A few years ago, I would hover over the “buy now” button on an item I needed only to close my laptop and make yet another excuse for why I should wait. It all boiled down to the item’s price.
I’m a saver, not a spender. And when I don’t see the “right price” for an item, it’s really hard to buy it whether I need it or not! That’s when I decided to research different ways to stack multiple discount opportunities when shopping online.
With a few simple steps, I was able to slash significant cost portions off major purchases. I could finally get the things I needed at a cost that didn’t feel too high.
We’ve all had our eyes on expensive items that we just can’t seem to pull the trigger on. Even if we’ve convinced ourselves that we need the item, it’s still hard to hit “buy now” when on a budget.
These discounted shopping tools will add wiggle room to even the tightest budget.
Discount Online Shopping Tools
The tools that you will need to start discounted shopping to get the best deals and savings are as follows:
Rakuten – pays cash back for every purchase you make online just by following its link to your favorite stores before you make a purchase (get $10 cash back when you make your first purchase of $25 or more).
Raise – allows you to buy/sell gift cards to hundreds of stores at a discounted rate (plus you get $5 off your first order).
Groupon – offers a massive pool of coupons and discounts to thousands of venues, stores, and events.
First, sign up for those three programs to get the benefits of discount online shopping. It’s fast and easy savings. I’ll wait!
Second, I’ll walk you through a few examples and show you exactly how you can save money shopping online by stacking Rakuten, Raise, and Groupon offers. Keep in mind that there are many online discounts and promotions going on at any given time, so the savings can only go up from here!
Some of the examples I am using are small purchases. Do not let the small costs deter you from using these savings methods in your everyday purchases. Multiply the numbers by 5 or 10 to even understand just how much you could save over time as you shop.
Related: How to Get Free Gift Cards Fast
Walmart Discount Online Shopping
I decided to use Walmart as my first detailed example of discount online shopping because it is so common, not necessarily because this free money hack works the best at Walmart. Here is exactly how it works, how much you will save, and how to get the same results. Keep in mind that discount rates are subject to change at any time. Use this only as an example and not as actual fixed dollar amounts.
Step 1: Sign up for Rakuten.
Step 2: Open Rakuten in your browser or phone (yes there’s an app for that!) and type “Walmart” in the search box.
Step 3: Click on any Walmart link to open a Walmart shopping trip.
* you are actually shopping and paying through Walmart and not Rakuten. Rakuten is simply providing the special link that secures your cashback.
Step 4: Sign up for Raise.
Step 5: Open Raise in your browser or phone and type “Walmart” in the search box.
Step 6: Purchase a discounted Walmart gift card from Raise.
Step 7: Return to your Walmart shopping trip opened via Rakuten and checkout using your discounted gift card purchased from Raise.
Walmart Online Shopping Savings Summary
Let’s simulate a $35 online shopping trip to Walmart and talk about all of the savings you’ve earned through this trip.
$35 – item purchase
-$10 – cash back for signing up for Rakuten.
– $3.50 – cash back for using Rakuten for your Walmart shopping trip
– $5 – credit for signing up for Raise
– $0.40 – savings for using Raise to purchase a discounted Walmart gift card
$16.10 – total spent on your $35 item(s) from Walmart!
The total savings/cash back earned on this shopping trip is $18.90!
Also note that because of Walmart’s popularity and already low prices, gift cards to its stores are not typically discounted at a high rate. Even so, if you use Wal-mart on a consistent basis, even small savings add up to large discounts over time.
Cabela’s Discount Online Shopping
Does your husband need new hunting gear or sports equipment? Cabela’s is another popular store where you can rack up savings by shopping online. Less than one year ago my husband wanted a new hunting rifle. I couldn’t say no to him, but I could stack up the savings to make it more affordable for us!
Here is how that shopping trip panned out:
$450 – hunting rifle
-$67 – savings for purchasing a discount Cabela’s gift card from Raise
– $4 – savings for opening a shopping trip with Rakuten to purchase the discounted card from Raise (new trick for existing Raise customers!)
