3 Websites that Save Me Money

An important part of being frugal and saving money is finding ways to reduce your expenses while at the same time working to increase your income. Even though I fail a lot I try pretty hard to reduce my costs whenever possible. Like switching cable providers (or at least threating to) to get your bill slashed. When you get creative and look for alternatives there is always ways to reduce your spending so you can increase the gap between income and expenses. Over the last couple of months I have come across three website which have helped me to significantly reduce my expenses.

GoogleVoice (http://google.com/voice)

Google Voice provides you with a single phone number that will dial all of your other numbers. It is the ultimate in portable numbers because it isn’t tied to a carrier at all so if you change cell phones you just have to change where it forwards to and no one needs to update their contacts. The biggest draw to me however, was the ability to use Google Voice for SMS on my iPhone. AT&T and Apple  won’t allow the Google Voice App for the iPhone (if You have Android you are solid). You can get around it quite easily for about $2.00, here is how:

As of last week Google updated the mobile version of Google Voice to be pretty kick A$# (see picture to the left). Using the mobile website you can EASILY initiate new SMS messages, phone calls, and play voice mails from your Google Voice account. It is pretty much the same as if you had an app actually installed on your phone to do the work. The only thing it won’t do is alert you on new voice mails or SMS since it has no way to push to the iPhone. Enter GmailPush ($1.99), it sends a push notification whenever I get an e-mail so with the SMS forwarded to e-mail instead of my phone POW! Free SMS with notifications.

This allows me to use the lowest text plan as opposed to the unlimited plan saving me $15.00 per month.

Retail Me Not (http://retailmenot.com)

If you have never dropped by Retail Me Not before doing some serious online shopping then you are missing out on some great opportunities for savings. Retail Me Not is a user driven coupon code tracking site. People submit coupon codes for various online merchants and other users vote on the success or failure of the coupon codes. This allows you to get the best codes and most savings when shopping online. I discovered this little beauty when doing my Christmas shopping this year and saved $90.

Box.net

This site is relatively new to me, I already use DropBox to keep needed files synced between my iPhone, netbook, and desktop but that is simply storage and syncing. Box.net however lets you do some pretty neat stuff with sharing files. The reason it is so beneficial to me is that you can fax your uploaded documents via eFax for free. **Updated 02/08/2010, box.net is now charging for eFax services, it looks like if you had already added the app you are cool but it is a pay service now, BOO!”** I have to send out a fax every month for Dependant care claims and because I didn’t want to pay some online service to do it I kept a home phone around. Now that I can fax online through Box.net I dropped the home phone saving me $30 per month.

Right there with three free website I was able to save $90 shopping and $540 in monthly charges throughout the year. Not to bad for the little amount of work it took. What sites do you use to help you cut down on those pesky expenses?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Derek February 1, 2010 at 10:14 am

I use Google Voice to help organize my freelance work and love it. Got my own vanity number set up for free. It has so many options and commands that is hard to remember. I need to print out a cheat sheet. And I do use the online interface to save money on a text plan as well.

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2 Andrew @ Financial Services February 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Thanks for the great tips! I’m hoping that iPhone will soon allow Google Voice app to be installed. But seems it become more impossible now that Google and Apple are in the heat with the recent remarks by Jobs. *sigh

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3 Kyle February 1, 2010 at 11:52 pm

I actually had one of the early iPhone apps for Google Voice called VoiceCentral. It is still on my phone but changes in the GV interface have slowly caused it to not work. It is ridiculous that their posturing has resulted in a bad experience for the AT&T/Apple customers but there is nothing we can do about it. I really like the new HTML5 interface Google Voice has put out, I have been using it now for about a week and actually like it better than the Voice Central app I paid for.

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4 Money Funk February 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I love RetailMeNot.com. Saves me a bunch on my son’s clothes – both with discounts and free shipping.

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5 Kyle February 1, 2010 at 11:54 pm

I don’t know how I had never heard of it before, I found some great coupon codes that were crazy good for the holidays. Unfortunately I haven’t found any good ones since. I check whenever I go to buy something online. I just don’t frequent mainstream retail stores that much I guess.

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6 Wojciech Kulicki February 2, 2010 at 6:56 am

RetailMeNot is absolutely awesome! People I know are amazed when I tell them to STOP when ordering and go find them a coupon code, seemingly out of thin air.

It’s kind of funny…people will clip coupons all day long when shopping at the grocery store, but they won’t do the same when shopping online.

Great list!

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7 FFB February 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I’ve hit up RetailMeNot from time to time. If you aren’t using the web to look up codes and coupons then you are missing out on what are sometimes BIG discounts!

I’d throw Amazon in there as well for saving money. First, Amazon usually has great competitive prices that are better then most retailers. Second, they have pretty good reviews to give you an idea about the reliability and usefulness of a product. I always check up on Amazon before I make a decent sized purchase or buy anything on the web.

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8 Kyle February 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I agree completely on Amazon, I was in the market for a webcam last night and Amazon was my first stop, and where I ended up buying from. The product I picked up had over 1,100 reviews and rated at 4.5 stars so I am fairly certain it was worth the money. I was able to pick up the one I wanted for $54 after rebate on Amazon, that is $20 cheaper than I could find it anywhere else and the best part is that it retails for $99.

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9 JohnnyH February 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Box.net is a negative on the free faxing.

eFax
“This service is only available for business & premium accounts”

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10 Kyle February 8, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Wow! they must have changed it since I signed up or something, I still have the ability to do it but I see where it shows as “PRO” under the apps page now.

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11 Dawn R December 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I hate paying full retail, but comparison shopping can be annoying. This year I’ve stumbled across FreePriceAlerts, a browser add-on that comparison shops for me. If I click a product on Amazon, I get a pop-up telling me where I can find the lowest price on the internet. Love it!

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