With the holidays coming up, and with times being a bit tight, everyone wants to have a good time, but also saving money when shopping online is probably a priority. We all dread the credit card bill which arrives in January, informing us of the huge wrecking ball that has been swung at our finances, and it takes us about half of the next year to pay it all off.
I wrote very recently about minimalism and our need to stop buying too much, but obviously everyone is different, and if you want the holidays to be about loads of presents, then read on. We may just help you bag a few online bargains.
This coupon tracking website has saved me quite a few bucks this year, which is good as my belt buckle has been particularly tight in the past 12 months. This cross-browser extension works with a variety of stores, such as Amazon, Macys, Newegg, and my favourite – Think Geek. It automatically finds discount codes for you when you reach the checkout phase of the transaction. Just click on the one you want, and the promo code box will be automatically filled in for you.
The company claims that the extension will work with 100,000 websites that are in its database, and it boasts a 90% success with the codes it offers.
Price Drop Monitor (Mac OS X Only)
Until I went on my minimalist crusade, this was one of my all-time favourite Mac apps. It is a program which places a small trolley icon in your top bar, and you populate it with the items you want watched on Amazon. It works with virtually every Amazon you can think of, and when there is a price fluctuation one way or another, you will get a small ping and a notification about which items on your list have changed in price. You can then review the details, and if you like the deal, you can click through to Amazon to buy.
My only one small minor gripe about this app is that if you change your wishlist in any way — whether that be to add something, or remove something — Price Drop Monitor does not update automatically. You have to remove it from the app yourself. But that is a very minor thing, and maybe the developer will address it in a future update.
This is another cross-browser extension which I was pleasantly surprised with, having found a few bargains for birthdays and anniversaries (not the Macbook in the screenshot though — I don’t love anyone THAT much!). But using the Macbook example, it found an alternative to Amazon which was selling the exact same model for 171 Euros less ($210).
Just go to any shopping website, input what you are looking for, and if a cheaper alternative is found, the blue bar at the top of the screen will tell you where to find it. Simple as that. And imagine what you could do with that extra $210?
This is similar to Shoptimate, except for a couple of things. One is that it seems to only work on either USA or UK sites (you have to pick which one you use, in the extension options). Secondly, in my tests, it was much slower than Shoptimate in finding a deal. Plus it seemed to think that 783 pounds was much cheaper than 764 pounds (see screenshot). Er…what?
I include this though because that seemed to be a blip. With subsequent searches, it was still slow but it eventually found some good cheaper deals. So you may want to give this one a go, and see how it works for you.
Our third price comparison browser add-on is PriceBlink, which is also another US or UK shopping deal (again, you choose your country in the browser options). PriceBlink is right up there with Shoptimate in terms of speed in finding other deals. As soon as you land on a product page, the yellow bar shoots down with other offers.
Since we are nice generous people here at MUO, below are several more options for finding tools to sweeten the deal over the holidays. So when your husband demands a life-size Millennium Falcon, you’ll know where in the galaxy to find the best offer (clue: don’t buy from a guy called Jabba).
Did we miss your favourite online money saver? Tell us about your favorite money saving strategy and tools for the holidays.