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Tips To Save Money On Online Purchases

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TWC News: Tips To Save Money On Online Purchases
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The latest Money Matters Report shows how a quick internet search could save you $20. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

Shopping online? It only takes a second to point and click your way to a new pair of pants, but a few extra minutes could mean a few extra bucks in those new pockets.

"Upwards of $20 per transaction, that's what the average consumer saves," says Trae Bodge, senior editor of retailmenot.com.

Bodge is talking about promo codes. Essentially online coupons, these codes can either save you a certain percentage or in some cases, eliminate the cost of shipping.

"I love free shipping, and I look for it every time," Bodge says. "Sometimes, you do need to spend a certain amount to obtain free shipping, and sometimes, I think it's worth it to do that. If you have to get a couple of things, why not get it at the same retailer and score free shipping?"

Finding a promo code isn't difficult or time consuming. Depending on the merchant, a quick search will likely net you a number of options. And this is just one piece of what a savvy shopper could turn into a multi-layered savings strategy.

Emily Fitterman is the co-owner of CouponCactus.com, one of several shopping portals that allow users to earn cash back on their purchases.

"Anywhere from 2 percent to 10 percent, and it really depends on the merchant that they are shopping through and how much they're spending," Fitterman says.

So let's say you have $75 worth of merchandise in your cart. Apply a coupon code for 20 percent off, and you've saved $15. New total: $60. Earn another 5 percent cash back through a shopping portal, and that's another $3 heading back to your wallet. Total now: $57.

But wait....use the right plastic the right way, and that price could be even more flexible.

"So if you're using a credit card that maybe it pays you 1 percent cash back or 3 percent, whatever kind of credit card you have, and you use that credit card, then it's more back to you," Fitterman says.

One percent isn't a ton. On our $57 total, we earn back 57 cents. But still, over time, all those pennies add up to more bang for your online shopping buck.

"These are things that literally take under a minute," Bodge says. "This is not sitting at home with a big binder and categorizing your coupons and clipping them and watching for expiration dates. It's not a big effort at all."

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