How to Save Money When Shopping Online — With a Browser Extension

In 1887, Coca-Cola launched the first coupon. Ever since, coupons have been particularly popular during economic downturns like the Great Recession, when U.S. coupon redemptions surged by 27%. As we face a Covid-19 pandemic recession — one that prevents most people from shopping in brick-and-mortar stores — online coupons that are automatically sourced by your web browser is the easiest way to save money, whether you’re shopping on Amazon, Target, Walmart or somewhere else.

Editor’s Note: Capital One Shopping compensates The Simple Dollar when you get the Capital One Shopping extension using the links provided.

Equip your web browser with money-saving tools

Remember Clippy? Microsoft Word’s animated paperclip that popped up to school you on grammar? A web browser extension called Capital One Shopping will pop up to school you on savings. It’s a free web browser extension bar that automatically scans the websites you visit for discount opportunities. The extension will test the coupons for you when available and find deals like free shipping or a percentage off. It can be used on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari or you can access most features in the Capital One Shopping mobile app. According to Capital One Shopping, the extension found more than $70 million in savings in the last year for its millions of customers.

Perhaps most importantly, browser extensions like Capital One Shopping can help ensure you’re sourcing real coupons that find actual savings. Online couponing has qualities that are attractive to scammers who are quick to take advantage of the temptation for a discount — especially as online shopping becomes more popular.

To curb the problem, the Better Business Bureau issued an alert about a new online coupon scam that can download malware and steal personal information. Browser extensions like Capital One Shopping test coupon codes to validate they find savings before distributing them to customers.

You can also use the extension to automate the savvy habits and comparison process you typically spend hours on. Capital One Shopping, for example, will do all the heavy lifting for you in not only hunting down a coupon code but also comparing a price across several websites. It may find the Amazon product you’re considering for a lower price at Target. If there aren’t any coupons for a particular item, you can add it to a watchlist and Capital One Shopping will alert you when the price drops.

How to use your web browser to save money

  1. Add an extension: Add one or more of the coupon-clipping browser extensions like Capital One Shopping. Make sure it’s active when you’re shopping.
  2. Shop around and click on the pop-up. Pop-ups are typically a nuisance you quickly close, but the one from your browser extension is a friendly alert about potential coupon codes. When checking out, the extension will automatically insert the codes until it finds the best available deal.
  3. Or use the online marketplaces. You can also go directly to an online marketplace on Capital One Shopping’s website where it lists retailers with active coupons and sales. And not just for big retailers, it also has local offers and opportunities to earn credits while supporting small businesses.
  4. Don’t forget about the rewards you earn by using it. Even just using a browser extension can save you money. Many times, even if the retailer isn’t offering a coupon itself, you can still earn Capital One Shopping loyalty credits for shopping there which you can eventually redeem for a gift card.

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Danika Miller

Personal Finance Reporter

Danika Miller is a writer at The Simple Dollar. Her work can be found on Reviews.com, Freshome.com, Her Campus, and Jeopardy Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative and technical writing from Western Washington University.