Sometimes, getting the best deals means acting fast. Sales and discounts change regularly, and sometimes they are only there for a tiny window of time. Miss that, and you're out of luck (at least until the next sale). You can't search every inch of the Internet every day to find all the online deals yourself, but you can follow these tips to save money online.

Always Check the Daily Deal Websites

Daily deals websites are often a one-stop shop for the best discounts. If you're looking for a good deal, whether it's on pet supplies, clothes, travel, or anything in between - start there. These sites track ongoing sales as well as things like lightning deals, which are only available for a limited time. That isn't quite the same as a flash sale, but it's still something that requires you to act quickly.

Below are a few of the most popular daily deals sites and a look at what they typically cover. You can usually search for something specific, or just scroll through and see what's on offer at any given time. Think of it like window shopping online. You're just having a look to see if there's a deal out there that's perfect for you! Whatever your shopping style happens to be, these sites always have something interesting.

  • Groupon - Groupon has been in the daily deals game for a long time. If you've ever heard of a daily deals site, it's probably this one. You'll find discounts on anything from spa appointments to restaurant meals. One of the best aspects of Groupon is its attention to local deals. To find what's available in your area, or that vacation spot you're planning, just search by zip code.
  • DealCatcher - DealCatcher scours the internet for daily deals and lightning deals, which include discounts on clothing, electronics, and more. The site even features the best daily deal or the deepest discount for that day.
  • Brad's Deals - Brad has been offering up the best deals since the early days of shopping online. The original website owner started the whole gig because of textbook prices, but now you'll see the best price on practically anything, including personalized offers.
  • DealNews - DealNews is a seemingly endless source of deals, including discounted prices, free trials, and everything in between. You can search for specific things or just see where the deals take you.
  • Clark Deals - Clark Deals is another catch-all way to find deals on everything. If you need dog treats, Clark has you covered. If you're looking for sports equipment, you'll likely find it on Clark Deals.

Scour for Coupon Codes

While the discounts on the daily deals sites above usually work just by clicking, they're not the only way to get great prices. Coupon codes are another fantastic way to cut the price of your cart. Like daily deals, there are also plenty of sites that collect promo codes or let you search for a specific store or item coupon code.

Before you checkout, always search for an applicable coupon code. Even if it only helps you save another dollar, it's worth the few seconds it takes to find. If you're allergic to paying full price (as you should be), take a look at these coupon code sites before your next purchase.

  • RetailMeNot - Like Groupon with daily deals, RetailMeNot is a bit of a behemoth with coupons. It's been around for years and there's hardly a site without a code. It saves you from signing up for a thousand mailing lists or paying more for something instead of getting the lowest price. Use it through your browser, add the extension, or download the app.
  • - has (you probably guessed it) a lot of coupons. You'll find online coupons and printable ones, which may let you snag great deals in stores, too. After all, what you find at brick-and-mortar locations doesn't always match what's going on online.

Get the Right Browser Extension

Browser extensions help you get low prices as you shop instead of sending you to find something on another site or plan ahead. They offer a more real-time way to save and may even provide additional discounts on top of top deals. A good browser extension keeps up no matter what you're looking for, too, so you'll get discounts in various categories.

Comrade knows a thing or two about browser extensions. Comrade offers you deals as you shop, based on what you're looking for. There's no need to sift through dozens or hundreds of items you're not interested in or go through everything offered in your city. Instead, you'll get offers from partnered brands for just what you need.

With Comrade, you'll save money when you shop online. That isn't all, though. You'll earn as you go, too. Brands pay you for your attention, and you'll get cashback when you interact with a recommendation. You'll get fantastic, personalized deals, and earn cashback while you shop.

Along with Comrade, there are other browser extensions, like Honey, that offer discounts and track what you're browsing as you shop.

Never Pay Shipping

The savings on daily deals may be moot if you fork out a lot of money to get it to your house. It's an extra cost, and sometimes an expensive one. Instead, make sure you're getting free shipping with anything you buy. That's simple enough on sites like Amazon, where a Prime membership gives you free 2-day shipping on tens of thousands of items. It's a little tougher elsewhere. Some sites offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount (which usually ranges anywhere from a $35 minimum to hundreds of dollars). That's no big deal if you're planning to drop that cash anyway, but if it's over your original total, you'll need to decide if buying more will really save more.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to secure free shipping. Try these options out for size if you don't meet the free shipping criteria and can't find an applicable promo code to help out.

  • Ship to Store - A lot of retailers (especially clothing retailers) have a "ship to store" option when you checkout. With this, you can send your order to your local brick-and-mortar store for free and pick it up when it arrives. It isn't quite as convenient as having it sent to your doorstep, but it's still an excellent option to avoid fees.
  • Sale Days - Big sales, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, often come with the added bonus of free shipping. If you're particularly fond of a certain retailer, signing up for their emails may yield shipping promos or other similar deals, too. On the other hand, if you see a sale running and there's no way to get discounted shipping, see how much you're really saving.

Final Thoughts

There are deals out there for grocery items, household goods, top brands, designer products, and anything you can imagine. The tips, tricks, and websites above are an excellent place to start, and you should check in with at least a few of them before your next online shopping expedition. Between coupons, daily deals, sales, and browser extensions like Comrade, go ahead and take paying full price off your to-do list. When you shop smart, you can earn cash, save money, and still get everything you need.