First Person: 3 Ways Shopping Online Saves Me Money

Yahoo Contributor Network

According to, Americans spent $289 billion shopping online in 2012. That's an increase of $33 billion from the $256 billion reportedly spent in 2011.

It seems everyone is shopping online, and my husband and I are no exception. We order everything from clothes to hobby materials online. Most of the time the items we need are available in local stores, but with smart shopping tactics we can buy them for less online.

Here are three ways we save money by shopping online.

Buying digital

A few months ago my husband and I went to a local big-box store to purchase a newly released movie, but learned they were sold out. Defeated, we came home and started looking online for the nearest retailer that had the movie in stock. That's when we found a digital copy of the movie for sale on a popular website. We signed up for an account and installed the application we needed on our gaming console, then purchased the digital copy for $10.99. We saved $9 on that purchase, and have continued to buy our movies this way. I estimate that we've already saved around $40 buying digital movies.

Using coupon codes

Many online stores offer new coupon codes on a weekly basis. Since I began shopping online, I've taken advantage of more than 50 deals offered online including anything from free shipping to entirely free items. Since I've used so many there is no way for me to know how much money I've actually saved; however, just last week I saved $35 by using two coupon codes together to purchase items from an online craft store.

Competitive prices

It takes more time to actually go to a store and buy something than it does to order online, and it's even worse when you have to go from store to store to compare prices. The thing I love most about shopping online is that you can see an entire list of prices by simply entering an item's name in a search engine.

For example, I needed to buy some yarn recently that I knew would cost me nearly $5 at my local big-box store, so I searched online looking for a better bargain. I found it online ranging in price from $2.99 to $4.88 a skein, so buying online with a free shipping coupon I saved around $8 on this one purchase.

There is no way for me to tell you how much money I've saved on all of my online purchases. However, as you can see these three purchases saved me $52.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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