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10 Online Shopping Tips To Save Money While Scoring Major Discounts

10 Online Shopping Tips To Save Money While Scoring Major Discounts

Online retailers seem to be becoming more and more creative these days to score big with shoppers. However, if you are a smart deal hunter or would just love to get major discounts without a lot of efforts, try using these ten clever online shopping tips.

1. Outwit the dynamic pricing trap

Dynamic pricing is a sneaky strategy online merchants offer use to show different prices to different customers according to your location, your browsing and spending patterns and current demand of the product. Have you ever found dirty cheap airfare that went 30% higher when you checked on the next day? That’s dynamic pricing in action. As this technique gotten incredibly sophisticated, most retailers are perfectly aware of your price point and may show you a higher price compared to someone else who pays less in online purchases.

To get a less biased price you should:

  • clear your browsing history and cookies in particular
  • log out of your accounts (email, G+, Facebook etc)
  • switch to incognito mode or better take advantage of online anonymous browsing with Tor browser
  • choose localized website versions instead of being redirected to US
  • choose less developed countries as home to get better prices when searching for airfare

2. Shop at the right day

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    Even if it seems tempting to spend your lazy Sunday afternoon browsing around various retailers, don’t cash out too fast. Most stores roll out discounts and special deals on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. However, Sunday is the best day to score cheap airline tickets with Monday being the most expensive, according to Airlines Reporting Corporation who analyzed over 130 million domestic and international over the period of 19 months. Numbers speak for themselves: $432 is the lowest average price for a round-trip ticket on Sunday; $439 is Saturday’s average, while Tuesday – the former “cheapest day to buy airfare” turned out to average $497.

    According to Rather Be Shopping, Tuesday is the best day to purchase laptop and desktop computers as major retailers like Dell Home and Hewlett-Packard send out special coupons every Tuesday. Saturdays are bookworms’ specials as Amazon and Barnes & Noble launch numerous books on sale, targeting readers who love spending a weekend with a new fine read.

    3. Use multiple coupon codes strategically

    If the website allows you to combine different coupons and promo codes at the checkout, use them in the right order. Say you have a promo code for a 20% discount and a coupon for 10$, apply 20% promo code first. That will subtract 20% from the full price, afterwards you can dig more savings with your $10 discount coupon.

    4. Ask for price-drop refunds

    Say you’ve purchased an item yesterday, but when you checked the next day, it was now on sale. Pretty frustrating, right? However, some companies will refund you the price difference if you contact them directly within a certain amount of days. For instance, Amazon will issue you a refund if you notify them within seven calendar days from the delivery date. Use Camelcamelcamel.com to monitor price changes at Amazon.

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    Some credit cards also go with price protection. That is, no matter where you shopped – you will refund the difference if the price dips within a certain amount of days. These include Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, Citi® Double Cash Card and more.

    5. Take advantage of smart reward programs

    Some apps offer you to redeem special bonuses for doing certain actions. You can earn kicks by doing paid online surveys or merely browsing around product catalogs with ShopKick that can be exchanged to gift cards or special discounts. Swagbucks TV allows you to earn swagbucks for simply watching videos and redeem them as discounts from different online merchants.

    Case Happy offers 1 point (equals to 0.05£) for each pound you spend on their goodies – lovely Ipad, Kindle and tablet covers. Points can be redeemed as coupons with your next order with no limits on spending. Basically, you can get the 2nd product for free. If you are into designers clothing, check out Guilt Insider loyalty program. You get early access to sales and a bunch of special discounts, plus you earn 5 points for each dollar spent, 35 points for liking them on Facebook and so on. Points can be exchanged for free shipping, exclusive access to flash-sales and a number of other perks. Amazon nails it with Amazon Rewards Visa card with $50 sign up bonus and 3 points added for each dollar spent.

    6. Bargain with the customer service

    Just discovered a juicy coupon at your email to realize it has expired two days ago? Fret not! Ring up the hotline and ask if your coupon can be extended as you are about to make your order. Typically, sales reps are interested in closing the deal and will either give you a new promo code or extend the existing one. It may not work each time, especially with low-priced items, yet it is always worth trying.

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    Alternatively, you can use live time chats now available at most websites. Be polite and ask a few questions about the product you’d like to buy and then inquire if there’s any sort of discounts they possibly may have. It’s not a well-known fact, but chat support can issue special promo codes that are not widely available.

    7. Organize your emails

    Signing up to newsletters, coupon sites and promotion lists can save you a huge bucks, but you are too reluctant about getting your email spammed? Try Unroll.me – a handy email add-on that lets you instantly unsubscribe from junk emails and de-clutters your inbox by sending one digest email a day summarizing your preferred subscriptions. Just choose the time of the day when you’d like to receive it.

    8. Run smart comparison checks

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      To avoid overpaying and scoring absolutely best deals online, install PriceBlink browser add-on (available for Chrome, Mozilla, Safari). It will save you tons of time by automatically pulling the prices for the same product from numerous merchants, organizing them in a smart chart and even notifying you if there are any coupons available.

