Do you live in a rural area? Are you trying to get a hold of unusual or limited-edition items? Or are you simply looking for better savings?

No matter what your reason, shopping online can save you money on just about any kind of item, if you know how to do it right. It can also cause you to spend more than you otherwise would have if you don’t know, so pay close attention to these tips to save when shopping online.

The first way to save money with online shopping is to use coupons. There are a number of websites that specialize in collecting coupon codes and discounts for various online stores. You can either shop based on these discounts or, at the very least, do a search for these discounts before checking out with your online cart. You may be pleasantly surprised; many stores have released coupons for free shipping, a percentage off, a “buy one get one free” promotion, or some other type of coupon. This may not have been publicly announced, but some people generously share them even when they’re on some exclusive mailing list and receive a coupon.

Remember to price-shop while shopping online. The easy comparison of pricing on identical items is one of the biggest advantages of online shopping. Rather than simply accepting a price because it’s the only place in your city with similar items or because you’re already there, you can spend a few minutes and often get a much better price than you otherwise would have. When you’re purchasing a specific item, do some searches on the model number or item name and the words “shop” or “buy” to see if any other vendors carry the same item. Also, bigger websites aren’t always better – the “big players” like Amazon sometimes have inflated pricing on certain items.

Looking for cheap or free shipping can save you money when you purchase major items or heavy items online. To make sure you’re saving money, don’t forget to count the shipping cost when comparing prices. Sometimes, a free shipping deal might be cheaper, but other times, it might actually be better to pay less for the item and more for the shipping, adding up to a lower overall price. Shipping should definitely factor into your decision of where to purchase an item online.

Finally, a great option for saving money with online shopping is to use reward miles, cash back or points to get an extra little bonus wherever you shop. There are cash back websites which reward you with a percentage of every purchase you make through their affiliate links, though some people find the payout of these rather low. Traditional reward miles or air miles can also sometimes be used online, and there are a number of points programs that work much like the cash back programs, allowing you to redeem points for prizes.

An essential part of personal finance is knowing how and when to save money. Online shopping is an easy way of doing just that.