How to Save Money with Online Shopping and Bing Rewards

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Thank you to BING for sponsoring my writing today. To learn more about BING Shopping Rewards, click here. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

How often do you shop online?  What do you like about it more than shopping at a store?

We recently did some redecorating/remodeling of our first floor (family room, kitchen, dining room, living room).  It’s been years since we spent any money updating those rooms and it was so badly needed.  Especially my living room… 

My living room?  Ah…  Well, last summer (yes, almost 12 months ago), I became so sick of my living room furniture, I sold it all in a garage sale!  Yes!  I did!  And my living room has been empty since then.  E-M-P-T-Y.  No furniture except for a piano (too heavy for me to move).  Yikes!  My husband still can’t quite believe I did it.  But to let you know how awful – yes, awfully awful – it was, a church bought the sofa and chair to put in their waiting area.  That describes the style actually pretty much perfectly – “early-Indiana-church-waiting-area”.  That is a clear sign that it’s time for a makeover.

I’ve been watching (and drooling over) enough HGTV to inspire me to make the room something useful but still great looking.  I pretended I was my designer, interviewing me.  I know it sounds crazy, but stick with me here.

Designer Me:  What do you envision for this space?  Choose an ordinary day, and tell me what you are going to be doing in the space.

Client Me:  Okay, I’m picturing a rainy day.  Or a snow day.  A day when you want to be inside.  My favorite things to do are to play with my daughter, read and/or listen to music.

Designer Me:  Think of a place that you have loved spending time in and tell me about it.

Client Me:  Ah, I love spas and the type of decorating in spas.  The colors, the natural components, the subtle tone-on-tone patterns.  The simple, yet elegant style.  The lack of clutter.  A little known fact, I love fountains.  I’d like to create a living room we can be proud of when we entertain, but also live in and make memories in, as a family.

Since Decorator Me isn’t real, and Client Me doesn’t have hours and hours to spend in home goods stores, I turned to online shopping.  My first major quest – to find bookcases.  Having things to read (for me and for my daughter) was a major part of my concept of the room.  Another major characteristic was to keep it simple and uncluttered.  The best way to do that for me was with bookcases.  Off to search (online, of course).  Since I found out about Bing Rewards, I’ve been using Bing as my search engine.  I typed in “living room storage bookcases”.  And to my joy, an Ikea link popped up.  I’m on a pretty tight budget, so Ikea is a great place for me to shop.  I followed it and found one I love, love, love.  Happy ending.  I give my Bing search experience an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

Here are my top five favorite ways to save money by shopping online:

1.  Researching prices is easier online than physically traveling from store to store.

When I’m making a major purchase, I always research prices to find the best deal.  If I were to look for my bookcases by driving from store to store?  Really?  Have you seen gas prices lately?  I’d use up half my budget and have nothing but gas fumes to show for it.  With online shopping, I can check prices in minutes.

2.  Using coupons, gift cards and discount codes

Whenever I shop online, I always search for a coupon or discount code.  Have you noticed almost every site has a place to enter a discount code?  I feel like I’m throwing money away, if I don’t have a code to use.  I bought some chairs from Target for our new living room and took advantage of free shipping!  Cha-ching!

3.  Save on sales tax

Depending on where you live, and where the store has locations, you may not have to pay sales tax on your online purchase.  Sweet!  That can save upwards of 10% depending on where you live.

4.  Earn rewards

There are so many ways to earn rewards when you shop online.  In addition to store rewards, there are search engine rewards.  I just joined Bing Rewards and can’t wait to get my first gift code!

5.  Use customer reviews for input on quality

It can be difficult to judge the value you are receiving when making a major purchase.  Many times we are willing to pay more for quality, but we don’t want to throw money away on an over-priced item.  I love customer reviews for helping sort out the quality from the over-priced.

The advent of the internet and online shopping has greatly improved my shopping experience.  I save money, I find quality products, and it’s easier!

From Bing…..

About the Bing Rewards Preview Program: Shopping on a Search Engine’s Dime

Remember those old cartoons that depicted a character facing a dilemma with an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? If you enjoy shopping, here’s how the dialogue goes for you: One tells us to spend less, save more; the other beckons us with promises of sales and free shipping. Of course, if you had a gift card to your favorite retailer, you could shut both voices up and shop guilt free, right?

The Bing Rewards Preview program gives you shopping free will by allowing you to earn credits for searching and exploring various features of Bing. Once credits begin to add up, you can go ahead and redeem them toward gift cards, buy merchandise, even give to charity.

There are two easy ways to start earning and tracking your credits:

  1. Go the Bing Bar route. Just install the Bing Bar toolbar onto your browser and register, and you can watch the Rewards credit counter climb.
  2. Head to on the Web. Just complete the registration form and track your progress by checking the Rewards credit counter located on the top right of the header.

And, upon signing up, you’ll automatically start with 250 credits.

Once you’ve accumulated a fair number of credits (to give you an idea, 1338 credits can get you a $10 Starbucks gift card!), head to the Redemption Center and start shopping. Beyond getting your caffeine fix, you can fuel your makeup obsession with a Sephora giftcard, and not feel bad about splurging on that pricey mascara you’ve been wanting. Or, you may choose to buy just about anything you want by choosing an giftcard. You can also cash in your credits for specific products like the Scrabble board game, a DVD player, and more.

Learn how to hit the virtual shopping aisles at

Disclosure:  I was compensated for writing this post as part of a campaign by Bing and Clever Girls Collective.

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