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how to save moneyOnline shopping makes it easier than ever to get a good deal – whether it’s using comparison sites, getting alerts on new savings, or taking a scanner everywhere you go on your phone to make sure you’re getting the best price no matter where you are.

We’ve put together a short guide on how to save money on just about anything you might be looking for online. And remember, to be a conscious consumer, you also should do a little bit of research to make sure that your good deal really is a good deal.

Comparison Sites

If you’re shopping for a specific product, the best place to start is with price comparison sites. A good place to start is with well-known and reliable giants like PriceGrabber and Google Shopping. Each of these sites are fully searchable, and list products from well-known and reliable retailers like Amazon, NewEgg, Walmart and more. It also lists products available at more obscure sites, but luckily each retailer is rated by other users like you. One advantage that Google Shopping has over PriceGrabber is that it will not only point out online deals, but will also let you know where you can find a good deal at your local brick and mortar stores.

how to save money

There are other ways to compare prices, besides doing a search on a site. You can also install a browser extension that alerts you when it finds better deals on any given product you’re viewing. InvisibleHand is a Firefox/Chrome/Safari extension that will get you good deals on products, as well as addressing your travel needs with flight, hotel and car rental deals. PriceBlink, available for Firefox/Chrome/Safari/Internet Explorer users is a solid alternative to InvisibleHand.

ways to save money

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You may not always think about comparing prices when it comes to renting a film online, but there are a few sites that can do just that. In our post listing the best sites to search Hulu, Netflix and more in one place 5 Ways To Search Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon And More At Once 5 Ways To Search Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon And More At Once If you're still having a hard time deciding which of the online movie streaming services is right for you, one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to making this decision is... Read More , one site that stood out for price comparisons of digital rentals and purchases was Can I Stream It? Another solid alternative is Watchily which allows you to filter your results by price.

There’s no reason to limit your comparison shopping to only when you are at a computer. A smartphone equipped with a camera is all that you need to scan products while shopping to make sure you can find the very best deals possible.

ShopSavvy, (reviewed in-depth here ShopSavvy: Scan Barcodes To Quickly Compare Prices [Android, iOS, & Windows Phone] ShopSavvy: Scan Barcodes To Quickly Compare Prices [Android, iOS, & Windows Phone] Quickly scan a bar code and compare prices – with stores nearby or stores on the web. ShopSavvy is an app that uses the camera on your phone or tablet to interpret bar codes, telling... Read More by MakeUseOf’s Justin Pot) is a free iOS, Android, Windows Mobile app that allows you to scan barcodes on products and shows you where else it’s available – both online and in local stores. If you’re a faithful Amazon user and want to make sure Amazon doesn’t have a better deal than your brick and mortar store – you can do just that with the Amazon mobile app.

Deals and Coupons

Finding deals and coupons online can be a piece of cake if you bookmark a few sites. If you’re all about using coupons online, you’ll love RetailMeNot and CouponCabin. Not only do they offer up coupon and promo codes for use online, they also feature ways to take the savings offline too. RetailMeNot has a section for printable coupons, while CouponCabin allows US users to enter their zip code or choose their state in the local section, and you can find savings in your area.

ways to save money

Aside from actual coupons, there are a couple of good sites worth following to keep up with online deals and savings. Dealzon is jam-packed with good deals, free apps, and you can subscribe to an email list to get all the deals sent straight to your inbox. Dealnews gets you the best deals sent to your inbox, using the site’s free mobile apps and extensions, or alerts via email, RSS and more. Other sites worth checking out include FatWallet and SlickDeals.

Shopping giant Amazon offers deals on a daily basis, but they are easy to overlook. Check out Craig Snyder’s guide to taking advantage of all the deals on Amazon Are You Taking Advantage Of All The Money Saving Deals On Amazon? Are You Taking Advantage Of All The Money Saving Deals On Amazon? I'm such a big fan of Amazon, and if you're someone who shops online then you have almost no choice but to be. You can get anything and everything on Amazon. It's trusted and reliable.... Read More , to make sure you keep up with all the great deals.

Alerts

With sites like IFTTT and mobile apps that can notify you of new deals, there’s no reason you ever have to miss a good deal again. Kannon Yamada has written a great guide on how to use RSS feeds and IFTTT recipes to get notified of all the great online deals The Secret To Getting The Best Deals On All The Stuff You Want The Secret To Getting The Best Deals On All The Stuff You Want If you make frequent online purchases using big-name retailers, such as Amazon, BestBuy, and Walmart, then you probably know about the deal finding sites SlickDeals and Fatwallet. A little known secret is that all the... Read More that are just waiting for you. It doesn’t end there. On IFTTT, simply searching the word deal will turn up a ton of interesting recipes that will notify you of all kinds of deals you might not have even thought of. From Amazon Deals, Gizmodo Deals, Woot deals and more, you’re bound to save a ton just by using IFTTT. We’ve also highlighted some pretty nifty IFTTT money-saving recipes here Get Notified On Freebies And Other Deals With These 8 ifttt Recipes Get Notified On Freebies And Other Deals With These 8 ifttt Recipes Ifttt is growing. Now, users are finding how to use the service in innovative and clever ways. One of the most useful ways that ifttt is leveraged is in finding free deals, discounts, and sales.... Read More .

ways to save money

If you’re looking for a way to get notified when apps you have got an eye on have seen a price drop, what better way to do this than on your phone? AppsFire, which we reviewed in-depth here AppsFire - The Best App Finding Deals & Paid Apps Free [iOS] AppsFire - The Best App Finding Deals & Paid Apps Free [iOS] Are you looking for a way to get some great applications on iOS without spending a dime? There are plenty of good applications on the App Store that are already free, but it's even better... Read More , allows users to search for apps and receive notifications when their price drops. If iPhone apps is what you’re mainly after, we have a bunch of other ways you can find great deals on iOS apps in our guide here How To Get Paid iPhone Apps For Free How To Get Paid iPhone Apps For Free Read More .

