My Best Money-Saving Online Shopping Secrets!

17 June 2013

As much as I love spending the day surrounded by products I'm lusting at the mall, sometimes I just don't have the time or the energy to go. That's where online shopping comes in handy! It's quick, convenient, and there are tons of resources available to score some seriously amazing deals.

So today I wanted to share some of my all-time favorite websites and tips for saving money online! With these resources, you'll find coupon codes, cash-back, and so much more!

Before I get started sharing all of my favorite websites for deals, I want to give you guys a few tips I've picked up throughout the years for scoring the best bargains:

Check Your Inbox
One of the best ways to stay in-the-know about deals from your favorite stores is to sign up for their email newsletters. Not only will you be the first to know about their latest promotions and special offers, but a lot of sites will also reward you just for signing up. For example, Juicy Couture's online store is currently offering 20% off when you sign up for their emails.

Timing Is Everything
According to Woman's Day, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are the most popular days for online retailers to offer discounts or put new items on sale. This is more than likely because most people tend to do their shopping on the weekends, and good deals that go up right before then will entice customers to buy more.

Another Reason to Celebrate
We generally think of holidays as a fun time to spend with friends and family. However, for online stores, they are an opportunity to lure in customers with deep discounts. Besides the obvious sale days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many stores will also offer special deals on pretty much any major holiday like St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July, New Years, and tons more.

Never Leave It Blank
Nearly every online retailer has a coupon code box at checkout, and it should definitely never be ignored or left empty. Promotion codes can provide serious discounts that are worth the time and effort it takes to track them down. I'll be listing some helpful resources below, but if for some reason there are absolutely no codes available at the time, wait for one to become available or try finding the item you want to purchase on another site that does offer a code.

Now on to the fun part! Here are some of the best websites I've come across for finding amazing deals:

1. Swagbucks- Basically, Swagbucks is similar to a credit card loyalty program- but without the card. They reward you with points each time you watch videos, play games, search, shop, or take surveys. Once you've racked up enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards to major retailers like Target, Amazon, and Sephora. What I love about Swagbucks most is that it's really not all that difficult to earn enough points for rewards. For instance, they offer a daily survey that only takes a few minutes and pays 60 swagbucks. Gift cards start at about 450 SB, which means that it will only take you about a week to get your first reward simply by taking a survey each day.

P.S.- Swagbucks was generous enough to offer Sparkle & Mine readers an exclusive sign-up bonus of 70 swagbucks! To score the free points, click here to sign up and use the code "sparklemine" where it says "I have a sign-up code".

2. Student Rate- If you're a college student on a budget like me, this website will seriously become your new best friend! They offer tons of exclusive discounts on clothes, makeup, textbooks, home decor, and a lot more. Student Rate is also unique in that they offer cash-back on purchases from some of my favorite stores like Sephora, Forever 21, ASOS, and e.l.f.! The best part of this website for me is that they don't require a credit card to get the cash back. It's simply deposited in your account on their site, and after a 60-day period they'll send the money to you through PayPal.

3. Shop It To Me- This site works kind of like a virtual personal shopper. You tell them all your favorite brands, stores, and your size, and they customize a page full of sale items for you. Once you're on the page, you can also narrow results by item type, price range, and a bunch of other options. So for instance, if you're looking for a black Rebecca Minkoff handbag under $200, you'd just put in all your preferences and Shop It To Me will show you what online stores offer one on sale. It's pretty much the best idea ever, and I'm on the site way more than I'd like to admit!

4. RetailMeNot- So I know I've mentioned this site before, but I couldn't write a post about online deals without mentioning one of the best resources out there! RetailMeNot is basically just an online database of every coupon code available at the moment. This is the website you would want to go on when you're searching for a coupon code before checkout, because they keep a constantly updating record of every code out there. I also love that you can browse promotion codes by category as well. So if I want to see what beauty website is offering the best deal right now, it's as easy as just a few clicks.

5. ShopStyle- ShopStyle is essentially the Google of online shopping. When you search for something on their homepage, it only gives you results from major retailers that have the item in stock right now. It also lets you know if there are any deals currently available on the product you're searching for. For example, if you do a search for Clinique High Impact Mascara, ShopStyle will show every store that it is available at and make special note of any stores that have special offers going on like free shipping. Needless to say, it's a really great tool!

And those are some of my best online shopping secrets! I hope this post helps you guys score some great deals! I'd love to hear all of your tips for online shopping in the comments down below!

For more money saving ideas, click the video link below! I share my new favorite site for scoring amazing deals, and all the items I've recently purchased!


  1. Awesome tips! Can't wait to try those websites!
    I did a short blog post awhile back about an awesome website, RetailMeNot.
    You can easily search promotion codes!

    Here's the post:

    1. Awesome Megan, I'll definitely check that out! Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Awesome tips! i never knew about Student Rate! Thanks for sharing!


    1. So glad you found them helpful girly! Student Rate is a great resource!!

  3. I love this StudentRate looks awesome I'm going to try it out!


  4. Don't forget the cash back sites! I have gotten so much money back just from pulling up their site and then going through them to search for things. I belong to 3 of them. So every time I shop online, I check to see which one is offering the most % cash back and go through their site! If anyone wants to sign up, they are free. My sister and I have both used these sites for years and you really do get cash back. Some credit your paypal account and others send you a check. Seriously, they really do! The three I like are:




  5. Never heard of shop it to me before. Thanks for the tip. :)

  6. Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

  7. Thanks for these neat ideas! As an avid bargain hunter myself, I frequently browse online to find tremendous discounts. I am a fan of the popular auction bidding sites such as Ebay, and Amazon. I recently discovered DealDash which also offers great bargains as well. I try to never pay retail prices!


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