The Internet has made the world a frugal person’s paradise. Not only have direct-to-consumer merchants brought prices down everywhere, but there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to websites that can help you save money in other ways.
Whether they’re corralling online coupons, watching out for abuses against consumers or giving you cash back when you shop online, here are 10 money-saving websites worth bookmarking immediately.
With a community of more than 1.2 million registered users, this site is a wealth of trustworthy, user-generated content. Slickdeals users post about discounts, sales, freebies and bargains, then take turns weighing in on whether each is a good deal or not and chime in when the deal expires or sells out. Front page deals are chosen by Slickdeals staff – not generated by advertisers. The information on this site, especially in its don’t-miss Hot Deals forum, comes from some of the savviest shoppers in the country.
This “sensible personal finance” site covers all the topics you would expect – saving, budgeting, investing – and there’s a lively forum with thousands of logical commenters. But what’s nice about this site is it doesn’t concentrate solely on the cold hard facts of finance. It also digs deep into intangibles such as attaining the best quality of life, cultivating contentment and nurturing positive qualities in your family.
This is a blogging community whose mission is “to help you live large on a small budget.” Contributors run the gamut from freelance journalists to stay-at-home moms to lawyers to entrepreneurs. In a breezy, often humorous style, the site offers practical advice and information about frugal living, personal finance, career, deals, credit cards and life hacks. Recent topics include “15 Ways to Have a Frugal Friday,” “12 Ways to Make Yourself Save More Money” and “DIY Home Defense: 10 Ways to Protect Your Home From Burglars.”
This site is a clearinghouse of online cash-back shopping and coupon sites. Its most popular feature is its shopping portal. Users log into a free account and use the site as its home base for online shopping. Merchants pay eBates a commission for sending shoppers its way, and eBates passes some of that money on to the shopper, cutting them a quarterly check or depositing the funds into their PayPal account.
This consumer watchdog site (its tagline is “consumers bite back”) comes from the same people responsible for Consumer Reports magazine. In an amusing and edgy fashion, the site covers consumer issues, corporate misdeeds and retail news. To maintain objectivity, it doesn’t accept outside advertising or free samples. Recent stories include “3 Things We Learned From the New List of Richest People in Each State,” “Woman Takes It Upon Herself to Hand Out Letters to ‘Obese’ Trick-or-Treaters” and “Water Company Sues Customer for Defamation Over Video ff Faucet Spouting Yellow Liquid.”
This highly rated site is a clearinghouse for online coupon codes and printable coupons. Browse coupons by category (jewelry, office supplies, pets), brand or store (BeBe, United Airlines, Jiffy Lube), free shipping or freebies. Coupon results can be sorted to list the most popular, newest or soon-to-expire coupons first. You shouldn’t buy anything online without searching for a coupon code. CouponCabin is a good place to start.
Use this search engine the same way you would use Google, but with Swagbucks, you’ll earn digital currency, which can be accumulated and redeemed for real gift cards. A $5 Walmart gift card, for example, costs 500 Swagbucks.
You’ll get 30 Swagbucks when you sign up, plus 70 more if you enter the sign-up code HIP70. To boost Swagbucks earnings, you can also take surveys, watch promotional videos, play games or enter codes hidden online.
This site’s tagline is “Where every day is Black Friday.” The site certainly devotes a tremendous amount of coverage to Black Friday deals and events, and posts retailers’ Black Friday circulars well in advance of the actual kickoff to the shopping season (some are up now). But the site also does a great job of aggregating coupons, deals and sales, specializing in clothing, computers and electronics. Its consumer-oriented articles also are packed with good ideas for savvy shoppers.
This easy-to-navigate site aggregates the top deals on its home page, which can be sorted by “most popular” and “just added.” Recent examples include a 66-cent necklace, a golf cart bag for $17.99 shipped and a coupon for $50 off a $100 purchase at Neiman Marcus.
FatWallet corrals the Web’s sales, coupons, daily deals and offers its own cash-back shopping portal. It also has forums full of savvy shoppers. It does extensive reporting about Black Friday, posts Black Friday circulars in advance and has a function that makes Black Friday deals searchable. Get a $10 gift card when you sign up for an account.
Face it, kids are expensive. Technically a mommy blog, this site is run by local mother of three Karen Jones, who compiles a running list of all events and activities geared toward kids in Western New York. Many events are free or very cheap.
Search for events by county, holiday, indoor and outdoor activities, or click through the day-by-day event calendar. Read “Mom Reviews” of places and activities written by local parents and sign up for email updates to be notified of events and specials as they’re released.