OK, the post title may be deceptive-I don't actually make money online, but here's the deal:
We have all heard the saying "A penny saved is a penny earned." I wholeheartedly believe this. By earning money online, I am actually making money online. Now let's take it a bit further. I recently heard that a penny saved may be worth way more than a penny earned. Think about it this way-if I took every penny that I saved, and invested it into a long-term investment with a 6% compound interest rate, in 25 years that penny would be worth a whopping $0.04! Doesn't sound like much, but to quadruple your money in 25 years is pretty good I think!
As a side note, I have had this post planned for quite some time, and it has nothing to do with the recent announcement of the discontinuation of minting the Canadian penny...my thoughts on that another time!
Anyways to digress back to the topic at hand, I spend quite a bit of time "shopping" online. At any given time, I may be waiting for 5-6 parcels to arrive at the post office. Other times it is online "window shopping"-scoping out deals and waiting for that steal to come along! I never pay full price for anything that I buy online. The same applies to "real life", with the exception of groceries, which I can't really live without! So how do I make (or save) money you ask? Here's just a few ways:
They are everywhere! Don't know where to start? Click on the Coupons & Deals tab at the top of my blog to see some of my favourite coupon sites. Many companies mail out coupons, free of charge. Others post coupons online to be printed. You can find coupons on tear pads in your grocery stores, or collect coupon inserts from newspapers. Some may consider me a bit extreme, but I even belong to a coupon chain, so receive a big envelope of coupons every couple of months. I keep all of my coupons organized by category in a binder, so I don't miss out on any deals! For the biggest financial gain, combine store sales with coupons for the lowest price.
2) Online Coupon Codes
I never purchase anything online without first searching for online coupon codes. I have found that the best way to find coupon codes is by subscribing to the retailer's blog, joining their Facebook group where other consumers often post codes, or using sites such as retailmenot.com to find codes. Also remember that a higher price combined with a good coupon code might actually be a better deal than the lower price that originally catches your eye.
Often times, companies will give away free products in hopes that you will make future purchases from them. I score the majority of my freebies by reading blogs of other frugal living consumers.
4) Store Sales
Know the sale cycles of your regular stores. For me, this is knowing that the first week of the month I can score 10-15% off of my purchases at my regular grocery store with their "Family Day" flyer coupons. These are the days that I stock up on those things that never go on sale. It is also knowing that another of my local stores has "scratch cards" at least every couple months, so if I can wait to make my purchase, I will at least get something off that item that may not be on sale.
5) Facebook Fan Pages
If I have a prospective purchase in mind, I will often join the Facebook Fan Page for that specific product. From other consumers, I gain insight into deals and sales.
6) Price Matching
Personally, I don't do price matching very often. I find that the fuel that it costs to chase deals from store to store for my everyday purchases is not worth it. However, for a large purchase, I definitely shop around and may price match, as many stores offer a certain percentage off of the difference in price.
7) Points Programs
Many retailers offer membership to points programs free of charge. Whenever I have the opportunity, I take advantage of these. Sure, it may be an extra card in my wallet that I never use, but there may be a time that I can capitalize on those points and save a few bucks. Several online sites also offer points, such as the Ebay Bucks program.
8) Deal Sites
I have taken advantage of deal sites such as Groupon and TeamBuy to score discounts on items such as gifts, restaurant vouchers and even a command start install for Ryan's truck. Daily emails will alert you to daily deals that may be up to 75% off retail price.
I don't have to say much about this one. Everyone knows what Ebay is. Use it! I have found that the greatest savings potential is on small items that are cheap to ship, and anything electronic.
So, how do you make money online?