13 Easy Ways To Save Money on Online Shopping In India
Last Updated : Feb 27, 2018
Once you start building the habit of saving money on daily transactions, you will be able to see big opportunities for saving a lot of money. Yes, it’s not about how much money you save rather it’s about the habit of saving money.
I am sharing extremely simple tips to save money that you can start implementing even today.
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Money-saving tips for online shopping in India
#1. Use Credit Cards
I fall in love with credit cards ever since I received my first credit card in 2006. Despite my friend’s advise of throwing away the credit card due to the fear of overuse/fraud/penalty charges, I actually earned more than 10,000 rupees every year in the form of cash backs and rewards.
Note: Use credit card responsibly to avoid any misuse or penalty charges.
Credit cards often have better offers and deals than debit cards in India. The reward to cash ratio is also more on credit cards. I always earn at least 1% cash back on every credit card transaction that means 1000 rupees of saving on 1 lakh amount apart from the additional offers that I get by other ways.
#2. Use Payment Wallets + Credit Cards
I try to club wallets with credit cards. For example, PayUMoney gives you cash back from 1% to 10% depending upon the areas where you are transacting. I got 10% cash back while shopping on Myntra and 1% on cleartrip while booking international tickets. A saving of 590 rupees is not at all bad on a ticket booking of 59,000 rupees.
I also earned reward points by using the credit card in my PayUMoney account.
You can always find some additional offers on popular e-wallets in India. I often use PayTm, PayUMoney, FreeCharge and Mobikwik.
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#3. Check Deal Apps Before Dining
I use “Little” deals App for the restaurants offers and deals near me.
Little is integrated with PayTm for easy payments. I found some exclusive offers on Little that were not available anywhere else in Chandigarh.
I always check for a deal in the Little App before stepping out for dining. I save a lot of money on the restaurants where most of the people pay the full price. The latest deal that I bought was a payment voucher at 8% discount for Barbeque Nation and the best I bought was 38% discount on the buffet for 4 people.
My wife also found deals on spa and haircut. Why to pay 1000 rupees when you can get the same service in 200 rupees and that too without compromising with the quality. You can also find the deals on similar apps in your city.
#4. Use Chrome Extension of Coupon Websites
There are so many coupon websites in India. Sometimes I feel that there should be an aggregator of coupon websites that could tell me which coupon website offers best deals. It’s difficult for an individual to check all the coupon websites.
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I installed the chrome plugin of BuyHatke that gives you the best offers while shopping online on Amazon, Paytm, or Flipkart. You can check if your favorite coupon website has chrome plugin or not. Make sure that you calculate the overall price after deducting any discounts from Wallets and Credit Cards as sometimes coupon website comparison may go wrong.
It may be possible that you get a cheap product on Amazon but Flipkart is offering 5% flat cash back using a credit card on the same product. Coupon websites and plugins won’t calculate that 5% discount while comparing the prices.
There is another coupon plugin named Honey, that check for coupons globally when you shop for any software tool.
#5. Add items in shopping cart and wishlist without checking out
I keep on adding my wishlist products in my shopping cart after logging in my Amazon account. I do not checkout until I actually need the product. I receive email notifications from Amazon whenever there is any change in the prices of products. The same happens with many other shopping websites.
It’s a great hack to buy the products at a bargain price. E-commerce companies send you price notifications because they assume that you want to buy the product. They don’t want to lose any sale to their competitor website.
I also maintain wishlist for my books. I occasionally keep checking the prices and sometimes I found great deals. Wishlist shows me if the prices has been dropped since I added the item in my list.
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#6. Use Online Calculator before applying for any loan or investment policy
We live in a world where investment advisors and wealth managers misguide the investors. They show you the investment plans and policies where they get the most benefit.
I got a call from some investment company who offered me an investment plan. He said, “Sir, you invest 1 lakh rupees every year for 20 years. At the end of 20 years, you can withdraw 15 lakh and we will keep giving you 1 lakh rupees for your entire life. You will invest only 20 lakh rupees in 20 years and earn 1 lakh rupees for lifetime”.
