How to save money while shopping online

Last month I gave you several tips to get ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I also promised that I would remind you and explain the programs that you should sign up for with a little more detail. So, now it’s mid-November and IT’S TIME!!! Black Friday is in FOUR DAYS! Cyber Monday is in ONE WEEK! So, here are a few things that you may want to sign up for now and be ready!

Since Facebook gets crazy and doesn’t share everything with everyone, I have set up an event on my Facebook Page. If you join the event, you won’t miss anything. You should get a notification for every post that I make in there. There are already over 600 people that are either invited or have joined, so feel free to jump in there, too! Then share it with your friends! They’ll thank you, and I will too!


Now, one of the main things that you need to do is sign up for Ebates. This is a site that offers cash back in the form of a rebate for MANY online purchases. But, if you refer your friends and they sign up through your link and make a purchase, you get a $5 bonus per friend. However, now through the end of the year, your very first referral will also add a bonus of $25, or a total of $30! That’s just free money for telling a friend about a good deal! Ebates is a totally legitimate site and I have been using it for about 6 years. I have gotten over $1,000 back from them! Real cash! Straight into my Paypal account every 3 months. If you don’t use Paypal, you can get a paper check instead. (**If you sign up through the links in this post, I will get a credit for referring you and will be eternally grateful! You will get to choose a $10 gift card! Thank you and you’re welcome!)

Here is how Ebate works:

When you log onto EBATES, there is a list of hundreds, if not thousands, of websites. They have everything from Walmart to small sites that you may have never heard of. Travel, clothing, eBay, Shutterfly….literally thousands! You click through their link to whatever site you want to shop on and you will see what % you will receive back. Once you click on “SHOP NOW”, the new site opens and EBATES goes away after showing you a tracking ticket. Then, you proceed through checkout just as normal. The difference is that EBATES keeps track of your online spending and gives you that designated percentage back.

Some tips and FYI about EBATES:

  • Get in the habit of checking there first before buying online. If you are checking prices between different sites, check all of those sites’ cash back rates, too. Then, once you determine the best price, go through EBATES for the actual purchase.
  • Search all stores (on left – top) – Use the alphabet across the top for narrowing your search. Click the Shop Now button and you will be re-directed to the site you want to shop! Easy peasy! That’s it! They do the rest – just don’t break that link. If you click off the store site you are shopping, you may want to go and click back through just before checkout.
  • Referral bonus – There is always a referral bonus going on. Currently, if you refer just one friend (your very first referral) who signs up and makes a purchase of $25 or more, you will receive an additional $25 bonus! Then, you will get ANOTHER $25 if you hit 5 referrals. That’s a total of $50 bonus dollars on top of the $25 you would already get ($5 per referral). You will get this money with your Quarterly Big Fat Check which will be issued around mid-February. These bonuses are usually triggered when you refer AT LEAST 3 or 4 friends. So, to get FIVE times the standard bonus for JUST ONE friend is unprecedented! DO IT! You will get your referral link under the Tell-A-Friend button.
  • It takes a few days for your purchases to post, but they should be there within a week. They actually ask you to give it a month.
  • Keep track of what you should be getting in case it doesn’t show up. You can submit for a refund if they miss one, but you have to have the tracking ticket number, your receipt and all of the dates and times have to match up. You should be able to find all of this info in your account history and you can find your tracking tickets stored on EBATES.
  • PayPal is quicker to get paid, but if you prefer, they can send you a paper check. They refer to this as your “Big Fat Check”. **You must have $5.01 in actual rebate money before your quarterly Big Fat Check is released.
  • It takes a while to get your first payment, but once you get started, it is pretty regular. The monies are accumulated and processed quarterly. So, rebates and bonuses that I earn in January, February and March will be processed beginning April 1 and the new rebates start accruing. I will not get my first three months of the year money until about six weeks after closing, or mid-May. Don’t get discouraged, it will come. AS LONG AS YOU HAVE $5.01 in REBATE money, regardless of how many referral bonuses you have. They will all roll over to the next quarter if you don’t have the $5.01.
  • Consider ordering your big ticket items, i.e. appliances, expensive toys, etc. from the stores websites by way of EBATES. If you can get free site to store shipping, this is a good way to save an extra $20 to $30. I have done this with motherboards for my refrigerator and oven, as well as a power wheels toy and my new LG washing machine!

I currently have made $1,035.58 through Ebates since 2007. But, being in the situation that we have been for the past few years, I haven’t done too much shopping. A large majority of this was referral bonuses, or pure profit, no rebates. I am waiting for another $46 to come on my next Big Fat Check. This is not a scam. It is completely legitimate and if you shop online, it is just FREE money back that you would have spent otherwise. Sign up today and start piling up those rebates! It may only be $7 or $8, but I always tell the people in my coupon classes….this is merely a click ahead of what you were going to do anyway. It takes very little effort and if you saw $7 laying in a parking lot, you would take that tiny extra step to pick it up. This is the same thing. It’s extra money!


I wanted to wait to really push this one until now because you can get a FREE 30 day trial membership and that should carry you through the majority of the shopping season!

There is a site called Shoprunner and they will give you free TWO DAY shipping to many stores that we will see deals for during the holidays (Toys R Us, American Eagle,, Lord & Taylor to name a few). You can get a free 30-day membership when you sign up. That way, the 30 days should cover you through the majority of the shopping season. But, I want you to be aware of and familiar with it. I actually scored a YEAR for free in January, so I am excited to have it through the holidays this year and am hoping that the same deal comes up again! You will see the picture below if your items are eligible for Shoprunner benefits:

This is something that you will look for at the end of a transaction, and it could save you SIGNIFICANT money on shipping AND time, since it’s 2 day shipping and many sites standard is 5-8 days. It’s a huge money saver and also a time saver because it appears on many items, but then again at checkout. You just have to be logged in and it will connect you! I used it for Halloween costumes this year and it shows that I save $28 in shipping fees! Not to mention how fast they came in! It’s free, so you really should sign up and it will be ready if you need it over the next month. Sign up today to get your free 30 day trial, and set yourself a reminder to cancel if you decide not to continue because it’s about $75-80 for a year membership. (You can also get $10 cash per friend that you refer who buys a membership, so be sure to refer your friends to this one, too! Again, these links in this post are my personal referral links and it would make me very happy for you to use them!)


Last, but CERTAINLY not least – Amazon!! Amazon matches most Black Friday deals and then Cyber Monday…Holy Moly….Cyber Monday!

Most items qualify for Super Saver Shipping, which is standard 5-8 days and FREE with a $25 purchase. But, you can get a FREE 30 day trial on Prime. So, unless you want added efforts of making sure you have $25 in each purchase, you need to have a Prime Membership which will give you FREE 2-day shipping on all items sold by Amazon. (Remember, they sell some 3rd party items, too; these would not be covered by this.) So go ahead and sign up today to get your free 30 days and set yourself a reminder to cancel if you decide not to continue because it’s $79 for a year of Prime.

About Northshore Mama

Kari, born and raised on the Northshore, began Northshore Mama after her family experienced a couple of rough financial years.  Kari shares the tips and tricks to maneuvering each store’s different marketing of their sales, as well as introducing her readers to various programs and websites where she earns free stuff every day.  Northshore Mama’s mission is to bring you the coupon deals and show you how to match them up with each store’s weekly sales to get the most bang for your buck!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here