These are some of the sites I use to get the best deals on everyday necessities as well as little luxuries like massage or the chance to take my great-nephews to a doughnut shop. Note: If you join any of these by clicking on the link, I will receive a finder’s fee or small bonus for referring you. (A solvent blogger is a happy blogger.)
Digit: This personal finance app automates withdrawals from your bank account into an online savings account. The app figures out how much you can spare based on earning and spending patterns. If you’ve been meaning to start a savings account and/or are worrying about the state of existing savings, give Digit a try. You learn to live on what’s left and money that might otherwise have just been frittered away instead gets socked away.
Free blog setup. My web guru, the lovely and talented Grayson Bell of iMark Interactive, will set up a free WordPress blog for anyone who asks. I am not making that up. Some rules do apply; click the link for details. Grayson also offers other web services for individuals and businesses, such as site management (I can vouch for him there!) and domain and web-hosting transfers. Highly recommended.
HostGator: If you’re interested in starting a blog, start here. It’s incredibly inexpensive and the company offers a site-builder to get you started and 4,500 templates from which to choose. Already blogging and want to move from another host? You can get free domain, database, file and script transfers.
Swagbucks: This site gives you points for doing Internet searches, completing offers, taking surveys, watching short (really short!) videos, playing games and looking for those elusive “swag codes.” I trade them in for Amazon gift cards but there are lots of ways to spend your bucks.
MyPoints: Another rewards site that gives points for clicking through on e-mails, taking surveys, buying items through links and even pledging to help various causes. Mostly I just do the click-throughs for five points apiece, but this added up to enough for a free gift card for my son-in-law for Christmas.
Mr. Rebates: My favorite cash-back shopping site, which pays monthly if you like and lets you request a check as soon as you hit $10 (and they start you off with $5 when you join). Any time you need to buy something, from windshield wipers to baby diapers, from online dating memberships to genealogical research sites, see if Mr. Rebates is offering a rebate.
Extrabux: The top cash-back shopping site, according to CompareRewards.com. (I still like Mr. Rebates a little more, but your mileage may vary.)
FatWallet.com: An interesting hybrid, it has cash-back shopping plus a super-active forum section whose users are rabid deal hounds. They post hot deals with cash-back and/or rebates, and will also offer advice to people who post queries.
ShopAtHome: Another cash-back site, coming in at #2 in the annual comparison study by CompareRewards.com. (It just edged out Mr. Rebates.)
Groupon: Aw, come on — everybody knows what Groupon is.
Eversave: This “deal of the day” site extends some of its deals for the whole week, so you have time to think it over. Really useful for holiday/birthday/just-because gifts.
Bing Rewards: Members get a point for every search at Bing.com. Myself, I use them for more Amazon cards.