Online shop like a ninjaIn the glow of hindsight, yesteryear usually seems like a happier, more familiar place. Activities like dating, working, navigating while driving, keeping up with friends, and watching real actors with dignity on TV have all changed forever. And are they better? The jury’s out. But one thing has changed for busy people, lazy people, people who hate crowds, and frugal people – shopping! It’s so much better than it ever was! (Unless you like to haggle, in which case you should be shopping at flea markets, or at a car dealership in 1970.) Are you a senior, a caregiver, or a homecare companion who likes to save money, and who can use the internets? Then you can shop online like a ninja! So, as my favorite septuagenarian says, ‘go to your internet.’

Release The Coupon

Sure, you can still cut paper coupons with actual scissors, or you can search every coupon, everywhere, for every product, ever. You can cast a broad net for deals near you, or you can zero in on coupons for exactly what you’re looking for.

  • Deals at local businesses near you are available on: Groupon, Living Social, LocalSaver, and ValPak. You can browse the sites, or sign up for emails.
  • Find online coupons and promo codes for national retailers, chains and online stores: Retailmenot, CouponCabin, or CouponSherpa. Deals include percentages off, money off, and even free shipping.
  • Get some percentage of your purchase back as cash every quarter and often find a deal on these sites: EBates and UPromise.
  • Don’t give your savings back at checkout! You’ll find free shipping deals on the website Freeshipping.org.

Comparisons Are Not Odious

If you don’t find a coupon, or you want to be sure that the deal you found is truly the best price, you can comparison shop without driving all over town. Now you’re frugal and green. These sites let you compare the prices at both online and brick and mortar stores.

  • Bizrate
  • Mysimon
  • Google Shopping: ‘Shopping’ is a tab at the top of every Google search page you open, so if you search for an item on Google, click on the Shopping tab to get price comparisons automatically. For example,

    • if you search for “small nurse costume for dogs” on Google, you get this result in the Web tab, which includes a lot of ads.
    • if you search for ‘small nurse costume “for dogs” ’ on Google, and click on the Shopping tab, you get a helpful grid of pictures of dog nurse costumes with prices

Maintain Your Shopping Discipline

Internet shopping can make impulse buying even easier, so you have to be strong and plan ahead. Here are the advanced tactics that will have you saving like a ninja:

  • Subscribe and Save: If you buy the same non-perishable items consistently, both Amazon Subscribe & Save and Target Subscriptions offer a 5% discount in their subscription programs for non-perishable items. That’s efficient and frugal!
  • Ooh, movies: An adult ticket at AMC La Jolla this week is $12.50, and a senior ticket is $11. You can buy a fourpack of AMC Gold Tickets from the website BulkTix for $9.49 each, including fees, for unrestricted days, times and films. BulkTix offers discounts at many other theater chains, including snack packages!
  • Gift Cards: Ever get a gift card you just can’t use? Find your perfect match at GiftCardGranny or CardPool. Sell cards you don’t want, and buy the ones you do want.
  • Make ‘em sweat: Fill your cart, and leave the items in your shopping cart for a few days. Let the store try to woo you back with coupons, or other incentives, to complete your purchase. Remember, they have to have your email on file to make this work.
  • Beat Amazon’s dynamic pricing, which can vary by up to 15% in a few hours, with the website CamelCamelCamel. See historic price charts, and get alerts when prices drop.
  • Like ‘like-new’? Amazon’s Open Box, Clearance and Refurbished items reflect deep discounts on like-new items. It’s like a flea market, without the sunburn!

Happy Shopping!

You may not be ready to adopt all these new skills and strategies at once, but give just one or two a try. Soon, you’ll be hooked on using the internets, and shopping like a ninja! Still need to haggle over something? FleaPortal  and  Collectors.org have lists of different indoor and outdoor flea markets near you. Happy shopping, ninjas!