5 Websites to Save You Money

January is officially the time for belts to be tightened.  With the credit card bills, rung up with gay abandon over the holidays, hitting the doorstep, and a huge gap in between pay checks (I think I’ve gone something like 40 days), we’re all on the lookout for ways to save a bit of cash.  Fortunately, the internet has you covered, with a range of websites that can help you out financially during the most difficult of months.  And luckily, they are all slightly different in their approach.

Save Money the Easy Way

www.moneysavingexpert.com – This may very well be the greatest site on the internet.  It’s focused on the UK, and provides links and advice to UK visitors, but also has some fantastic advice.  If, for example, you’re looking to renew your insurance, it provides extensive tips on how to reduce your premium, and then links to multiple brokers and comparison sites for your to pick the cheapest supplier.  But, it goes even further than that, giving you tricks, tips and techniques to drive the price down even further after you’ve got all the quotes.  Signing up to the Weekly Newsletter is an absolute must.  If you’re not based in the UK, you can still make use of the tips the site contains, as well as the very active and informative forums.  Including an “Old-Style” thrift section, which covers things like reducing waste and reusing household items.

www.petrolprices.com – Another British one this, but there are American equivalents.  The premise of the site is incredibly simple.  You provide your postcode and they send you an email pointing out the cheapest local supplier.  You will be astonished at the variation in price within a couple of miles of your house.  There’s around a 3p a litre difference within 2 miles of my house.

Lifehacker / LifeHack – Two sites that generally serve the same purpose. They will teach you ways to improve your life.  The tips featured range from ways to better use your computer and the internet to handy ways of saving money round the house.  Both are very well written and researched, definately worth a read.  And remember, even if you only pick up productivity tips, time is money!

Consumerist – We need more websites like The Consumerist.  While the site mostly focusses on keeping US companies in check, it’s packed with tips, stories and anecdotes about how to get the best service from companies you deal with every day.  It also points out some widely used advertising, sales and marketing techniques that consumers should really be aware of.

Hot UK Deals – Shopping for something online?  Make sure you head here first.  Quite simply, you search for whichever online retailer you’re using and it will provide you with any available discount voucher codes.  If you’ve ever been buying something online, seen a field in the shopping basket and wondered how you get one of this, this site is the answer.  I’ve saved 100s of pounds using this site, and others like it.  If you’re in the US, you can use a similar site called Retail Me Not or Coupon Craze, which offers a rather excellent FireFox plugin which automatically alerts you when you are on a site that has valid vouchers available.  Both of these also work for UK stores.

There’s just one other site I’d like to mention.  Ikea Hacker may or may not actually save you money, but it will definately put a smile on your face and help you make the best use of furniture once you’ve bought it. Providing, of course, you bought it from Ikea.  Which, if you’re like me you probably did.

Photo by  Weeping-Willow.