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Recipe for Saving Money by Shopping Online at Amazon

02 December 2013

I am not a big shopper. I don't like spending money, I never have, it gives me anxiety.

Unless… I'm buying gifts, and unless… I can get a good deal. Because of this, I have always enjoyed Christmas shopping. I love to wander stores at Christmas time. I love the decorations, the music, the goodwill…

I know that there is a dark side to Christmas shopping. I know that sometimes it starts to feel so consumerist. I know that not everyone is in the Christmas spirit. But, when it comes to Christmas shopping, I put on my blinders and, generally, only see the good.

However, the past few years, Christmas shopping has gotten harder… with 4 kids, my opportunities to get out alone to shop are extremely rare, and the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems to be getting shorter and shorter.

And so, I have begun to embrace online shopping more and more. While the aesthetics are lacking, the excitement of the deal has greatly increased.

In the past, I shunned Black Friday and crazy sales because the intensity, for me, was not worth the "deal." However, online, I can satisfy my inner cheapskate that adores a good deal, without overwhelming the sensibilities of the part of me that wants to savor the process.

I finally feel like I am starting to be a "pro" at online shopping and I do almost all of it on Amazon so, before you start your Cyber Moday shopping, I thought I would share a few things you may not know about shopping on Amazon.

 (I am going to start by saying that as a blogger, I am an Amazon associate. This means that if you click on an Amazon link from my site, and then buy something (anything) at Amazon, I will get a small percentage of the sale. So, yes, there is incentive for me to promote Amazon, but it is also, truly, how I do a large percentage of my Chirstmas shopping for the reasons that I will be explaining…)

Never Pay Shipping: I can't stand paying for shipping and I avoid it at all costs. One of my favorite ways to do this is to either spend $35 or more on eligible items, or to use Amazon Prime, buy Prime eligible items and get all of my shipping free, no matter the amount.

Amazon Prime costs $79 a year which may seem a little steep. However, here's the deal: If you join and do a one month free trial, that will get you from here until Christmas with completely free shipping for FREE.

However, if you do choose to join, this also comes with their video streaming which is almost identical (and some would say better) than Netflix, for less than what Netflix costs a year. ($8 x 12= $96.) So, you can ditch Netflix, pick up Amazon Prime, and get free shipping!

Want to try the free trial? You can do it here: Join Amazon Prime

I always check Amazon before buying on other sites : Before I buy from anywhere else, I always check Amazon first. This is usually a good way to gauge whether or not I am getting a deal, and I can also check the reviews. They also now have questions and answers. Customers can post questions about the products which are answered by others who owned the item. I have found this very helpful when deciding whether or not it's worth buying something at all.

Earn free gas with gift cards: Most grocery stores that sell gift cards and offer gas points have Amazon gift cards. I know that my grocery store is currently offering $0.20 per gall per hundred dollars spent on gift cards. So, if you buy $100 in gift cards to use at Amazon, and put 20 gallons of gas in your car, you will save an additional $4.00. While this may not sound like much, it adds up and really requires no extra effort.

Swagbucks: I basically discovered Amazon shopping because of Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a search engine (like Google or Bing, but with the bonus of being rewarded for searching.) Instead of using Google, I use Swagbucks to search. Swagbucks then randomly rewards you with Swagbucks which you can save up for rewards. The best bang for you bucks rewards-wise is to use 450 Swagbucks to buy $5 Amazon gift cards.

But, here's the even better part! Now, Swagbucks has a shop and earn feature. Today on Cyber Monday, you can earn 9 Swagbucks per dollar when you shop for toys on Amazon (you can also earn in several other categories, but not all Amazon purchases are eligible for Swagbucks.) Therefore, if you spend $100 on Amazon after following the link from Swagbucks, you will earn 900 swag bucks. This will earn you $10 in Amazon gift cards that you can use on a later purchase (these are not immediately available, however.)

If you don't use Swagbucks, you can support small businesses: How can this be? Amazon has a great Affiliate program which even beginning bloggers can use. That means, that if you follow a link or  an ad to Amazon from a blog, that blogger will earn a percentage of the sales (no matter what you buy.)

Recipe for Cyber Monday Shopping:

Step 1: Join Amazon Prime (This is my affiliate link) Write a reminder on your calendar for just short of a month from now to remind yourself to cancel, unless you decide to keep it after Christmas is over.)
Step 2: To maximize savings, buy gas cards at the grocery store… skip this step if you want to shop now.
Step 3: Join Swagbucks (Again, an affiliate link)
Step 4: Search for Amazon on Swagbucks and follow this link for your toy purchases.
(Step 5): If you choose not to use Swagbucks or if you aren't buying Swagbucks eligible items (like technology) Go to a blog of your choice and click on one of their links. ( I can't get the link to work right now, but I have an Amazon Toys ad near the bottom of the lefthand side of my page;) )
Step 6: Search for toys (and other items) on your list and see if you can get a good deal!

Want to see what I found today? Check out the Current Hot Deals in my sidebar!


  1. These are great tips! I too like to do most of my Christmas shopping online and through Amazon. We did the 30 Day free trial last year and it really saved money on shipping and we'v enjoyed watching a few movies through streaming throughout the year also.

  2. Social shopping websites are very awesome to promote you online stores socially. The information about the social websites was very helpful for me. Because i love shopping its my favorite passing time.
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