• Savings Mom Answers: Best Web Sites for Finding Bargains

Favorite Savings Websites

by Stephanie Nelson, GMA Savings Mom
November 2005
Savings Mom answers viewer’s question on money-saving website recommendations:
“I watch Good Morning America every morning before work. I see you on there quite frequently. I am newly married and am now interested in saving more with coupons. Could you tell me what are some good savings websites you recommend?
N. Denk
First of all, let me congratulate you on thinking about saving money this early in your marriage!  The key to achieving long-term savings is having the value of time on your side, so the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. 
When I began working on our family’s budget 13 years ago, I learned a great deal from reading budgeting and consumer finance books I checked out from the library.  Don’t overlook this excellent source of free information as well as the many free websites that are now available.  Many financial authors also have their own websites and email newsletters that you can subscribe to for their latest advice. 
A few of my favorite authors who have helped shape my own personal financial strategies are Clark Howard, Mary Hunt, Larry Burkett and Suze Orman.  You can learn more about them and their books at www.clarkhoward.com, www.debtproofliving.com, www.crown.org and www.suzeorman.com.  In addition to these authors, Mellody Hobson has a complete section of articles on Good Morning America’s site that will teach you how to understand the common financial challenges we all face, from how to save money on cell phones to sorting through the confusion of credit cards: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/MellodyHobson/.
My own website, www.savingsmom.com incorporates many of their teachings: how to live the life you want within your means, share what you can with others and enjoy spending what you earn as long as you save a little each year.  It all adds up to financial freedom, which enables us to make the life choices that mean the most to us.
As you set up your new budget (which I prefer to call a “spending plan”), you can take advantage of free online calculators to guide you in developing a realistic plan for your income level and family situation.  I like the budget and credit calculators on www.cccsatl.org, which you can find under their “debt management” section (using their self evaluation tools).  Another site I like with many savings and budgeting calculators is www.bankrate.com.
Once you know how much you have to spend within each category, you can learn to stretch your dollars in all categories by reading all kinds of savings tips on my favorite frugality sites.  I like www.stretcher.com, www.mommysavers.com, and a site I created with a company called www.saveamillion.net.  It lists my favorite frugality tips as well as strategies for saving in many areas.  You can also enter the word “frugality” or “saving money” in a search engine and have fun exploring the many useful sites out there!
When you need to make a purchase, whether it is a $10 book or a $1,000 appliance, I recommend you take advantage of the online price comparison sites to shop prices quickly.  It makes sense to check more than one of these sites, as their information may be updated at different times.  I like to use www.shopzilla.com and www.shoplocal.com. 
You can print coupons for many outlet malls, such as www.premiumoutlets.com.  For outlet malls in your area, simply go to a search engine and type in the words “outlet mall coupons” to find coupons for your stores.  You can also subscribe to the email newsletters at your favorite stores’ websites to receive free coupons to use in stores and online. 
Good luck and have fun saving!

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