Tag Archives: ways to save money

Best Couponing Websites

November 4, 2011

The Best Couponing Websites

The economic crisis has forced many people turn to a trusty old friend to save them money – coupons! If you look around in your Sunday newspaper you can find coupons left and right, but the internet has changed the game. These are not your grandmother’s coupons; let’s just call them coupons 2.0.  Here are some of the best couponing websites available to help you save money.

Groupon
It is hard to start any best couponing websites list off with any site other than Groupon. After all, Groupon is credited with reintroducing young people to coupons. The whole premise behind Groupon is both simple and fun; every day there are a few deals available for a limited time. If there is nothing that piques your curiosity today, just wait for tomorrow’s deal. Chances are, you’ll find an interesting deal soon!

Coupons.com
Coupons.com not only provides a great variety of coupon categories, but the site itself is also very easy to navigate. When you are trying to save a few dollars, the last thing you want to do is browse through countless of pages to find what you actually want. The fact that you can search for zip code specific deals makes it even easier to find the deals that appeal to you.

Checkout the best couponing websites!

Tired of dealing with this every Sunday? Checkout the best couponing websites instead. Image credit: sdc2027, Flickr.com

CouponCabin.com
The staff at CouponCabin.com realizes that people do not need expired coupons and certainly do not want to spend their time on deals that are not timely. So they update the deals at least three times a day to ensure that the coupons are still valid. One of the benefits of this website is that it has a separate section for ‘favorite deals’ and ‘most-used coupons’ allowing you to find the hottest deals the instant you land on the homepage. They also have a handy newsletter that they send out every Monday.

RetailMeNot.com
RetailMeNot.com has a very dedicated community of users who provide updates on what coupons are still valid, where to find the best deals of the day, and explanations of the fine print. You can also sign-up to receive e-mail alerts whenever a new code or coupon is posted to your favorite store. By choosing this option, you will no longer have to constantly check the website to see if new deals have been posted.

CouponMom.com
CouponMom.com does more than just provide coupons; it also lists free samples and other types of discounts. The layout itself is very easy on the eyes and does not feel cluttered with banner ads. Like RetailMeNot.com, you have the option to sign up for e-mail alerts for your favorite stores so you do not have to worry about missing a deal.

These are some of the best couponing websites we have found so far, but we are certain there are more. What are some of your favorite couponing websites?

How to Save Money on Electricity – Six Easy Tips

October 28, 2011

How to Save Money on Electricity

Looking at the electric bill at the end of the month can be quite a shock, particularly during seasons of extreme temperatures.  Luckily, if you follow these tips on how to save money on electricity, you can significantly cut that bill. Plus, by saving energy you will reduce your impact on the environment.

Turn off those lights!

Image credit: lemasney, Flickr.com

Tip #1 – Turn off the lights

It’s very easy to forget to turn off the lights, but remembering to do so can create big energy savings in the long run. If you are in a room that does not get much traffic such as the kitchen or bathroom be sure to turn off the lights whenever you leave the room. It may take some time to get used to doing this, but after awhile it will become second nature. If you are still having trouble remembering, consider installing lighting occupancy sensors. Worried that turning on and off the lights too quickly wastes electricity and wears out light bulbs? The MythBusters buststed that myth!

 Tip #2 – Check the energy savings settings on your computer and monitor

Using screen savers help save energy, right? Actually, not at all. It is much better to have your monitor automatically turn off after a certain period of time (I have mine set for 10 minutes).

You can save even more energy by letting your computer hibernate when it is inactive. Hibernation mode uses up virtually no energy and you do not have to go through the entire start-up process again. EnergyStar estimates that you can save up to $350 dollars over the life of your computer (4 years) by smartly managing the power settings on your computer.

Tip #3 – Make your dryer more efficient

When you move your clothes from the washer into the dryer, most people simply bunch them up together in a wet lump and toss those clothes into the dryer. However, if you untangle your clothes and separate them before you throw them in the dryer, they will be dried more efficiently and you will save money on electricity.

Tip #4 – Off-peak hours

Contact your electric company and see if they have off-peak hours. During off-peak hours, the cost of electricity is reduced. Electricity is generally less expensive late at night, early in the morning and on weekends, so it is cheaper to run the dishwasher and washing machines during these times. How much you will save will vary depending on your location, but here in Oregon off-peak rates are 66% less than of on-peak rates.

