Start with store websites. Once you figure out what you need, go to store sites that you're already familiar with -- it's easiest to shop online when you already know the company's reputation, as well as return and exchange policies. And online prices are often cheaper than what you'll find in-store, so purchasing off the site will likely save you some serious dough.
Comparison shop. One of the best features of shopping on the Internet is that you can search for items and compare prices at once through sites like PriceGrabber.com, Yahoo! Shopping (shopping.yahoo.com) and Shopping.com.
Search for online coupons. Sites like Coupons.com and RetailMeNot.com feature store codes and deals that you can use towards your online purchase.
Wait for free shipping. If it's not an item you need right away, hold off for when the store's site offers free shipping. Or at the very least, try to combine as many items into one purchase as possible, so you're not paying multiple shipping charges for various orders.
Don't forget second hand shopping. Sites like eBay and Craig's List have a variety of baby items for sale. Readers have reported getting big-ticket items -- like a gently used glider that can cost up to $300 -- for up to 75% off.
Visit swap sites. Instead of paying big bucks for new gear, head over to Zwaggle.com, a free sharing service connecting parents who want to exchange used (but still in good condition) baby gear. The system is based on points (or Zoints), and you also can create a Zwaggle Group, which allows you to advertise swaps only to family and friends, instead of the website's entire population.
Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.