Saving Money Strategies – Comparison Shopping

Long-time readers will know that one of our key financial principles for saving money is to “avoid paying full price”.  See my posts that outline the basis strategies.  Now let’s explore some details and apps to save money more thoroughly.  Looking for sales is a great start, but you can do even better with a strategy.

Comparison Shopping

The most important strategy for spending wisely is to compare prices for your item at more than one place.  The more expensive your item, the more essential your comparison shopping.  The prices of products and services can vary widely, so it literally pays to comparison shop.  Even if it takes a little longer to do it, you likely will be paid for your time with savings.  There may be times when you need to spend money to save time, but a sounder principle is to spend time to save money.

Saving Money Apps

The internet and apps makes it easy to comparison shop, but of course real stores have sales, deals, and good prices too, plus you don’t have to pay and wait for shipping.  These smartphone apps make local shopping better.

  • http://redlaser.com/application/ – This app shows deals that are nearby, compares prices for local and online, and even enables you to buy items and have them waiting for you to pickup.
  • http://shopsavvy.com/ – Find a product by scanning a barcode or searching for keywords, and get price, details, and reviews. Then it’s up to you whether you want to buy online or local.

Saving Money Browser Plugins

These web browser plug-ins will alert you whenever they find a lower price elsewhere for an item you are viewing:

Saving Money Comparison Websites

There are so many good shopping comparison websites like pricegrabber.com shopping.net, bizrate.com, and shopzilla.com to name just a few.  I think these websites that find products, compare prices, estimate shipping, rate retailers, and include both local and web retailers have revolutionized comparison shopping.  Try many, find several you like, and consider them the first stop on your comparison shopping.

Compare User Reviews

A final tip; whenever I buy anything, I also comparison shop on Amazon.com, not just to check the price, but to read the customer reviews and check the star rating.  I always read a few 1 star, 3 star, and 5 star reviews.  When reading the 1 star reviews, I filter out the ones complaining about something other than the product itself like customer service, seller policies, getting the inevitable dud in the batch, etc.

Post a comment with your favorite comparison website or app.

 

About John Kimball

Over the past few decades, I have experienced most of these financial issues with both mistakes and successes. I sure wish someone had told me these things when I was first starting out. So many times I have cried out, "I want a do over!" when I learned a new financial lesson or tip. I aim to pass along to you the financial insights I have gained from experience, reading, analysis, and living the financial aspects of managing, saving, investing, and spending your money. I am an analyst with a large organization and happily married with two children on their way to an expensive college, no doubt. I read numerous financial blogs, websites, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, and books to bring you the latest news, insights, tips, and lessons combined with decades of experience.

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