I did quick calculations and told him that my investment of 1 lakh per year will become 53 lakh if I invest in PPF. I can take out 15 lakh from my PPF account and earn more than 1 lakh per year from remaining 38 lakh in my PPF account.
Don’t trust anyone.
Always use online EMI calculators for quick results of the amount that you pay as EMI. If you are applying for a personal loan then fill in your amount, interest and tenure in a personal loan EMI calculator to find out how much you would pay every month in installments.
Small research before taking big financial decisions can help you save a lot of money.
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Ideas to save money every month
#7. Ala Carte Plan for Dish TV
We have limited our TV time to 2 hours per week. Why spend so much money on the unlimited package when we want to see a few channels only? We opted for Ala Carte plan with Videocon’s D2H that costs us less than half the price of any other plan.
I understand that you might be watching more TV than me but most of us watch only a few of our favorite channels. I actually enjoy watching TV with fewer channels because we opted for only HD channels under our Ala Carte.
We always have an option to add or delete any channel. For example, we added sports channel during world cup season. We keep on replacing music and news channels. In order to restrict TV time for our son, we opted only one channel for him. We save more than 50% on our TV bills without compromising the quality of entertainment.
#8. Switch to Prepaid Mobile
Postpaid plans are useful for people whose bill amount is reimbursed by their company. You should use postpaid if you are a heavy mobile user (like a businessman whose whole business runs over the phone).
For everyone else, the prepaid mobile plan is better than the postpaid one. You get 100% talk time value on recharge, you don’t have to pay additional taxes on prepaid recharge, you get better offers on pre-paid, no security deposit requirements for international roaming and ISD, you pay for only what you use.
#9. Buy groceries from wholesale markets
We buy our monthly groceries from Reliance that offers products at wholesale prices. I have seen shopkeepers buying products from Reliance in Mohali (near Chandigarh). The prices may vary from your local Reliance store, but I am certain that you can find a wholesale market or supermarket near you to save a lot of money on grocery bills.
I pay my grocery bills using my Standard Chartered Credit Card to get 5% as cash back into my account.
#10. Don’t keep your idle money in regular saving account
A regular saving account gives 4% interest and current account gives 0% interest. Your money gets locked when you open a fixed deposit to earn 7% interest on your money.
There is one hack to earn interest equivalent to fixed deposit without locking your money. Most of the banks offer a sweep-in-account facility, where your idle money gets converted into small units of fixed deposits. Here, you can withdraw money using ATM card and the fixed deposit units will be available for your use.
All banks have different policies and conditions for sweep-in accounts.
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#11. Use AirBnb
We prefer to book Airbnb instead of hotels when we go for long vacations. Airbnb is a service from where you can find apartments, homes, and villas rather than hotels. Here, local people like you and me host guests in extra rooms of their house or empty apartments.
We booked an apartment in Pattaya, Thailand at the cost of 22,000 rupees per month. The ready to live apartment had security, big swimming pool, and gym. It was cheaper than the rented house where we are living right now.
You can signup for AirBnb to get Rs. 1200 as a signup bonus.
#12. Book hotels far from city
AirBnb is great for long-term vacations but you may not find good places for a short stay of one day. You can find a lot of Airbnb options in big cities but it has very few listing in the medium cities.
Sometimes we also book hotels. We discovered on our one-month long road trip that hotels are very cheap which are a little far from the city. We booked a 4-star executive room at just 1500 rupees in Hampi, Karnataka. The hotel was about 20 KM from the city but the distance doesn’t hurt when you have your own car.
Final Tip for Future
#13. Subscribe to Newsletters
You should subscribe newsletters of people who helped you save money in the past. If you like any personal finance blogger or company, then you must be on their email list. I write a lot of articles to save money on shopping, travel and credit cards. I also share some secret tips over email that I may or may not write my articles.
Subscribe to my newsletters if you want to become wise with your finances and want to start a side online business without quitting your job.