Every degree counts!

Image credit: Mick Wright, Flickr.com

Tips #5 – Check that thermostat 

Even a one degree change makes a big difference. Turning the thermostat down (or up during the summer) when you are out of the house will help you save money on electricity without sacrificing comfort. By following EnergyStar guidelines you can save $180 annually on your heating and cooling costs.

We hope you found these tips on how to save money on electricity helpful. You can realize big savings just by making small changes to your daily routine and habits. Are there any other methods that you use to save money on electricity?

Five Money Saving Android Apps

October 14, 2011

Money Saving Android Apps

Before we showcase some exciting money saving Android apps, we want to announce that the official Cash4Books Android app will be released on October 19! The app will have a built-in barcode scanner, allowing you to quickly and accurately receive instant price quotes. And since the app is 100% free, you can actually make money using your Android.

Want money saving Android apps? Try this money making app too!

Now available! The official Cash4Books.net free Android app.

Now, without further ado here are some of our favorite money saving Android apps!

#1 – Google Shopper

Have you ever had that feeling while you were out shopping that you could get the same product for a little less somewhere else? Wonder no more, thanks to Google Shopper. This money saving app recognizes products by voice, text, barcode scanning, and even by picture! It lets you search online for a better price and read product reviews. Next time you buy a product, you’ll know you’re saving money.

#2 – ShopSavvy

With ShopSavvy you’re always going to get the best price on products you buy. While saving 50 cents on one item may not make a huge difference, think about how the savings add up for 10 products. Now think about the savings for 50 products? I’ll leave the math to the experts, but you can see how eventually these small savings add up over time into big savings.

#3 – CardStar

How many times have you stood in line at the grocery store only to realize that you forgot your rewards card? Suddenly that 36-pack of toilet paper that was on sale doesn’t seem like such a great deal. With CardStar you can enter membership and reward card information for Blockbuster, CVS, Best Buy and many other large retail stores. Once you enter your cards into the app, the store can scan your membership information directly from your phone. You’ll no longer have to carry around all those cards and you’ll never end up with overpriced toilet paper again!

#4 – Mileage

We all know too well about the recent spike in gas prices. Mileage is a great money saving Android app that tracks your gas usage and miles driven. The more aware you are of how much you gas you use, the more likely you will try to cut back on unnecessary car trips. As a bonus, you’ll also lessen your impact on the environment.

#5 – Skype

If you ever made an international phone call, you know how expensive it can be. Fortunately with Skype, calling is free when you call Skype-to-Skype. Furthermore, fees are much lower than those of your standard provider if you call an international landline or cell phone.

Now that we posted some of our favorite money saving Android apps, we want to know about a few that we may not have discovered yet. Do you have any particular apps that you use to save money?


The Cash4Books mobile apps are powered by Vision Smarts barcode readersThe Cash4Books mobile apps are powered by Vision Smarts barcode readers! Visit www.visionsmarts.com for more information and tell them Cash4Books sent you.

Five Fun Ways To Save Money

September 26, 2011

Five Fun Ways To Save Money

Too often we think that trying to save money must mean denying ourselves of things we like. Not only does this make life more stressful, but it actually makes it harder to save money as you have to exert a lot of mental effort to do so. Once life catches up with you and other stresses arise you won’t be able to expend that extra effort and you’ll be likely to slip back into those old not-so frugal habits.  Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be the case; here are some low-stress and even fun ways to save money.

Your frugal friend the pig.#1 – The Power of the Pig

You probably have not used a piggy bank in ages, but consider channeling your inner child in order to save money. Place a few dollar bills into a piggy bank a couple times a week and you will see the amount grow at a surprising rate over the course of several months. This is one of the more fun ways to save money because you can physically see your savings increasing. If you have children, this is also a great activity to teach them about the value of money and saving.

#2 -Use Your Skills

You’re awesome cooking skills (or computer know-how, or just about any talent that you have) might not be  enough to land you a high-paying, glamorous position as a world-renowned chef, but that doesn’t mean that your talent is worthless. Chances are one of your friends, family members or casual acquaintances would love for you to share your knowledge or ability. You can trade your skill with someone who needs your expertise and receive something valuable in return. You won’t have to purchase as many items and services, plus you get to do something that you love.

