PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Bre Cole and her kids say it's almost a daily routine for them to step outside and find a package that was delivered from a recent online purchase.

"So, I think with three kids; it's really convenient to say 'Hey, I need toothpaste, so I'm going to hop on Amazon and have that shipped to us," Cole told 3 On Your Side.

And for the upcoming holidays, Cole says she'll do almost all her Christmas shopping online. "I think there will still be about 25% that I will actually go into a store and wander around."

And she's not alone. Nearly 90% of U.S. consumers plan online holiday purchases this year. But 3 On Your Side wanted to know how you get deep discounts on items online even if they've already been marked down. The secret? Use consumer-friendly apps and browser extensions to slash prices big time.

"A lot of these apps are so seamless and very simple. It doesn't feel like an extra step or any effort," Jill Emanuel told us. She is a financial coach who makes a living out of saving families money.

Emanuel says every consumer should install a free browser extension called Honey in order to cut online purchases dramatically.

Online shopping

"You add it on, and it automatically scours the internet looking for all the best coupon codes and discounts. And, all you have to do is click on a button and say 'Yes, I want to apply it,'" Emanuel explained.

And Honey works on almost every product. Even airline tickets.

"It's a great idea to go log in and check out what benefits are from your credit card company to see if they have similar discounts," Emanuel said.

And finally, Emanuel recommends consumers use an App called Rebate Key.

"You'll get a rebate offer after you make a purchase," Emanuel said. "So many of these items give you 50% or 100% off as a rebate back to you or on a gift card."

And Emanuel says it really works. She just recently made a $20 purchase for vitamins using Rebate Key, and she was happily surprised at the rebate offer.

"And I'll get 100% back," Emanuel said, chuckling. "So your purchase was free, basically?" 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper asked. "Free!!" Absolutely free!" she replied.

The downside is you'll have to wait for Rebate Key to send you your money. But hey, money is money. And finally, there's an app called Ibotta. Log in and download any coupons you're interested in and then buy the items. After that, scan your store receipt to get the value of your coupon. Then redeem all your cash from Ibotta.

Cole says she's heard about apps and browser extensions that can save her money, but she's just never gotten around to using them. But now, that could change, particularly since much of her shopping is done online.

"I think it's a lot easier than trying to lug in my 3 children and argue about not getting toys instead of getting what we need at the same time," Cole said.

Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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