Use these smart strategies to budget and save money on shopping, health care, travel, and more.
By Celia Shatzman
Finding Deals and Using Coupons Online
—There are three steps to a successful e-shopping experience, according to Ellie Kay, author of Living Rich for Less (Waterbrook Press). First, use a shopping robot at mysimon.com or fatwallet.com to find the lowest price for the item you want. Then go to a code site like dealhunting.com or retailmenot.com for free shipping offers or other discounts. Last, get rebates for purchases at ebates.com.
—Pricegrabber.com, a comprehensive comparison-shopping site, gives prices that include tax and shipping for goods like clothing, computers, groceries, electronics, and more.
—Save money, support local businesses, and give to nonprofits at commonkindness.com. Each time you print a free coupon the site donates up to 5 cents to charities you've selected.
—Download the free Coupon Sherpa app (couponsherpa.com) onto your iPhone, and while you're shopping it will look for coupons, which are scanned directly from your iPhone at checkout.
—Search for a product on thefind.com to see every online price option, as well as all available coupons and reviews on the Web.
—Get free coupons for local businesses from edeals.com, with more than 6,000 retail partners, by clicking on the Printable Coupons tab.
—Extrabux.com finds the lowest price on millions of products, compiles online discounts, and gives cash back at more than 1,500 online stores.
—The Facebook app from shopping-bargains.com delivers a roundup of online coupon codes and shopping deals to your profile for a wide range of categories, including shoes, groceries, and tires.
—Billeo.com's Offer Assistant puts discounts right into Google, Yahoo, and Bing searches, and even auto-fills cost-cutting codes at the checkout of approximately 1,800 retailers, such as Walmart, Target, and Barnes & Noble.
—Just type in your zip code on ebayclassifieds.com to see what's for sale in your neighborhood. The site is especially useful for large items like furniture, sports equipment, tools, and appliances. (You pick up purchases in person.)
—Earn a few bucks—and save them too—on zilok.com, a peer-to-peer renting platform. Zilok's Rental Income Simulator tells you how much to charge. Consider listing tools, trucks, vacation rentals, surfboards, campers, Wiis, space heaters, Halloween costumes, and more.
—Join swaptree.com to trade books, CDs, DVDs and video games through the mail—all you pay for is the postage.