|Erich writes for Focus Publications. He comes directly from the mortgage industry where
he has more than 6 years experience working in all levels of production working
closely with Title, Real Estate and Mortgage professionals and possesses a solid
understanding of their marketing and technology needs. Additionally, Erich has
a broad scope of experience in the publishing, web development and IT fields,
having produced magazines and commercial websites and managed large-scale IT
projects. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regardless of your financial situation, it always makes sense to stretch your
hard-earned dollar. Harnessing the technology you have at your fingertips makes
saving much easier. There are a lot of ways to get the things you buy on a
regular basis as well as major purchases at deep discounts with just a few
clicks. Here are some of the best tools you’ll find to shop smart and save money
on all kinds of products and services.
Find the cheapest gas
MSN has a free tool that tracks the gas prices at over 90,000 stations
across the country. Simply
click here, enter your zip code, and find out where to go for the cheapest
fill-up. Generally, the best day to fill the tank is Thursday as many gas
stations increase weekend prices to take advantage of the higher sales volume.
Get the best deals at the grocery store
MyGroceryDeals.com lists discounts at local grocery stores in your area and
allows you to print out coupons as well. This site will help you save time and
money when it’s time to go shopping. Many times your local newspaper’s Sunday
edition can save you more in coupons than it costs to buy. Another great grocery
coupon tip is to save the coupons for 3-4 weeks until the items go on sale then
use the coupons in conjunction with the sale to save even more.
Save money on dining out
Restaurant.com offers discount
gift certificates for a variety of restaurants in most areas. You can usually
get a discount of 50% or more by purchasing gift certificates through their
site. Customer cards from restaurants are also a good way to get discounts and
freebies and are usually free or relatively cheap to get.
Find the best cell phone plan
Billshrink.com helps you find
the best cell phone plan based on your usage, the average amount you spend per
month, and your coverage area by comparing the available plans from the four
major carriers. You should also inquire with your carrier about corporate or
affiliate discounts that may be offered on your existing plan.
Get the best deal on a car
Sites like Automotive.com,
Edmunds.com and Yahoo! Autos offer you
the ability to get online quotes from local car dealers. The trick to getting a
great deal is to play the dealers against each other. In this economy, car sales
have slowed. By telling each dealer that his quote is higher than the
competition, you can drive the price to rock bottom without having to even visit
the lot and go through the tedious process of negotiation.
Find the lowest airfare
Out of all of the various travel sites out there, the one with the most
comprehensive airfare search is Kayak.com.
Their search feature checks the prices of 321 websites to bring you the lowest
possible price on tickets. It also allows you to sort by mileage alliance to
take the most advantage of miles and frequent flyer programs.
Yahoo! Farechase is another
alternative that offers some advanced features that can come in handy when
booking your travel.
Get free publications
All Free Magazines -
Offers free subscriptions to a huge variety of magazines
TradePub.com - Free subscriptions to
trade publications from almost every industry
Get a better rate on your credit cards
Most credit card companies have some flexibility in what APR they offer
you. If you’ve been a good customer, you can call your credit card company and
let them know you’re considering switching to another credit card company to
take advantage of a lower rate. In most cases, they will offer you a lesser rate
to keep your business. Search out 0% balance transfer rates on cards and
transfer balances to save money on a temporary basis. Be careful not to jump
around too much though as this can have adverse effects on your credit score.
To save even more money, pay off your balance at the end of the month and
pay no interest at all. Using online bill pay is a great way to keep your
payments on time to avoid late fees and interest rate hikes.
Comparison shop on the go
Frucall offers a service that
helps you comparison shop when you’re in a store. By calling their toll-free
number and entering the UPC code of an item, you can find out if something is a
good deal or is less expensive at another retailer.
Save big on online purchases
There is so much competition in online retail that great deals can be
found every day if you know where to look. Here are a few resources to help you
find deep discounts and free shipping, compare prices, and make sure that the online
retailer is someone you want to do business with.
Coupons and deals
BradsDeals.com - Deals, coupon
codes, and coupons for a wide variety of products
CoolSavings.com - Online deal,
printable coupons, and price comparison
CouponMountain.com - Coupons and
deals for a wide variety of retailers
Coupons.com - Tons of coupons for stores
in your area as well as recipes
DealHack.com - Rebates, coupons, deals,
and clearance items
FatWallet.com - Coupon codes, freebies,
and cash back deals
Woot.com - One really great deal per day
Google Product Search ,
PriceGrabber.com all offer very
comprehensive product search and comparison features. They’re very helpful when
you’re making your buying decision. Most include seller ratings and the ability
to create shopping lists with products from various retailers.
Research online retailers
Epinions.com - Features unbiased
reviews of online retailers by customers like you
Resellerratings.com - Reviews,
prices, and store ratings for online resellers
SiteAdvisor.com - Check a website to
avoid spyware, spam, viruses, and scams
Get free shipping
FreeShipping.org - A
searchable index of free shipping deals at just about every major retailer
FreeShippingOn.com - Free shipping
offers from over 500 retailers including eBay
Save money on Amazon.com
DealLoacker.com - Features a secret Amazon discount tool to search out the
JungleCrazy.com - Lists products on
Amazon that are discounted 70% or more
FillerItem.com - Helps you search for
the “filler Item” you need to qualify for free shipping
Subscribe and Save - A program to help you save big on routine items
Rebates and refunds
- Has a searchable database of rebates on various items
Mr. Rebates - Searchable and browseable
rebates for products from over 1000 stores
Refund Please - Tracks pricing so you
can get the difference refunded if a price drops
Ebates - Discount and
rebates from hundreds of stores.
Remember, the next time you’re checking out on an online purchase
there’s a spot for a coupon code, you may find one with a quick search on Google.
It’s a great way to save money with very little effort.
Always do the research before making a purchase. Websites such as
Consumer Reports and the
Consumerist can offer great tips on what
to do and what not to do when it’s time to spend money. A little research goes a
long way toward keeping more of your money in your pocket where it belongs.
Keep these links handy for future use. We all spend money; these tips and links
will help you spend it wisely.