We all love shopping online, but hate the shipping costs.  Here are five ways to get around them:

1. Ship to the store for free

Some online retailers with brick and mortar stores – such as Lowe’s or Sears–let you have your item shipped to one of its stores for free.  You then retrieve the item from the designated pick-up location at the store you choose. It takes s few minutes out of your day, but could save you plenty.

2. Amazon

Amazon has several options for free shipping:

a. Free super saver shipping on select items with orders that total more than $25. (See below for tips on bundling to meet free  shipping purchase requirements and  Amazon’s helpful  filler item finder program.)

b. A $79 annual membership program called Amazon Prime  gives you free, 2-day shipping in addition to some other perks. Sign up  for a free 30-day trial, make your purchase with free shipping, and then cancel (via the Manage Your Prime Membership page) before  the 30 days are up. If you forget to cancel, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the $79 membership.

c. Amazon Mom is a hybrid of Amazon Prime, offering a free, 3-month membership for parents and caregivers that provides free  shipping and discounts on certain child-related items. Again, be sure to cancel before the trial period is up, or you will be upgraded to  the $79 Prime membership.

d. Amazon Student is another offshoot of Prime. It offers free, 2-day shipping for six months. If you don’t timely cancel, it  converts  to a half-price Prime membership plus perks such as free instant video streaming

3. Bundle your order to meet  “no shipping charge” deals

Most stores offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount. For  example, Macy’s offers free shipping on most  purchases of $99 or more, and drugstore.com offers free shipping on orders over $35.  If you don’t meet the amount, and it’s not essential that you have your item immediately, just save it in your cart (or wish list)  until you need something else. Then add the additional item to your order to meet the minimum purchase requirement. Or, if you’re close to the cut-off amount, add an inexpensive item that  will bring it there.  If you’re shopping on Amazon, that’s  particularly easy with its item filler finder: you just plug in the amount you need  to meet the $25 for free shipping, and a list of items for that price pop up. It’s worth buying a bottle of shampoo for $1 if it saves you  $5 on shipping.

4. Promo codes

We recently did a story on the value of promo codes for online purchases . And, one of the most popular deals is to offer free shipping. Check out free shipping.org  to look for companies with codes that specifically provide free shipping.  For example, a recent search revealed a free shipping code for Kohl’s orders paid with a Kohl’s credit card.

5. Sites that offer free shipping with no restriction

Some online retailers, such as L.L. Bean   never charge for shipping.  A few, such as Shoebuy  and Zappos also provide free shipping for returns.  Freeshipping.org has  a list of 20 retailers that regularly offer free shipping, but be sure to check with the store site to see whether that policy has changed. ( I recently found some of the sites listed, such as Land’s End, no longer offer unrestricted free shipping.)

While free shipping is great, always compare prices on different sites; one that offers your item for $40 plus $6 shipping is a better deal than one selling it for $50 with free shipping. Also, be aware that free shipping may have a longer delivery time.