If you’re looking for alerts on more than just apps, be sure to check out PricePinx.

Daily Deals

We know all about the daily deals sites like Groupon and Living Social, but that’s not the only way you can get a good deal. First off, you can always search for all the deals aggregated on one page with Bing’s Offers pageThe site detects your location and you can find all the best daily deals in your area, with just a few clicks of the button.

how to save money

If you want to get all the deals for your area in your inbox on a daily basis, check out the aggregator Dealize.

Are you getting a good deal?

If you’ve found what you think is a good deal, it’s also worth asking yourself, are you actually getting a good deal? With hotels, a great site to check out is The Suitest which allows you to search for hotel rooms by location. Once you narrow down your results to the price range and amenities, The Suitest will rate the deal and compare the actual price to the usual price (how much you would normally pay for this room at this time of year) and the fair value price (how much the room should cost based on location, amenities and dates.

Another tip we have for how to save money is to do a little research before actually buying the deal. If you can find a site for the product or service, it would be worth checking out their online prices, and make sure it really is a marked down price from the usual offerings.

Do you have any tips or tricks to make sure that you’re always getting a good deal? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

  1. dan
    November 20, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Any info on scanning bar-code or QR code with phone camera?

  2. Michael C.
    August 28, 2013 at 9:57 am

    This is a great overview, and I would like to add http://www.dealdump.com to that, which has a very useful search functionality... that bundles and searches over all the other above mentioned websites. Really pretty cool.

  3. Anna Turner
    August 20, 2013 at 9:02 am

    My favorite daily deal aggregator is definitely Bownty (http://bownty.com) as they offer you the opportunity to remember deals with Deal Wallet, and get the most popular deals from a lot of dealsites in one email (:

  4. Bart
    July 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    The end is near,

    If we all do this, the only what will remain are liqour stores and supermarkets, the shop owner have to pay rent, heating, gas, electric, he can,t compete even if he starts an internet shop, 2d the pollution of all the extra paking material and air pollution of all the vans deliver it.
    remember we do not inherit the world from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children

  5. Dirk
    July 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I found the article very helpful but missed the most basic advice: as a conscious consumer you need to always first ask the question - do I really need the thing I am planning to buy. Many of us have far too much stuff. It clutters our lives. Much stuff burdens our lives rather than enrich it. For an honest review of this "Gear Acquisition Syndrome" (GAS), see http://www.f-stopeight.com/confessions-of-an-ex-gear-addict-how-buying-cameras-and-lenses-made-me-miserable-and-loose-thousands/#more-44945. The article is about addiction to buying photography equipment but you can replace that with just about anything: shawls, smartphones or software.

  6. sekhar
    July 9, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Thanks for the article. Request to give good sites for Customers in India.

  7. Kannon Yamada
    July 9, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Great article!

    Lately I've been using a combination of methods to snatch up deals online. I found that your article on using RSS and social media combined nicely with IFTTT and other services for targeting specific keywords.

    I "borrowed" (stole?) your methods when I wrote about the integration between RSS and shopping websites.

    Thanks for writing about this.

  8. Pamela Frost
    July 8, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Same POV as others below - only US-centric! Not a problem, but could you have told us that upfront so we din't waste time readingabout /trying out the suggestions only to find they were not applicable to my country? (Australia)
    Thanks for your comment. We appreciate your response.

  9. Pamela Frost
    July 8, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Same POV as others below - only US-centric! Not a problem, but could you have told us that upfront so we din't waste time readingabout /trying out the suggestions only to find they were not applicable to my country? (Australia)

  10. eric stoick
    July 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    2 websites I use constantly are thefind.com, this is a search engine that will show you all the sites that carry the product your looking for. I also use Ebates.com where you can earn cash back. They will either send you a check every 3 months or you can apply it to your PayPal account. Ebates will send you emails as to what the "daily double" is. That means that say normally Home Depot gives 3% cash back, being the daily double you get 6% cash back. It doesn't sound like much but depending on how much you buy online it is worth it. Stores like Tiger Direct and Newegg are on the Ebates site.

  11. B Searle
    July 8, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for the great info! I will try these out. I did try The Suitest, which apparantly is elitist (just kidding, couldn't resist the punny rhyme). It does call itself "A Swanky Hotel Intelligence." It also admits to being a beta site. However, it doesn't know that Ann Arbor exists or the state of Michigan for that matter. Perhaps later?

  12. Organic Black
    July 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    My goal is not to get into a google/bing war but I have not found google price comparasons to be reliable. I do understand that companies pay to be part of google shopping; thus a number of very good sites are not represented. In addition ; in 3 of my last 4 google shopping when I wen to the cheapest place it was either not at the price listed or not the item I was searching.

    I have found bing shopping; pricegrabber, and cnet shopper to have better searchs, more stores, and more reliable pricing tha google shopping.

  13. Rhonda
    July 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    great advice. too bad it doesn't help Canadians. more and more shopping sites either don't ship to Canada, ship at HUGE cost to Canada, or have marketing arrangements with manufacturers that don't allow certain products to be shipped to Canada. not sure how to rectify that. but sure do wish your advice was useful. :-(

  14. Doc
    July 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    For computer components, I prefer Pricewatch to Pricegrabber.

  15. Rajendra
    July 6, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Please also post the India version of comparison websites

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