This is the Golden Era of online shopping
Everyone wants to get more for less money. A quick Google search for the best coupon sites will yield hundreds of results, as well as curated “best” lists—but saving money goes much more beyond coupons. There has never before been a better time to be a digital consumer.
Apps can automatically find coupon deals, yield cash-back, and much more. This list is more than just a series of coupon sites—it’s a list of websites, apps, and services that will help you save a tremendous amount of money. Let’s get started.
Best Site for Cash Back: eBates (Website)
You’ve probably heard of eBates before. It’s the site/service that defines online cash back deals. With more than 2,000 vendors to shop at, you can see returns up to 40% (or even higher on deal days) for every purchase. That’s an absolutely unheard of amount from a traditional retailer.
Using the site is simple: just login to your eBates account and navigate from the site to your retailer’s site before making a purchase. eBates will yield cash back for each purchase. You can even earn cash back for shopping at major outlets like Amazon and eBay.
eBates automatically sends out payments once per quarter. You can choose to have a check mailed to your home, the money deposited directly into your account, or you can just have it dropped into a Paypal account. Whatever your choice, it’s a great way to earn a little bit of money back on purchases you would have made anyway.
Although they aren’t quite as good as eBates, you can check out services like Lemoney and Swagbucks. These services may work with retailers that eBates does not. However, be wary of the security of a website when entering your personal information—not all sites are legitimate or safe to use.
Best Site for Coupons: Coupons.com (Website)
On the other hand, Coupons.com is the grandaddy of all coupon sites and provides coupons for the goods you’re going to buy most: groceries, toiletries, etc. At the time of writing, the site had $220.87 in savings available, but that number changes by the day as coupons are added and removed.
The coupons can be printed out or saved digitally to the Coupons.com app. The app lets you save money and the environment. You’ll find coupons for major stores like Walmart and Target, along with brand-specific coupons for your favorite foods.
We already mentioned RetailMeNot and RedPlum, but you might also consider Savings.com and Slick Deals. The latter is based on a vote system, so the best coupons rise to the top—an easy way to see which ones are working for people at a glance.
Best Site for Discounts on Theatre, Concerts, and Sporting Events: StubHub (Website)
Ticketmaster may be the best-known portal for purchasing tickets to nearly any event you can imagine, but it is far from the best. That title goes squarely to StubHub. While prices vary depending on the show, the venue, and the date, they are typically lower than competing ticket retailers. This is backed up both by extensive research and personal experience (the author of this article once snagged Fallout Boy tickets from StubHub for $14 each.)
StubHub detects your location and shows you events in your area. You can sort by sports, concerts, theatre and comedy, and even gift cards. If you like to rock out at concerts and cheer your favorite team on from the stands, acquaint yourself with StubHub. It’s worth it.
There aren’t a ton of great options for buying tickets online, but if anything comes close to StubHub in terms of price, Goldstar is a solid choice. You can find local and community theater tickets as well as larger shows on the site.
Best Browser Extension for Discount and Promo Codes: Honey
Honey is one of the single best options for saving money online. Why? Because it keeps a running database of current discount and promo codes and applies them at checkout. The amount of money you can save on pizza alone will blow you away, but even better than that, Honey works on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. Sorry, Edge users. Honey is compatible with more than 1,000 different retailers.
There are a couple of downsides to keep in mind. The first is that Honey isn’t always up to date and might try an expired code, but because the extension cycles through every code it has available, this isn’t a huge deal.
The other is that it doesn’t always account for Amazon Prime when determining the best price, but that’s offset by the fact it shows if you can find the item for a lower price elsewhere. (No link to find this one because it depends on your browser. Just search for “Honey” in your extensions.)
The Camelizer has a funny name, but it works with the website CamelCamelCamel and tracks prices on Amazon. You can set the extension to alert you when an item drops below a certain price. You can also track how prices fluctuate over time.
Best for Travel Deals: TravelPirates (Website)
TravelPirates is a great site for finding deals on hotels, flights, car rentals, and full vacation packages. I have always considered myself a connoisseur of travel deals, but not even my tricks add up to the often-unbelievable flight deals TravelPirates presents me with.
Once per day (or more) the app sends out notifications of any deals it has found. For example, today it is showing a deal to fly round trip to Miami for $77 from various locations on the east coast.
You can look at current deals or search for flights, vacations, flights and hotels, just hotels, or rental cars. Just put in the relevant info and TravelPirates will tell you whether it has found a deal or not. There is both a web version and an app. Once you find a deal, click on it and you will be redirected to the proper booking channels.
If you need to find inexpensive flights, download the Skyscanner app or visit the website. No other aggregator presents prices as low as Skyscanner with as much reliability. It searches more than 1,200 sites at once to find the cheapest possible deals, and even offers an “explore” feature where you can look for the cheapest possible flights near you and take an adventure on a whim.
Check out some of these sites and services the next time you need to shop. At the very least, give eBates a shot—you’ll start to earn back a little bit of money with each qualifying purchase, which is kind of like a discount in itself. A little research before you click “buy” can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over time.