Using Technology to Help Save Money



One of the ways to use technology to help save money is to let your fingers do the walking – on the keyboard, that is. Searching the Internet for good deals is an easy way to find bargains. Here are some of my favorites:

If you’re in the market for a new cell phone plan, try www.letstalk.com. You can select your favorite carrier, a plan that meets your needs, and your particular phone preferences. You can even choose how much you want to spend and how many minutes to use each month.

Other good cell phone bargains can also be had. For instance, if you have an old cell phone, you may be able to get cash for it. Go to flipswap.com. For long distance calls, look at Skype.com. With Skype you make your calls using your computer. You will need a computer microphone and speakers and if you add a webcam you can even make free video calls. The software is free and instructions are pretty easy on the Skype.com website.

For telephone calls to directory assistance, use 1-800-free-411 (1-800-373-3411) and save money. This is especially handy when you’re out and about and only have your cell phone and no access to a phone book. On 1-800-Free-411 you have to wait through a short commercial blurb, but it is worth it.

For technology purchases, always check newegg.com for great deals. Also check tigerdirect.com. Sometimes you can get phenomenal bargains on computers, digital cameras, TVs, appliances, software, and home theater systems.

If you’re looking for good software, look at OpenOffice.org. They have a suite of programs (word processing, spreadsheets, database management and graphics) that is compatible with Microsoft Office. Go to download.openoffice.org to download this free office suite. Open Office can be your only office suite—it can even open and edit Microsoft Office files—and it’s FREE.

For great deals at restaurants, try restaurant.com. You can enter your zipcode to discounts in your area and pay $10 or $25 for a certificate. Then print out the certificate to present to the waiter. Make sure you read through the disclaimers and other information from the restaurant before you purchase these certificates.

If you want to be alerted to great deals and bargains for your next purchase, check out fatwallet.com. Look for their Topic Alert feature and sign up to receive e-mails when there is a known sale for your requested item. Fatwallet.com is an amazing site for seeing who has codes or coupons you might want. Another website that lets you sign up for daily e-mail notices about bargains you’re interested in is bargainist.com. Bargainist.com has a variety of information about sales on electronics, clothing, groceries and other deals.

Discount coupon websites abound. Not all of them notify you or send alerts like fatwallet.com and bargainist.com, but here are a few well known websites that have great coupon deals: couponmom.com; mygrocerydeals.com; webbyplanet.com; wow-coupons.com; dealcatcher.com; dazzling-deals.com; and bogofetcher.com.

Find the best deals in your area for gasoline at gasbuddy.com, or autos.msn.com, or gasprices.mapquest.com.

Get discount "codes" for your favorite items at: currentcodes.com; promotionalcodes.com; keycode.com; rather-be-shopping.com; and shoppingcodes.com.

Shipping costs can get to be a bit much, but check out freeshipping.com for free shipping codes. Also see shipgooder.com where you can enter your zip code and the site shows the best way to send your package (using UPS, US Postal Service, Fed Ex and other major U.S. carriers).

If you have travel plans, don’t forget to check out kayak.com. Go online in the early morning hours each Wednesday. That’s when all the deals on airlines come into the airfare sites. Kayak.com looks at over 140 different sites to find the cheapest fares. Sometimes you’ll fly on several different airlines, but if cost is a concern, kayak.com is a good website to know about. Some people say that Kayak finds better deals than Orbitz or Travelocity.

If you’re not sure where you want to go, try airfarewatchdog.com. You give it your nearest airport name and every Thursday it sends you an update on cheap flights to destinations around the world.

For hotel stays, use hotels.com. Sometimes you can find great discounts. Before booking, though, call the hotel directly (not the 800 number). Ask the hotel if they can beat the price you’ve found on hotels.com. Sometimes hotels will have a lot of vacancies and be willing to cut their price even further than on hotels.com.

Have you ever tried house swapping? There is a fee for two of the well-known house swapping services. At digsville.com you pay approximately $50 (annual fee) to join their list of swappable homes. Homeexchange.com has more listings than digsville, but the cost is $100 for an annual membership. $100 is kind of pricey, but worth the cost if you find a good swap. Homes are sometimes better than hotels when you want a great vacation in a special place.

If you know of other great websites offering regular money saving deals, post a comment to this blog entry (at the bottom of the page) and let us know about your favorite bargain website.



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For Coupon websites visit:
Coupons.com
CouponCabin.com
CouponMom.com
RetailMeNot.com
SmartSource.com
For Comparison Shopping and to find lowest cost (with shipping and taxes):
PriceGrabber.com
For Free Shipping:
Freeshipping.org
Freeshippingon.com

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