Resources to Stretch Your Online Shopping

I've shared a few tips before of little and easy ways I've found to save money, without having to make any real sacrifices. Today I wanted to introduce another tactic that you can use whenever you do any online shopping to get cash back for your purchases (which is especially timely if you prefer to do much Christmas shopping online, like I do!).

How to get cash back for online shopping
The two sites that I'm recommending today, Ebates and Mr. Rebates, are completely free sites that link to various online merchants that you'd normally shop at. When you are going to buy something online, log into these sites first and see if they have any affiliations with the site you'll be shopping at. Then, all you have to do is click on the link from their site to the merchant of your choice and continue your purchase as usual. By clicking from their site to the merchant site, you'll actually get a percentage of your purchase back as a rebate. 

I wasn't really sure how these worked and whether they'd be worth it or not. However, I've tried these two out for a couple of months (with minimal online purchases, mind you) and can confidently recommend both of them, as I've received checks or gift cards from both without a hitch. 

A closer look at "Ebates" and "Mr. Rebates"
For example, if you are going to buy something from CafePress, you currently can get 22% of your purchase price back if you click through the Mr. Rebates link to that store and buy your purchase. Then, once you accumulate a certain amount of money, they will send you a check for the amount. (For Ebates, the threshold for refund is $5.01, and for Mr. Rebates it is $10.)

Plus, there are tons of websites (more than 1,000) that they offer rebates for shopping through, including,, Orbitz, eBay and tons of smaller sites I've never even heard of. (Although, noticeably, there are no bonuses for shopping at Amazon offered by either site.)

The rebate percentages often range in the single digits, though select shops do get higher percentages (like in the CafePress example above). It is free money to me, so even if it's just a few bucks here and there, it's been worth it to me. 

Sign up for free, plus extra perks
Everything about using these sites is completely free, from signing up for an account to getting your check sent to you. Plus, if you sign up for Ebates and make a purchase within 30 days, you can choose a bonus gift card. (I chose a $10 Home Depot gift card that came promptly once I made my first purchase. You can also choose a $10 gift card to Target or Barnes & Noble.) Or, if you sign up for Mr. Rebates, you'll get a $5 credit in your account to begin with.

Click here to sign up for Ebates (and chose your bonus gift card).
Click here to sign up for Mr. Rebates (and get a $5 credit to your account).

My experience using these cash-back sites
I like having both accounts because each offers different deals and sometimes one will offer a higher percentage back. There are other similar sites, but these are the two that I've liked most and used. Both sites also keep updates about any coupon codes a certain store might be currently offering that you can take advantage of, as well.

The only problem I've found is actually remembering to go to these sites first before making a purchase! It hasn't yet become a habit for me, and I've kicked myself afterward for forgetting to go to these sites first and missing out on some extra cash back! But if you can remember to use them even a handful of times, especially while you're doing some online Christmas shopping this season, I think you'll manage to rack up a nice bit of spare change.

(I started using them earlier in the summer and, including rebates and the promo gift card, have earned about $25. Considering I don't do all that much shopping to begin with, that's not too shabby!)

Click here to sign up for Ebates (and chose your bonus gift card).
Click here to sign up for Mr. Rebates (and get a $5 credit to your account).

It's only one extra click and results in a little free money, so I think it's definitely worth it! 


  1. The basic procedure is same for almost all cash back websites. They differ only in the percentage of cash back they offer for different online stores. Along with Shop At Home and Ebates, I also like to recommend FatWallet, AAfter Search and Bing.

  2. I've used ebates for over a couple of years now and love it. I'll check Mr. Rebate.
    Also, talking about kicking yourself. My kids are always purchasing music thru I-tunes. I just realized that is on ebates. I told them from now on we have to go thru ebates before purchasing on itunes...
    ♥ Joy

  3. @ Joy - I know! I'm continually surprised at how many stores they do have featured on their sites! I just wish they had Amazon as one of the sites you could use. I feel like I order from them more than any other site! Oh well. Take what you can get, I suppose! ;)

  4. I checked in here after reading about your himemade shampoo. I also notced posts about homemade personal care products which I will have to check out since I am interested in lessening the amount of chemicals I put in & on my body. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love your blog and graphics :D you got a new follower!


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