The Triple-Saving Strategy for Online Purchases

Small discounts add up when you're using the web to shop.

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When buying products online it is possible to get three or more separate discounts on your purchases. Each discount might be small, but when they are added up, it amounts to significant savings.

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The first step in getting triple discounts is to buy a reduced price gift card for the online retailer of your choice. You can buy discounted gift cards at many sites such as Ebay, Craigslist, or Card Woo. If you do a Google search for discount gift cards you will find many more outlets for buying discounted gift cards. The discounts available vary but it is reasonable to expect a 10 percent to 20 percent discount. If possible you should buy these gift cards with a cash back credit card for a little extra savings.

The second step is to make your purchase through a cash back shopping site. Once you have your discount gift card, log on to an online cash back shopping site before making your purchase. There are many different shopping sites to choose from with many retailers available. A couple of my favorite sites are MrRebates.com and BigCrumbs.com. Whichever site you choose make sure they have discounts for the online retailer where you are making your purchase. If one site doesn't have the retailer of your choice then try another one. It does not cost anything to join these online shopping sites. In fact many of them will give you a bonus when you first sign up which will reduce the effective cost of your purchase even more.

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The third step is to find any available coupons that you can apply to your purchase. There are many online coupon sites. One of the biggest with lots of coupons available is RetailMeNot.com. When you are making your online purchase there should be a box for entering your coupon code. Some sites will not allow you to use a coupon and get cash back but most will. If you can't use a coupon then try to buy your item on sale to get your third discount.

Using these steps you should be able to get at least three discounts on most of your online purchases and in some cases even more. These discounts can add up to some nice savings but of course you should only buy items you really need and not let the prospect of big discounts lure you into buying unnecessary stuff.

Andy Hough writes about frugality and living well on a small income at TightFistedMiser.com.