Top Online Bargain Sites for Parents

Where to score deals and steals (and sometimes cash)

Websites featuring online bargains are the latest rage and with good reason, especially for parents. From buying with a group at a reduced rate, to cash back on purchases and referrals, to deep discounts on a variety of products and services, deal websites offer moms and dads a chance to save money on day-to-day parenting items like diapers and laundry detergent, but also clothing, toys, even family vacations. And while there are a lot of general interest sites out there (think Groupon and Living Social) there are also a ton of money-saving sites created especially for parents. Here are some of our favorites.

Things to Remember Before You Shop at Online Bargain Sites

online bargains
There are a lot of online bargains to be found, you just need to know where to look. Try some of these sites for parents. Martin Poole
Before you buy at any deal site, make sure you pay attention to all the rules and requirements, including the return policy. The devil is in the details and that is never more true here. For example, some sites require a minimum number of sales before the deal will be activated, while others don't permit returns. If you are purchasing services, there is usually an expiration date -- you need to utilize your purchase within a certain period. As for buying goods, the inventory is always changing -- sometimes by the hour, so you have to make a quick decision (which could be costly if you aren't paying attention). The key is to make sure that you will use what you buy. Just because something is a good deal, doesn't mean it is a smart purchase.


One deal a day is unveiled by this eco-friendly site that commits to only selling products that are made with non-toxic, organic and/or recycled materials in eco-friendly packaging. Deals, which are up to 40 percent off regular prices, are announced at 9 a.m EST. On the site, former deals that haven't sold out are also listed. All sales are final. Past offerings have included brands such as Morado Designs, bobux and Fins.



Before you do any shopping online, it's a good idea to visit Ebates first. Not only do they offer up a bunch of coupon codes for percentages off and free shipping and thousands of sites, but if you shop through their links, you get cash back in the form of a "big fat check." The money is pretty serious too -- on some sites you can earn up to 25 percent of your purchase back. Checks are issued four times a year and you can earn more money by referring others. Once they make a purchase you get $5 that will be sent to you in your quarterly payment. Stores include Old Navy, 1800 Flowers, ABCMouse and more.



One of the leaders of the "buy it as a group for cheap" movement, Groupon offers a variety of services and goods at deep discounts, sometimes as much as 90 percent off. While not every offer is geared specifically at families, you can enter your zip code for local deals, allowing you to patronize businesses you may already be familiar with or that are at least near you. Groupon also offers Groupon Getaways that vary in their lengths and destinations. Around seasonal holidays, expect to find appropriate offers -- garden gear near Mother's and Father's Days, cooking equipment before Thanksgiving, etc.



Part of the Steal Network, KidSteals offers two "steals" each day with products that are perfect for families with children (other sites include BabySteals, ScrapbookSteals and the soon-to-be launched SheSteals). Steals are unveiled seven days at week at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. MST and feature well-known brands (past offerings have included American Apparel, Petunia Pickle Bottom and DC Kids) at 50-80 percent off. The site also maintains an archive of past steals that have not yet sold out, so if you miss an announcement, you might still have a chance to buy (although a warning, this site is very popular and sells out fast!). All sales are final although KidCrawl (a sister site) has a classifieds section where you can list items for resale.



Part of deal enterprise woot! (which also includes sites on sports, home, sellouts, local and deals), kids.woot! offers one deeply discounted deal a day, plus others on!. Past deals have included a KidKraft Train Table and a Melissa & Doug wooden dollhouse. The deals are good, the copy explaining the deals even better. Shipping is a flat $5 rate, all sales are final. You can sign up for daily e-mails as well as post in the woot! community where members talk about current and past sales, among other things.


Living Social

Another entry in the group buying category, Living Social offers a few deals per day based on your location although there are national deals too. Offers are for both products and services and can be up to 90 percent off. There is a special "Families" category that in the past has included discounted prices on items such as bounce house rentals and horseback riding lessons. Offers for "Escapes" range from luxurious accommodations in Miami to family camping in the Berkshires.



Save money for your child's college education with Upromise. There are a few ways to save -- you can shop through the site or by registering your grocery store loyalty cards using a Upromise credit cards, eating out at specific restaurants and more. It costs you nothing, simply shop and the money (usually a percentage of your purchase although in some cases there is a flat amount) is deposited four times a year into a college savings account, usually a 529 Plan. It may seem like pennies, but over the long haul the money really adds up.



You have to register (for free) at this site to shop, but once "inside" you'll find great deals on clothing, gear, toys and more. There are eight to ten new products unveiled each day that are up for 72 hours or until they sell out (items move fast!). There is a daily e-mail detailing what is going to be offered, refer a friend who makes a purchase and you'll get $15 credit to spend on the site.


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