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      Alternatively, you can try Pricegrabber app that does the same thing, plus can scan bar codes and provide “bottom line prices” that include taxes, shipping and other add-on expenses.

      9. Leave items in your cart

      Leave the products in your cart and step away for a day or two. Firstly, you’ve just avoided making an impulse purchase. Secondly, most retailers hate unclosed deals and will try to retain you. Stores that send coupons or offer a better price on the next day include Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, JC Penney, Office Max and much more.

      Remember the trick works only when you have an account on the merchant’s website and you are logged in when you leave your cart.

      10. Accumulate more coupons with multiple email addresses

      Some stores love sending huge single use coupons to a selected group of their customers. Increase your chances of saving the big bucks by signing up to their newsletter with multiple email accounts. Now imagine how much money you will receive with three 50% discount codes for one full-priced item purchase, instead of one.

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      Featured photo credit: Tim Reckmann via flickr.com

      More by this author

      Elena Prokopets

      Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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      Last Updated on April 19, 2021

      40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

      40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

      Ever had those moments where you really wanted to eat something delicious and healthy but didn’t have the financials means to do so? Whether you’re a student or parent, this compilation of 40 great, healthy, and inexpensive recipes will make every night special and help you get fit! No more meals where you have to force the food down! It’s time to make that budget your best friend and turn it into great recipes. Enjoy!

      1. Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

      Is there a better way to end the day than a Fish Taco dinner filled with protein and nutrients and is easy on the wallet? This recipe calls for a boys’ or girls’ night in front of a good movie or game.

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        2. Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

        We’ve heard of the delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipes, but imagine having that same meatball goodness in a soup? It’s like Christmas in a bowl. Healthy, warm, and only $3.43 per serving.

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          3. Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

          Now it’s time to look at the traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but with a little twist: vegan meatballs. This way, you can enjoy the Italian tradition without adding on the extra calories. I’m sold!

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            4. Kabocha Squash and Lentils ($3.12 per serving)

            Absolutely delicious way to end the day with a Kabocha Squash and lentils dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can actually make many other things from the mixture, from dips to full-on meals. All under $5 per serving.

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              5. Baked Coconut Lentils ($0.91 per serving)

              Coconuts are always a good idea, but it doesn’t have to be eaten only for dessert or breakfast. With this great recipe, you can now eat a lunch or dinner filled proteins and a coconut twist. Yum!

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                6. Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

                We love chicken and at less than $5 per serving, we are in heaven with this recipe. Add some vegetables and rice on the side and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

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                  7. Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

                  This is absolutely divine. You get in your healthy greens and your fat macros with this great recipe. Takes only a few minutes to make and it’s easy on the wallet. Bon Appetite!

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                    8. Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

                    One word: perfect. This meal will warm your insides and fill you up with the high protein content.

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                      9. Fajita-Style Quesadillas ($0.43 per serving)

                      If you want to eat Mexican tonight but want to stay in your budget, this Quesadilla recipe is your best friend. It’s tasty and filled with healthy ingredients for less than a dollar per serving.

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                        10. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream ($2.82 per serving)

                        Another great lunch idea for the busy days ahead. Prep this in the morning or the night before and you’ve got yourself a healthy and cheap lunch meal!

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                          11. Beef and Black Bean Chili ($1.36 per serving)

                          Might not look like much, but this amazing chili is actually extremely healthy for you. The protein from the beef and the carbs from the black beans will fill you up in no time, and keep you full for a long period of time. Delicious and warm, just right for the winter!

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                            12. Crispy Fish and Peppers ($2.18 per serving)

                            Amazing recipe for anyone looking to change up their meals while keeping their macros in check and not going overboard on spending. Satisfies your crunch tooth (see what I did there?) and gives you all the protein you need to stay full and lean.

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                              13. Vegetarian Gumbo ($1.50 per serving)

                              You have the perfect macro mix here with the carbs, fats, and proteins. At less than $5 per serving, you’ve got yourself a meal that will last for the whole week!

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                                14. Mexican White Bean Soup ($0.99 per serving)

                                With the cold weather creeping in, it’s not a surprise that soups are coming back in style. This great Mexican White Bean Soup dish will keep you warm for winter without making a hole in your pocket.

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                                  15. Black Beans with Mango & Cilantro ($0.38 per serving)

                                  Mangoes make every dish a little bit sweeter, which is why we absolutely love this recipe. A normal rice and bean dish might be a little meh, but add the sugary taste of mangoes and you’ve got yourself a party!

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                                    16. Bean Burritos ($0.71 per serving)

                                    If you’re having people over tonight and don’t want to spend too much time or money on food, this dish is a great option! You can even cut up the burritos into pieces and make finger foods while everyone’s watching the game or gossiping.

