The Ultimate Guide to Save Money when Shopping Online

If you want to know how I save money shopping and justify my online shopping habit then keep reading! You’ll find tips to get free money back through certain websites, rebates on groceries, discounted gift cards, and more!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. You can read my affiliate disclosure & more yawn-inducing legal stuff here.

1. Get $10 free to spend (or save) online!

My top favorite way to save money while shopping online is to use Ebates & Top Cash Back. Both of these websites have access to rebates from thousands of stores, but I ALWAYS check BOTH of them to see who offers a higher percentage cash back! It has literally saved me hundreds of dollars (because online shopping is an addiction, am I right??).


When you sign up for either Ebates or Top Cash Back (or both!) through my link you get a $10 bonus! This doesn’t include the cash back from your purchase! What’s even better is every time you refer a friend, you get a bonus added to your account!

Get signed up:

  1. Sign-up for Ebates or Top Cash Back using your email or Facebook account.
  2. Go through the Ebates or Top Cash Back portal when you shop online next. To receive the $10 sign-up bonus, you will need to make your first purchase of at least $25 (easy peasy, am I right? lol) within 90 days of signing up.
  3. They will credit your account with your sign-up bonus and cash back amount.
  4. Once the purchases have been confirmed and become payable, go to your account dashboard and choose your payout preference.

  Cash Back

Both sites range in the amount of cash back depending on the store and/or current promotions. You never know which one will offer more cash back for a specific store, which is why you should always check both before purchasing online. Bonus: booking travel such as flight tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, etc through either of these websites offers cash back as well.

The Ebates home page is very attractive because it shows stores who have temporarily increased the cash back percentage (double cash back stores), featured daily deals for specific stores, upcoming holiday sale ads, and in-store cash back options.

The Top Cash Back is slightly less appealing but it does display featured stores, latest cash back offer increases, and trending merchants. I prefer the account overview on Top Cash Back when compared to Ebates. The account overview shows your referrals statuses, current cash back in your account split into 3 categories (pending, confirmed, payable).

Payout Options

Ebates only offers two options for payout and those are a mailed check or PayPal transfer. If you don’t have PayPal this can be kind of annoying, who wants to wait on a check to come via snail mail? The good thing is opening a PayPal account is free and can be connected to your bank account. PayPal is extremely secure and has wonderful customer service!

Top Cash Back offers multiple options including bank direct deposit, PayPal transfer, or a gift card! Gift cards offered include Amazon, Visa, American Express, Wal-Mart, Gap, Target, Sephora, and more. The great thing about the gift card option, is you get a bonus added to your payout amount for choosing this option. The bonus ranges from 3%-10% depending on which one you choose.

My current favorite cash back offers


Top Cash Back:

*Certain stores offer varying cash back depending on what department (home, electronics, clothing, etc) you purchase from so check the store’s page on each website for the department you’re interested in shopping in!

Earn $10 by signing up through my link: EbatesTop Cash Back

Ebates home pageEbates dashboard save money shopping online

Top Cash Back home pagetop cashback home page save money shopping online

2. Use Paribus to track online purchases for price drops

Paribus works by linking to your email address and scanning order confirmation emails to watch for price changes on your purchases. If it detects a price drop, it will notify you via email and automatically begin working to get your money back from the price difference. The best part? This service is TOTALLY FREE as of August 2018!

My biggest savings through Paribus was about $60 on a bridesmaid dress that I purchased from Macy’s. Another great feature is that they communicate with the retailer and the retailer refunds you via your original form of payment. So you don’t have to wait for your refunds to reach a minimum payout threshold, it automatically goes back to your account or card!

Shopping on Amazon? Paribus will help get you money back for what you paid for shipping (if you are not a prime member). Want to never pay for shipping? Make sure you check out number 5 below.

Sign up with Paribus here

save money shopping online with Paribus

3. Buy discounted gift cards

Before you buy something check Raise, CardCash, and Cardpool. These websites buy gift cards from customers for up to 92% of the cost and resells them at a discount. All three of these websites will run specials intermittently for an extra discount on your gift card purchase.

Example: Want to buy some Home Decor from At Home Decor Superstore? CardCash currently has two available discounted gift cards for 20% off (Price value $195.30 – purchase for $156.24).

You can purchase gift cards for retail stores, airlines, hotels, travel booking websites, restaurants, entertainment (iTunes, Netflix, etc), and more! There are thousands of stores and brands so be sure to check them all out.

Get $5 off of our first purchase by signing up through my link: Raise | CardCash | Cardpool

save money shopping online with raise gift cards

4. Mobile Apps


Earn $10 to spend on Amazon, at Target, or just get plain cash through PayPal or Venmo, when you sign-up for Ibotta.

Ibotta originally was a rebate app for grocery shopping at stores like Kroger, Wal-Mart, or Target. It has evolved to so much more than that now! (Although, that part is amazing, I’ve saved over $200 on groceries this way.) You can earn cash back by going through the Ibotta app to shop at online retailers! There are tons of offers for different companies like Amazon, Etsy, and Target. Here are some examples:

  • 5% cash back on Amazon Home, Kitchen, & Garden purchases
  • Sign up for 1 year of Amazon Prime & get a $20 gift card
  • 2.5% cashback on Etsy purchases

How to do it? Download Ibotta through my link OR use my code rsiejem when you sign up (you will get $10 upon signing up) and shop through the app. That’s it!

save money shopping online with ibotta     save money shopping online with ibotta


Now this one isn’t necessarily for online shopping, but I’d thought I’d throw this in as a bonus for y’all! Download the Shopkick mobile app to earn “kicks” (points) a number of different ways at your favorite stores:

  • Open the app on your phone when you walk into a store. When you walk in, Shopkick will put kicks into your account, the amount depending on which retailer you are walking into.
  • Scan bar codes of different products. Shopkick will have specific items & the amount of kicks you can earn listed under a specific retailer. All you have to do is find the product, scan it, and watch the kicks in your account go up!
  • Purchase certain items. When you are shopping at Target or Kroger, check the Shopkick app. Different brands and companies will offer to pay Shopkick users a certain amount of points for purchasing a qualifying product and scanning your receipt.
  • Earn kicks per dollar spent at a variety of stores. Online or in-store, if you link your credit and/or debit card to Shopkick, you will be awarded kicks per dollar spent using those cards. The amount of kicks per dollar varies among retailers.

Download the Shopkick app using my link OR use my code KIND671574 and get 250 kicks free when you get your first walk-in or scan within a week of signing up. To put it into perspective: 2,500 kicks can be redeemed for a $10 gift card. Not too bad for opening an app at stores you’re already shopping in!

save money shopping online with shopkick     save money shopping online with shopkick

5. Always get FREE shipping

If you are like me, you are constantly busy and being able to purchase groceries, cleaning supplies, business supplies, home decor, and more online is a LIFE SAVER! Sign up for a free 30 day Amazon Prime trial to get free two-day shipping on every Prime eligible purchase.

Get your FREE 30 days of Amazon Prime.

save money shopping online with Amazon Prime

6. Sign up for Life on Essexshire newsletters

You’ll never have to hunt down sales, coupons, and deals again! Sign up to have the latest sales, deals, and savings curated and sent straight to your inbox!

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