There are some things I absolutely insist on buying new. Horse and bike helmets fit in that category. I fell off my horse a week ago and hit my head on a rock, fortunately I was wearing a helmet and my injuries were minimal. However, I now need a new helmet before I can ride again. The price of a new helmet is small compared to the money it saves on doctor bills.
When I need a new item I try to shop local, but it isn't always possible for me to find what I need here. When I can't find something locally, I turn to Amazon.com and Ebates.com. I usually check both and compare prices, taking shipping costs and cash back from Ebates in to consideration. I can also use coupon codes on Ebates and save even more.
How Ebates Works
Visit Ebates. Choose a Gift Card (Currently there is a $10.00 gift card available from Target, Barnes and Noble, and Home Depot) and enter your email and choose a password. You are officially signed up.
Search for whatever it is you need. You can search by store or by item. You will see the percentage cash back you will receive from each of the online store
You can also use promo codes or coupons for the stores when you check out, which will save you even more. Ebates has a list of someof the promo codes, but you can also use the ones you find online or that a company emails to you.
Ebates mails rebates checks 4 times a year. You will need to give them your address so they can mail you your check.
I just received an email and I will be receiving a check for over $90.00 for the last 3 month period. I don't buy a lot of new items either. I use Ebates to buy school books for my kids at half.com, wormer and safety items for my horses, gift cards for restaurants, to send flowers and to send food gifts. I even use Ebates to purchase items from groupon. So you can benefit from Ebates even if you prefer to buy used items or give non-consumer gifts.
You can save even more by taking advantage of double cash back. Every day, Ebates has at least one merchant that is offering double cash back. I saved more by buying my kids school books from Half.com and Barnes and Noble on a day when Ebates was offering double cash back on those sites.
If you shop online, you could probably be saving more by shopping through Ebates. If you are interested, you can join Ebates here.