#3 – Second Hand Prices, First Class Style 

Few things can match the thrill of finding a stylish item on sale. Just because an item is not brand-new does not mean it cannot be new to you. Check out consignment and second-hand clothing stores for great deals on hot items. If you can find a beautiful jacket at 1/3 of the new price, you can afford to splurge occasionally. Plus, if you later decide that it is not as awesome as you thought, simply sell it to recoup some of the expense of your purchase.

Image credit: Λ W Λ, Flickr.com

#4 – Clear The Clutter

Ok, this one is really more of a way to make money, but it is still fun; hold a yard sale to sell the many items you do not need anymore. It will be embarrassing, but fun to go through your old clothes and other items and think to yourself “Why did I ever buy these bright pink high-tops? I hope there isn’t any photographic evidence of me actually wearing them.” Just remember that you will probably never use these things again, and you can get even earn some money for them. In fact, many old items are back in style now so you can earn decent money from selling them. As a bonus, you’ll gain some extra space in your closet and attic.

#5 – Entertainment Book

Many people love trying out new restaurants, but as hobbies go, this one can be quite expensive. This is where the Entertainment Book can make all the difference. The initial investment is $25 but it is going to pay for itself once you use it a few times. Most large US cities are represented the Entertainment Book and inside you will find coupons for fun restaurants and shops. There are also regional coupon books that have specials for all of your favorite local hotspots. Our favorite out here in the Pacific NW is the Chinook Book, (also available in a few a few other metropolitan areas) which tends to focus on local, “green” businesses.

These are just a few of our favorite fun ways to save money. There are plenty more out there. What do you do to have fun and save money?

7 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries

September 9, 2011

Groceries: few people like shopping for them and even fewer enjoy paying for them. While there isn’t a way to get your groceries for free (short of dumpster diving), you do have options. Check out these tips on how to save money on groceries.

Save Money on Groceries

Save money on groceries with these easy tips. Image credit: cooksaid.com

Tip #1 – Plan your meals in advance

One recent study showed that 20% of grocery store purchases are unplanned, impulse buys. You can avoid this trap by planning your meals in advance and sticking to your list. Not only will you save money on groceries, but you’ll waste far less food.

Tip #2 – There is nothing wrong with generic 

Most people don’t end up buying generic brands because of perceptions of lower quality. However, you might be surprised to learn that blind taste tests have shown that some customers actually prefer the taste of generic brands. Make a point of giving generic or store brands an honest chance. If you don’t like them, it’s not like you spent an arm and a leg and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Tip #3 – Prepared foods cost extra

If you’re in a hurry, prepared foods are admittedly a great way to save time. However, as prepared foods are generally more costly, a better alternative if you’re short on time is to cook meals in advance and freeze them. While preparing a meal, it’s easy to double a recipe and freeze the leftovers for a later date. As an added bonus, homemade meals are generally healthier than prepared foods. If you need some freezer friendly recipe ideas, a great place to start is Life’s A Mom or Martha Stewart’s Freezer Friendly Foods.

 

Hungry Man!

Don't go shopping while hungry. Otherwise you might try something like this. Image credit: funnypicture.in.

Tip #4 – Avoid shopping hungry

This is an oldie but goodie. If you’re hungry while you shop, you will buy more. Everything looks appetizing when you’re ravenous. Make sure you eat a meal (or at least a snack) before shopping and you will find that a lot less ends up in your cart.

Tip #5 – Bend down or tippy toe

Grocery stores and supermarkets usually place the items with the highest markups around chest level. This makes these higher cost items easier to see and more accessible to shoppers. Resist the temptation to reach for what is nearest to you and kneel down or reach up for to find cheaper alternatives.

Tip #6 – Put a little effort into it

Did you know that there are plenty of supermarket chains that offer coupons if you visit their website? Not just that, but if you clip coupons and pay attention to the weekly deals that supermarkets have, you can’t help but save money. A smart shopper saves money on groceries simply by going where the deals are. There are also entire websites dedicated to the art of couponing. Check out Money Saving Mom or Frugal Living NW for daily sale and coupon updates.

Tip #7 – Price match

If you read about a particularly good deal in a store that’s far away, see if one of their local competitors will match the price. This not only saves you money on groceries, but also reduces gas consumption.

These are just seven of the best ways to save money on groceries that we have found, but of course we want to learn about what ways you have found that worked for you. Whether you saved ONE dollar, or twenty bucks, we want to know!