Cool sites to help you save

Ways to save, just a click away

New sites and apps help you find deals and spend smartly

Chicago Tribune
Technology is a huge help for consumers to spend money smarter.

For example, you can search online for best prices, or if you’re already in the store, you can use your smartphone to read a product’s barcode and get competitive prices.

Problem is, new money-saving websites and apps are launching almost daily. It’s nearly impossible to investigate them all. We’ve rounded up a few promising ones that have come out in recent months.

With many, it’s hard to predict whether they’ll succeed and be available a year from now. But if you like trying new sites and apps, these seem worth a shot. Keep in mind that these aren’t being listed as the best, just a sampling of the newest.

OpenChime.com: OpenChime says it will get price quotes for you from local service providers, such as plumbers and house cleaners, saving you the hassle of calling. You simply get an e-mail with price quotes.

AwardWallet.com: The website will keep track of your frequent flyer miles, as well as hotel and credit card rewards points in one place, perhaps allowing you to use them more efficiently. And it will alert you when your miles are about to expire.

DealNews.com app: Prominent deal site DealNews is not new, but its iPhone/iPad app is. Users can browse more than 100 deals a day or request push alerts, which send personal deal alerts for specific products or coupons to on-the-go users. 

CouponNetwork.com: The world didn’t need another site with printable grocery coupons, but this is produced by a major player in the coupon industry, Catalina Marketing Corp., the company behind those coupons that print out at the end of your cash-register receipt. Notably and exclusively, the site includes YourBucks, which aren’t coupons but relatively high dollars off your future purchases. For example, recently if you bought two bottles of Listerine Whitening Rinse, you got $4 printed on your register receipt to spend however you want, like cash, on your next grocery trip.

Upromise.com app: Upromise is pretty well known already; it’s a site where you can earn money for college expenses as you shop — ideally, making purchases you would buy anyway. It now has a GPS-enabled smartphone app for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry to make it easy to find nearby restaurants and retailers that participate in the Upromise program. It will give you directions from your location.

PayDivvy.com: Having trouble keeping bills straight with roommates? PayDivvy offers online bill pay and group payment. It can, for example, automatically divide bills among roommates, friends and family, who can then pay those bills automatically.

SavingStar.com: This site puts a different spin on paperless coupons, or e-coupons. That generally refers to choosing coupons online which electronically links them to your supermarket or drugstore loyalty card. That way, you automatically get the savings at the register. With SavingStar.com, which claims to be the largest digital coupon service, your checkout bill is the same but savings are squirreled away in an account, which you can cash out by direct deposit into a bank account, PayPal account and other methods. SavingStar also has apps for iPhone and Android that allow you to choose coupons on the go.

More options
Brighter.com: Compare dentists.
OhSoWe.com: Share stuff with neighbors. Think tools, camping gear.
uSell.com: Sell your old cell.
Shpoonkle.com: Hire lawyers by reverse auction, meaning they bid for your business.
Swap.com app: Manage your Swap.com account for trading books, music, movies and games.
Adaptu.com: Financial planning site.
Shooger.com: Deals near you. Also apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
PartSelect.com: Site’s not new, but its Virtual Repairman is.
CheapSally.com: Deal aggregator, including daily deals.
1800registry.com: Wedding planning service with up to 10 percent cash back.
Cheapism.com/local: The site for cheap-but-good stuff recommends cheap stuff near you, mostly restaurants. Recommendations also activated by FourSquare check-in if you’re following Cheapism.

Courtesy of Everett Herald- June 19, 2011

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