– $7 – cashback for opening a shopping trip with Rakuten to purchase the hunting rifle
$372 – total spent on the $450 hunting rifle
We saved $78 on a purchase that we were ready and willing to pay $450 for! Imagine receiving those types of savings on every online purchase that you make. The numbers will add up little by little (or quicker with larger purchases).
When to Use Rakuten, Raise AND Groupon
You may be wondering why I asked you to open a Groupon account earlier. Well, I’ve saved the best for last!
Groupon is not your typical “online shopping” venue, though it can lead to many deals you didn’t know existed. Groupon is more well known for its local event sales, travel savings, and prepurchased credit for places that you physically visit. It takes planning for a fun family day, so yes, that part you can shop for online!
Here are the two examples that I’ve used Groupon for the most (I’m super boring, so please check them out and choose your own savings and events!)
Just when you come to grips with the fact that you’re addicted to expensive coffee, you realize there are ways to save money on that addiction.
One of my absolute favorite Groupon purchases is a $10 Starbucks gift card for only $5. Here is how this shopping trip goes:
$10 – gift card worth about 2 – 3 trips to Starbucks
-$5 – 50% savings for purchasing Groupon’s $10 for $5 at Starbucks offer
-$0.30 – 6% cash back for opening a shopping trip with Rakuten to purchase your Groupon
-$0.10 – 1.9% savings for using a discounted Groupon gift card purchased from Raise
-$0.05 – 1% cash back for opening a shopping trip with Rakuten to purchase your discounted Groupon gift card from Raise
$4.55 – total spent on $10 worth of Starbucks coffee!
Yes, you just saved $5.45 on your $10 worth of Starbucks coffee and it is so worth it! Multiply this by x amount of times that you snag this deal and you are grabbing some of the best coffee for the lowest price!
Regal Movie Theater (another win in my book)
If you’re on a tight budget and have little extra to spend on trips to the theater, might I share the hack that gets us a cheap trip to the movies?
Another one of my favorite Groupon purchases is a $20 Regal gift card for only $10. This is how to get even more savings:
$20 – gift card worth about 2 Regal movie tickets
-$10 – 50% savings for purchasing Groupon’s $20 for $10 at Regal discount offer
-$0.60 – 6% cash back for opening a shopping trip with Rakuten to purchase your Groupon deal
-$0.20 – 1.9% savings for using a discounted Groupon gift card purchased from Raise
-$0.10 – 1% cash back for opening a shopping trip with Rakuten to purchase your discounted Groupon gift card from Raise
$9.10 – total spent on $20 worth of Regal movie tickets!
Your trip to the movies valued at $20 now costs only $9.10, saving you a total of $10.90!
Best Online Shopping Websites to Use Rakuten and Raise
There are so many different savings combinations and every little bit makes a difference! Here is a list of some of the best online shopping websites found on both Rakuten and Raise. You no longer need to search for websites in order to find good deals. They may not be the cheapest websites for shopping but you can still grab great deals while surfing through pages of merchandise!
- Amazon (discounts vary)
- Best Buy *(1% + 2.3% + 1% off)
- JCPenny *(1% + 11.2% + 3% off)
- Kohl’s *(1% + 9.4% + 3% off)
- Macy’s *(1% + 3% + 8% off)
- Nordstrom *(1% + 6.1% + 1% off)
- Old Navy *(1% + 11.4% + 6% off)
- Target *(1% + 2.9% + 1% off)
*Discount order: shopping trip opened on Rakuten for a discounted gift card from Raise + Raise savings + shopping trip opened on Rakuten to make the end purchase at your favorite store.
Discount Online Shopping for the Best Deals
When you’re discount online shopping and looking for the best deals available, make sure you are using Rakuten, Raise, and Groupon where applicable. Grabbing those extra savings feels great when you are on a tight budget. Don’t let these deals slip you by!