Best Web Sites for Finding Bargains
Nov. 8, 2005 — -- In this column, Savings Mom answers a viewer's question about money-saving Web site recommendations.
Q: I watch "Good Morning America" every morning before work. I see you on there quite frequently. I am newly married and am now interested in saving more with coupons. Could you tell me what are some good savings Web sites you recommend?
-- Nicole Fazio Denk
Saving Mom's Answer: First of all, let me congratulate you on thinking about saving money this early in your marriage. The key to achieving long-term savings is having the value of time on your side, so the earlier you start, the better off you'll be.
When I began working on our family's budget 13 years ago, I learned a great deal from reading budgeting and consumer finance books I checked out from the library. Don't overlook this excellent source of free information, as well as the many free Web sites that are now available. Many financial authors also have their own Web sites and e-mail newsletters that you can subscribe to for their latest advice.
A few of my favorite authors who have helped shape my own personal financial strategies are Clark Howard, Mary Hunt, Larry Burkett and Suze Orman. You can learn more about them and their books at www.clarkhoward.com, www.debtproofliving.com, www.crown.org and www.suzeorman.com.
In addition to these authors, Mellody Hobson has a complete section of articles on "Good Morning America's" site that will teach you how to understand the common financial challenges we all face, from how to save money on cell phones to sorting through the confusion of credit cards: Click Here for Mellody's Advice.
My own Web site, www.savingsmom.com, incorporates many of their teachings: how to live the life you want within your means, share what you can with others, and enjoy spending what you earn as long as you save a little each year. It all adds up to financial freedom, which enables us to make the life choices that mean the most to us.
As you set up your new budget (which I prefer to call a "spending plan"), you can take advantage of free online calculators to guide you in developing a realistic plan for your income level and family situation. I like the budget and credit calculators on www.cccsatl.org, which you can find under the "debt management" section (using their self-evaluation tools). Another site I like with many savings and budgeting calculators is www.bankrate.com.
Once you know how much you have to spend within each category, you can learn to stretch your dollars in all categories by reading all kinds of savings tips on my favorite frugality sites. I like www.stretcher.com, www.mommysavers.com, and a site I created with a company called www.saveamillion.net. It lists my favorite frugality tips as well as strategies for saving in many areas. You can also enter the word "frugality" or "saving money" in a search engine and have fun exploring the many useful sites out there.
When you need to make a purchase, whether it is a $10 book or a $1,000 appliance, I recommend you take advantage of the online price comparison sites to shop prices quickly. It makes sense to check more than one of these sites, as their information may be updated at different times. I like to use www.shopzilla.com, www.shoplocal.com, www.cairo.com and www.pricerunner.com.
When you are ready to buy at traditional stores, be sure to check to see if a coupon is available for your purchase. You can print coupons for retail stores at sites like www.entertainment.com (they offer a free trial which allows you to print three free coupons), www.keycode.com for some retailers, www.valpak.com, and www.hotcoupons.com. You can also enter the words "local coupons" and the name of your city in a search engine to find sites that may have printable coupons for businesses in your area.
You can print coupons for many outlet malls, such as www.premiumoutlets.com. For outlet malls in your area, simply go to a search engine and type in the words "outlet mall coupons" to find coupons for your local stores. You can also subscribe to the e-mail newsletters at your favorite stores' Web sites to receive free coupons to use in stores and online.
When you are ready to shop online, be sure to check for online coupons at coupon code Web sites like www.savingsmom.com, www.couponcabin.com and www.keycode.com. These coupon codes are very easy to use and it only takes a minute to check to see if your store has one available, and they may save you as much as 50 percent on an order.
Good luck and have fun saving!
A former funeral home owner has been arrested after a corpse lay in a hearse for 2 years
- Feb 23, 12:26 PM
ABC News Live
24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events