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Help Squad: 10 discount shopping websites worth a bookmark

Everyone talks about the importance of shopping locally.

We at Help Squad agree wholeheartedly that supporting your community by shopping in local stores is very wise, as it not only helps sustain your town, but you’re getting quality products made by producers you know and trust.

That said, there are times when shopping online, strictly for cost saving purposes makes sense, and since we’re a column dedicated to helping you save money, we decided to investigate shopping online versus retail.

Help Squad sought the help of dozens of suburban shoppers by conducting a survey, asking if there are certain products they prefer to buy with a few clicks of their mouse versus going to a brick and mortar store, simply because of the price difference.

We picked 10 shopper’s recommendations for shopping sites they say could save you big bucks.

1. Drugstore.com: This site offers health, beauty and pharmacy products at a discounted price. It reminded us of a virtual Walgreen’s. With free shipping on every purchase and daily specials, it definitely looks like a money saving site.

2. Keurig.com: With the popularity of Keurig coffee machines, the coffee pods (the individualized cups used to make the coffee) are now sold at almost every large grocery chain. But, if you want to get them at a lower price, shop at the company’s site. They are always sending out special offers, they have lots of sales, you can mix and match the flavors, and there are discounts for buying in bulk.

3. Eastbay.com: If you know your clothing and shoe size, there is no reason to shop in an athletic apparel store. The selection is large, the prices tend to be a lot lower, and discounts and deals are constantly offered. Additionally, the exchange process is very easy.

4. Amazon.com: You knew we couldn’t leave this one off the list! Thousands of amazon product prices are widely known to cost less than retail. Best known for books, which includes Kindle, Amazon additionally sells everything from home improvement items, athletic gear, clothing, electronics, and even pet food. There really are too many categories to list! Amazon also offers several daily deals worth checking out!

5. Vitacost.com: This is the site to visit if you’re looking for anything organic or natural that’s carried in local stores. Vitamins, supplements, diet products, raw foods, gluten-free foods, herbs, medicines, household items and baby care essentials are part of the 45,000 products the site offers with significantly discounted prices. Vitacost offers free shipping for orders over $49 and a small flat rate of $4.99 for any size order.

6. eBay.com: There’s really nothing you can’t get if you shop on eBay. The question just becomes how much do you want to compete with others to get something at a lower price? It can be stressful and time consuming, but in the end, if you win, you usually get a great deal. That said, there are thousands of items on eBay that you can buy outright.

7. Petfinder.com: This site has been described by some as the Match.com for pets. With user-friendly profiles and more than 300,000 adoptable pets, the site is not only less expensive than traditional methods of purchasing a pet, but you’d be helping a homeless animal find a home.

8. Zappos.com: What started out years ago as a site to shop for brand name shoes at discounted prices, Zappos has expanded and now offers handbags, accessories, clothing, home goods and beauty products. Shipping and returns are always free, and you get the items really, really fast.

9. Fragrancenet.com: This site offers brand name perfume, cologne, makeup, skin care products, candles and aromatherapy products at prices much lower than you’d pay in a department store. They are currently offering 20 percent off every order and free shipping!

10. Groupon.com: Groupon is a way for you to shop locally and still get discounted prices. If you don’t mind getting frequent e-mails from the company, sign up and you will see some of your favorite local retailers offering significant discounts for their products and services.

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