We all love the Internet, we all have the Internet, and most of us are paying for the Internet. Here’s how the Internet can save you money.
If you can “borrow” Internet from a neighbor who failed to secure their network, do it. It isn’t illegal or unethical as long as you don’t access their personal information. If an individual chooses not to secure their network, they’re sharing, so enjoy. If you can’t borrow, figure out if you can split with a neighbor. Internet service is expensive, but if you have a neighbor you trust and are able to pick up a wireless signal then why not split the cost?
The internet can save you lots of money on consumer goods. For example, the Cuyahoga Falls library has a database of movie titles you can download for free. And of course there are many free mp3s and podcasts of music, news, Bible teachings, radio programs, and much more. Keep up on pop culture without paying for cable by watching television shows and music videos on YouTube and other such sites.
The Internet is also good for “shopping around” without wasting gas money and time. Instead you can check stores’ web sites to price and compare an item you need. I do this before buying anything out of the ordinary, such as a gift or new appliance. The disadvantage is that usually stores that sell close-outs don’t have their inventory on-line. (That would be nearly impossible.) But if you’re planning to buy an item in a regular retail store comparing prices on-line is fast and free. I often compare prices at Walmart, Target, Kohls, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond online before making a purchase.
Another great way the Internet can save you money is through money-saving blogs, web sites, coupons, and emails. Check out the following sites:
Savebenjis.com: use this iphone app at the store or your home computer to read product reviews and find the best current price for a particular item. It will tell you the going rates at amazon, ebay, and many other sites and stores.
Slickdeals.net: every day this web site lists great deals, often available for purchase on the Internet. Some typical items include clothing, household items, and restaurant dining.
Woot.com: “One day, one deal” is their slogan. Sign up for their daily email, which sends one hot deal a day, from electronics to fast food, and everything in between.
Dealnews.com: features several great deals every day, from laptops to apparel. Includes items for purchase, sometimes with free shipping.
Craigslist.com: search your local area and use savebenjis.com to compare prices. Keep your eyes open for scams, and never meet someone alone in their home. Either take a friend or meet in a public place. Not only can find great deals on this site, but you avoid shipping costs by purchasing locally and picking up the item.
Ebay.com: a great place to buy and sell, but only if you know the going rate. Make sure you’re getting a better deal than retail or Craigslist, don’t bid above that, and remember to factor in shipping costs. Keep in mind that it can be hard to compete with snipers, who can use software to automatically re-bid every second!
Amazon.com: if you’re going to spend over $25 on new products, you get automatic free shipping. This is a great place if you want to buy gifts or otherwise don’t want used items. Their prices on new items are usually far cheaper than chain retail stores like Borders and Barnes and Noble. And their used collection isn’t bad, but the prices rarely beat half.com.
Half.com: the best place to buy used books, whether you’re looking for college textbooks, light reading, or anything in between. Standard shipping is $3.99, but it’s still usually a better deal than anywhere else.
Entertainment.com: if you don’t want to buy the book, sign up for a free trial and choose free printable coupons for your area.
BetterWorld.com: shop more than two million new and used books at bargain prices. Their prices may not beat half.com, but shipping is free within the U.S. So do the math and find the best deal. Plus they donate a portion of their revenues to literacy causes.
RetailMeNot.com: search this web site to find “secret” coupon codes for online shopping. This site includes customer reviews about which coupons actually work, and under what conditions.
DSIREUsa.org: Some states or localities will offer a discount on energy-efficient appliance purchases. Check here to find out if you can save money on your next appliance. Discounts organized by state.
Gutenberg.org offers 2,000 classic titles for free download.
PlasticJungle.com: buy and sell unwanted gift cards on this web site for an average discount of 15%. The site verifies the balances to make sure buyers don’t get ripped off.