Solutions for your empty wallet
A family member was poking around today looking for cheap goods and food stuffs for a friend in need. After giving her some idea and looking at her other suggestions, I thought this might make a good topic for todays discussion. I’m not going to get into basic budgeting discussions here. Hopefully, most of you have figured that stuff out, or maybe thats blog fodder for another day.
So where can you find great deals on the interwebs? A quick Google search can certainly help, but there are some of those sites that are obscure and get missed. Sometimes, you just need someone to point you in the right direction or hopefully have had some experience using the service before. Today, I’m going to be your “personal interweb deal guide”. Sit back, relax and let’s see what awesomeness I can dig up…
All deals, all the time
DealCatcher – This one is a personal favorite, among many. Where Google supplies you with coutless site possibilities, DealCatcher supplies you with deals mined from all over the web all in one convenient location; coupons, savings codes, and online sales from your favorite sites. In addition to this deal hunters dream, are the many options for finding your ultimate deal. Browse by category or by popular stores. See coupons that are the most popular, expiring and newly available. Compare prices across the site or simply just browse the current day deals along with the “Catch of the Day” which is usually a savings code or limited time deal. Just for good measure, they’ve supplied all the Sunday newspaper ads from across the nation in one place with an easy drop down selection for the state of your choice. The possibilities are endless.
WOOT! – Woot: An interjection similar to “YAYE!” or “Woohoo!” used to express joy or excitement, usually about some kind of accomplishment. Primarily used by gamers, spreading rapidly to anyone who chats online .
It’s no surprise that the guys at Woot decided to use this term since the daily “woot-off” is usually a deal so good and in limited supply, that if you are lucky enough to get an item you are likely to exclaim “WOOT!” after the checkout process. Woot is on of the first daily deal sites offering a limited time sale of a particular item in limited quantity. There are many of them now, some good, some bad but none will replace the growing community of wooters. Woot started to expand from the main sellout.woot site offering shirt.woot, wine.woot and kids.woot where items are relative to the respective titles. More recently, deals.woot was launched and in similar fashion to DealCatcher, offers us the best deals from around the web. At the home page, there are 5 sponsored deals at the top, the first being from their own sellout.woot sister site. Below that is the “community deals” section where people from around the web submit deals from just about anywhere. What makes deals.woot different is the community of wooters who bring the deals to the site to share with our fellow discount hunters. By “wooting” (voting) the deals, the community escalates the deal based on popularity with the membership and it climbs up the favorite deals ladder.
Kayak – taking what priceline has done and making it better, Kayak allows you to search hundreds of travel sites all at once.
Yapta – taking Kayak one step further more, these folks will save you money by tracking prices before you buy, and the refund you the difference if you purchase and the price drops again.
These site will have some form of “free” offers. Deals range from local restaurants, grocery store coupons, software, rebates…the list goes on.
Freebie Blogger – she does a good job of pulling a lot of freebies together in one site.
Deal Seeking Mom – more coupons than freebies, but she squeezes good stuff in so she get’s a shout out.
GCF LearnFree – free online learning for MS Office products, basic computer skills, reading and reference material, math, money and more. The site is updated regularly and new content is being added daily.
Deal of the Day
Similar to Woot, these guys have their own 1 day deals. Rather than try and keep track of them all, some “tracker sites” do all the work for you. Keep this one handy.
Groupon – Positively one of my favorite daily sites. There is always something for everyone, you just might have to wait awhile to get the deal that works best for you. When it does, BAM! Money savings for the win! Deals sometimes up to 90% off restaurants, hotels and retail stores, and that’s just part of the sites charm. I have found more mom and pop businesses around town that I’ve been missing out on, just by checking in here daily. If you’re a first time sbscriber, Groupon sends out a $10 off coupon for your first purchase that sweatens the deal. Now you can have that elegant dinner for two at 90% off plus an additional $10 off. Oh, and if you refer a friend, you get $10 too!
Not really a site, but sites of leftover crap from TSA seizures around the country’s major airports. This stuff gets turned over to state surplus agencies that then sell it online or in retail outlets. To whit:
Airports: 14 in Florida and Alabama, including Miami, Orlando, Huntsville, and Birmingham
Where to buy: eBay (seller ID: alstatesurplus)
Airports: Atlanta, Savannah/Hilton Head
Where to buy: Stores in Tucker (Atlanta Surplus Center, 770/414-6468); Swainsboro (Swainsboro Surplus Center, 478/289-2623); and Americus (Americus Surplus Center, 229/931-2407)
Airports: Chicago O’Hare, Chicago Midway, and occasionally four more in Illinois and Michigan
Where to buy: Auctions held at ibid.illinois.gov
Airports: Eight in various states, including Orlando and Miami (Alabama shares the loot), and Louisville
Where to buy: eBay (seller ID: kysurplus)
Airports: Portland and Eugene
Where to buy: eBay (seller ID: oregontrail2000)
Airports: Seven across the state, including Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin
Where to buy: Austin Storefront in Austin, 512/463-1990
Airports: Seattle-Tacoma, Spokane, and Tri-Cities
Where to buy: Auburn Retail Store in Auburn, 253/333-4912
While this list certainly isn’t the all-inclusive deal Bible, I hope it still delivers some savings and shopper savvy. If you have other sites that you just can’t live without, feel free to share them here. I’m always interested in finding new ways to save cash.