One question I am asked quite frequently is “Who has the best deals? Is it Amazon? Perhaps Target? Maybe Walmart?” That is actually a loaded question. Lucky for you, I am going to break it down for you.
First of all, if you watch Amazon at all, you have probably noticed that they sell groceries, staples and toiletries. They sell the same products just like the big two — Target and Walmart. That is fine and dandy, but is their price a better deal than going to the store? Determining this can be daunting.
For most, they may wonder, why is this even an issue? Well, the reason is that when you are comparing deals, you have to consider much more than just the price of the product. You need to look at more than just the product cost.
Amazon: This can be an instant way to save when shopping online. The reason is that Amazon does not charge sales tax in most states. That is instant savings!!
For instance, if you see Horizon Milk for $1 each at Target (assume no coupon available), but $1.05 each on Amazon, you may think Target is less expensive. Is it? Considering that my sales tax is 8.5%, that means I would pay $1.09 at Target, but only $1.05 at Amazon. In this case, Amazon is less expensive.
Target / Walmart: Even if you make a purchase on-line, you will have to pay sales tax no matter where you live. In this case, shopping on-line will not prevent you from having to sales tax. It is charged to you at the same rate you pay when you shop at the brick and mortar store close to your home.
Final thoughts: When it comes to sales tax, Amazon is quite often the better deal as you usually do not have to pay this amount. Just do your research to find out if you live where you do not pay sales tax.
Amazon: Another great way to save through Amazon is using the Subscribe & Save feature. When you select to purchase something through Subscribe & Save, it means that you agree to have product shipments in select interval.
Your savings starts at 5% when you purchase using this method. However, if you add 5 total Subscribe & Save items to your cart during the course of the month, your savings increases to 15%!! Not only that – the order will even ship for free!!
The beauty of Subscribe & Save is that you can cancel the service before they send it out to you again. That way, you don’t end up paying a price that you don’t want to. Don’t worry – you will get an email reminding you before the order ships!
Prime Pantry is also another way to save. This method allows you to fill your box over the course of the month and get instant savings at checkout. The difference with this type of shopping is that there is no auto refill – it is just fill your box and you are set. Shipping is a flat rate of $5.99 for your box.
Target: Target also has a subscription service as well. You save 5% on your purchases and get free shipping.
You can update the shipping date, timing, address and even quantities each month. What is also great is that you can do free returns in the store. That way, you can return items as needed. Only select items are eligible for the service, so you have to watch to make sure the item you need qualifies.
One final perk about using the Target program is that you can also use your REDCard and save another 5% – increasing your total savings to 10%!
Walmart: There is currently no subscription service available.
Final Thoughts: Amazon and Target both have great services which can set up auto shipments of products. It is just important that you watch before your item ships – to make sure it is the price you really want to pay.
Amazon: If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can get free shipping on thousands of items. That saves you time as you don’t have to drive to the store to get the items you need! If you do not belong to Prime, free shipping starts when you spend $49 or more. (Free shipping is just one of the MANY amazing perks of a Prime membership).
Target: If you spend $25 or more, your order will ship for free. However, if you have the REDCard, you will not only get free shipping, but get a bonus savings of 5% on your purchase.
Alternatively, you can opt for free in-store pick-up. This can save you time as you can have your entire order waiting for you at guest services. Just top by, pick up your bags and be on your way.
Walmart: In order to get free shipping, your total must be $50 or more. They too offer free in-store pick-up as well. This is a great way to find a discount on-line and then also save time from having to do your shopping when you arrive.
Final Thoughts: Each site has it’s own free shipping requirements. If you are not purchasing very many items at a time, Amazon Prime might be the best best. But, then again, you can skip the shipping completely and save time by doing in-store pick up at Target or Walmart.
Amazon: Many people do not realize that Amazon has on-line coupons that you can use towards your purchase. The coupons become available at the first of each month and are available all month long. You can only use a coupon once, so make sure you use it at the right time.
Target: Target offers Target store coupons, mobile coupons and even Cartwheel coupons to really help you maximize your savings. By stacking your store coupons/offers with your manufacturer’s coupons, you can truly get some amazing deals.
Make sure you use the Cartwheel scanning feature on your phone in the store so you don’t miss any possible Cartwheel offers which might be waiting for you. You can also scan our Coupon Database to track down all of the other coupons for the items you need (before you head out to the store).
Walmart: You can use manufacturer’s coupons at Walmart. At this time, they do not offer any type of Walmart store coupons.
Final Thoughts: All three locations allow you to use coupons and save on your purchase instantly. It is a matter of what you need and the available coupons in determining who has the best price.
This is the one that most people tend to overlook. You need to always take into account your personal time. How long will it take for you to get into the vehicle, drive to the store, shop and then drive home. Your time is worth something.
In most instances, on-line shopping is much quicker as it is a few clicks and you are done. The item will be at your home soon. Of course, if you need it right away, you may still need to drive to the store, but using in-store pick-up so that it is waiting for you at customer service is a HUGE bonus (which again, saves you time).
Even if I plan a short trip to the store to do my shopping, it often results in taking longer than anticipated (and may even result in a few impulse purchases, which can cost me more).
Now you can take these tips and make your own decision about how to figure out where you can truly find the best deal. It may not So, make sure that you do the math and compare your on-line prices with your actual prices. You just might be surprised to learn that you really CAN save more by purchasing on-line.