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                                      17. Five-Spice Beef Kabobs ($2.43 per serving)

                                      The spices in this recipes add a delicious twist to the beef kabobs, which is definitely worth trying!

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                                        18. Cornmeal Crusted Pork ($1.92 per serving)

                                        If you like the fried crunch but want to opt for a healthier alternative, cornmeal is your man. This healthy recipe will satisfy all your fried desires without making you pop open your pant’s button.

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                                          19. Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Dinner Salad ($2.57 per serving)

                                          Easy to do, extremely healthy, and super delicious. A must-try!

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                                            20. Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper ($1.90 per serving)

                                            I can’t believe how cheap this meal is, especially for all the nutrients it contains. You can make a big pot on Sunday night and divide it into small portions to last you a whole week.

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                                              21. Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff ($1.90 per serving)

                                              Craving pasta but not sure what to top it off with? How about smoky mushrooms with a twist?

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                                                22. White Bean Tuna Salad ($1.36 per serving)

                                                You can add this White Bean Tuna Salad in your sandwich or just eat it as-is for a quick lunch on a busy day.

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                                                  23. Sausage Eggwiches ($0.80 per serving)

                                                  Who says you have to eat fast food to get an eggwich? This delicious recipe will give you an amazingly healthy eggwich for less than a dollar per portion. Can you say Breakfast?

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                                                    24. Baja-Cali Black Bean Salad ($1.17 per serving)

                                                    Great snack to add to a movie-night with friends. You don’t have to use chemically-processed salsas anymore, you can now use this homemade salad for your chip dips.

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                                                      25. Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce ($2.24 per serving)

                                                      Italians always knew how to make carbs look good! This delicious Gnocchi recipe will give your lunch a whole new meaning. Easy to make and only $2.24 per serving.

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                                                        26. Vegetable Lasagna ($1.73 per serving)

                                                        If you were looking for a healthy lasagna, you’ve just found it. At under $5 per serving, you can fill yourself up right away without putting on the extra calories.

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                                                          27. Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps ($2.05 per serving)

                                                          Don’t know what to make for lunch this week? How about delicious chicken wraps with a healthy ranch? This recipe will make all your lunches, even the quick ones, healthy and colorful.

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                                                            28. Quinoa with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($1.24 per serving)

                                                            A dish that has quinoa and brussel sprouts can’t be unhealthy, it just can’t, which is why this dish is one to keep in the books. Easy to make, healthy, and will keep you full for a long period of time.

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                                                              29. Butternut Squash Chili ($1.04 per serving)

                                                              You don’t need meat to make chili now that you have this recipe! It’s 100% healthy, filling, and smells absolutely delicious.

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                                                                30. Fast Shrimp Bisque ($2.03 per serving)

                                                                Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to do it right, and this fast shrimp bisque is a great recipe to try if you’re in the mood for some seafood!

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                                                                  31. Chicken-Noodle Casserole ($0.98 per serving)

                                                                  Looks divine doesn’t it? This super easy to make dish will satisfy all your taste buds without burning a hole in your wallet or adding a few extra numbers on the scale.

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                                                                    32. Burrito Cups ($1.18 per serving)

                                                                    Entertaining someone tonight and don’t know what to make as appetizers? These burrito cups are a great alternative to chips or other greasy finger foods. All you need to enjoy it is a spoon and a cup.

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                                                                      33. Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Pasta ($2.45 per serving)

                                                                      Another impressive shrimp recipe under $5 per serving. The lemon-dill twist adds a great taste to the dish.

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                                                                        34. Potato Frittata ($0.87 per serving)

                                                                        If you want to eat potatoes for breakfast but still want it to be healthy, this is the recipe for you. At under a dollar per serving, this potato frittata will make you see potatoes in a whole new light.

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                                                                          35. Grilled Pork and Pineapple ($2.67 per serving)

                                                                          Meat and fruits? Oh, yes. The juiciness of the pork mixed with the liquid sugar in the pineapple will make you wish you knew about it sooner.

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                                                                            36. Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops ($2.15 per serving)

                                                                            Another splendid recipe mixing sweet and salty for a healthy meal. Easy to make and absolutely mouthwatering.

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                                                                              37. Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry ($2 per serving)

                                                                              You can add this healthy stir-fry to any dish as a side or amply enjoy it as-is for lunch or dinner. You can even make a wrap sandwich out of it if you’re in a rush to eat.

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                                                                                38. Herbed Salmon ($2.49 per serving)

                                                                                Salmon contains a healthy dose of fats that will boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and make you happier. At under $5 per serving, need I say more?

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                                                                                  39. Five-Spice Pork Kabobs ($1.96 per serving)

                                                                                  Exquisite recipe under $5 per serving that will most definitely awe everyone at your dinner party.

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                                                                                    40. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mango-Black Bean Salsa ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                                    You don’t have to eat sweet potatoes alone anymore with this flavorful recipe.

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                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: 5 Dollar Dinners via 5dollardinners.com

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