s an even better time to use strategies to save.

1-800-Petmeds had a big sale. They generally have sales and coupons–that’s part of half the internet’s pricing model. But, the coupon didn’t work when I clicked it. That’s when I went to chat. Long story short, the chat woman applied more coupons than I thought and I saved a big chunk off the already-bulk savings. And, I got free shipping, a bonus.

Yes, we know shipping’s baked in the price. I like to feel like it’s free though.

Here are four couple quick tips to save an extra 10-25% on (most of) your internet shopping.

None of them takes more than ten seconds to a minute except the chat.

  1. Look for coupons online. This takes ten seconds, top. Open up another tab and type “coupons for… ” and look for the product and the retailer.
  2. Do a quick search online using “sale on” (whatever large item you’re buying).
  3. If there’s a chat, use it. “Just checking to see if there are any offers or coupons for… “
  4. Last resort: fill your cart. Abandon it. Check your email in a day or two. Sometimes it takes up to a week. Many large online retailers will send you a couple “did you forget these items” emails and often they’ll follow up with a “We Miss You!” coupon. Score.

Today, my chat with the rep netted me a $30 savings. It took approximately three minutes. That’s ten dollars a minute–not a bad rate. Another time, I bought an upper-end vacuum and got massive savings. Still another time I got some products, didn’t buy–left them in my cart, and they sent a $25% coupon.

I didn’t end up using that coupon.

Here’s why. The product were from a specialty line I tried and liked. There are only two stores in the US that are authorized retailers. One has far less sophisticated retail operation, is run by someone who doesn’t speak American English (so the newsletter isn’t flashy) but prices are already a third lower than the flashy-coupon site and if I google search, I found an additional 10% off coupon. Game, set, match for site number two. That additional search and side-by-side price comparison–saved me about $25 and took a few minutes as well.

Does this work in the store?


Often, it does,. If you’re shopping in person, ask the salesperson if there are any additional coupons, or if any of the items you’re getting will be on sale soon. Compare the price online while you’re shopping, too. I often get coupons and deals the salespeople have that I may not be aware of. One thing, though… don’t sign up for any credit cards. Most store cards are high-interest low-benefit cards. You won’t save in the long run.

Also, don’t overbuy–use these strategies to get the things you planned for not to go crazy. It can be tempting to spend an extra bit of money to get up to the level of the next discount for tiered discounts. It’s easy to inflate an order because of a sale. Don’t. Instead, get what you need, Get quality. Then use the money you save toward debt or goals.

Happy savings!