Shop Smarter, Not Harder

Here's how you can potentially save some money while shopping.

Artem Beliaikin via Unsplash

Recently, I found the perfect gift for my roommate — a sweatshirt of Rocky and Creed fighting, if you must know or needed last-minute inspo. She’s a fan of the franchise, and as a Philadelphia native, I couldn’t resist. Waiting until Black Friday (guaranteed sale), I logged onto PacSun’s website to be met with the ultimate disappointment: it was the only item not on sale.

Being the savvy shopper I am, I did not let this detail get me down. On the contrary, I held my head high as a lightbulb appeared above me and I sprinted to Google with the search: “Rocky Sweatshirt.”

And what I found made me inherently aggravated to the point of no return, to be honest. No, it wasn’t offensively crafted Rocky merch…It wasn’t a lack of inventory…It was something much more diabolical.

I found the same exact sweatshirt for $30 less. Not on sale, no. Just pure daylight robbery. And while I was able to look past this one shopping near-miss... you wouldn’t believe what happens next, dear reader.

Flash forward a week, I found an undeniably unique low-rise leather maxi skirt with a matching tube top (sold separately for inflation purposes solely) on none other than It screamed New Year's Eve, and despite having just purchased a dress elsewhere, I had to have this. Except it was $100 total.

But, I had been scorned once. I knew there had to be another distributor out there who sold this exact set…and guess what?

Yes, the set sold and created by Edikted was 60% off on its website. I purchased it for $45 on their real site — $35 off the PacSun price.

Sometimes, when you have a platform where people are forced to listen to you, you have to complain in hopes that it will change the lives of others.

And I bet you’re wondering…

How Can I Save Money When Shopping Online? via unsplash

Glad you asked! Shopping online can be a risky game, where you don’t even know if the item will look the same as the photo or fit you correctly. But it’s so much easier than going into the melting pot of anxiety that is the mall. And, as Charles Darwin probably said, we humans have to adapt.

Nothing makes me more upset than missing the lowest-priced product. If it goes on sale a week later, I am returning and re-purchasing. It’s that serious.

To avoid all this, you want to do a Google search of your desired purchase before going through with it. For example, my dad’s favorite cologne is Ralph Lauren’s Polo Green, which can retail for over $100 and is out of my budget.

However, I’m a determined woman who refuses to pay full price and knows there’s always a fragrance sale out there. Google found me the same bottle, unused and unopened, for $57. With the Google Shopping feature, you’re able to compare the same exact product across thousands of sites.

Not only are there cheaper alternatives often available across the internet, but the sites themselves will most likely have welcome coupons for your first online purchase. As an avid follower of Girl Math, I know how to save a dollar or two. Budgeting may not be my strong suit, but I can always find a steal.

Get Cash Back From Online Shopping

Katie Harp via Unsplash

With add-ons like Rakuten and Honey, you’re able to get cash back on your purchases in just the click of a button. Every site has a different cashback rate, so try to shop on the ones above 10% for bigger payouts.

And, if you’re really trying to save money, use credit cards that have points or rewards systems from shopping at certain stores. You can put those points towards a check, hotels, travel, and more…so put your gifts on your card this season and reap the benefits!

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