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Web Sites That Can Help You Find What You Want For Less

The Providence Journal (Newspaper) - 12/28/2008 by Doreen Hemlock | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Thinking of making a New Year’s resolution to save money next year?

Help may be just a click away. Dozens of Web sites offer assistance with savings, from financial advice to comparison shopping and discount coupons. Plus, e-mail alerts can keep you posted on bargains or remind you when library books are due.

Miguel Olivares, 44, a trade specialist living in Margate, Fla., saves money with Pricegrabber.com, a site popular for comparison shopping. He types in the name of a product he wants, and the site searches multiple vendors for prices.

Olivares has purchased computer keyboards, hard drives and video cards with Pricegrabber, at savings he estimates at 10 percent or more compared with other online vendors. And best of all, he finds savings fast — with price data all in one spot, he said.

“I probably saved $30 to $40 on the last video card I bought, which cost under $300,” said Olivares.

Following are some sites that can help you save:

GAS PRICES — Gasbuddy.com and gaspricewatch.com track gas prices by area. Enter your ZIP code to find the cheapest places in the neighborhood.

GAS MILEAGE — Fueleconomy.gov, a site linked to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, offers basics on gas mileage, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution ratings and safety for new and used cars and trucks.

CARPOOLING — Erideshare.com lets you find others who wish to carpool. Enter your ZIP code to find those in your area who want to share rides.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE — Xe.com offers exchange rates and a converter to help you trade one currency for another.

FINANCIAL ADVICE — Mymoney.gov is the U.S. government site for financial literacy and education.

TRAVEL — Bookingbuddy.com offers a one-stop shop to search multiple Web sites for prices on flights, hotels, car rentals and package deals. Sites linked and searched include Expedia.com, Priceline.com, airlines and more.

COMPARISON SHOP — Dealalerter.com sends you e-mail alerts on prices of specific products at a range of stores when you set a price you’re willing to pay for that item.

COUPONS — Coupons.com, grocerydeals.com and planetbargains.com offer a host of coupons and discounts. A new Web site, SavingsonArrival.com, offers coupons that travelers can use after they arrive at select U.S. cities.

INSURANCE — Insurance.com, insure.com, esurance.com are among sites that offer comparative rates. The Insurance Information Institute has basics on policies at iii.org.

TECHNOLOGY — Techbargains.com tracks discounts on electronics. Woot.com sells a single item daily, usually tech-related.

THEATER TICKETS — Playbill.com offers theater tickets at a discount in New York, London and other cities.

TRAVEL REVIEWS — Tripadvisor.com lets you check travelers’ reviews of hotels, cruises, restaurants and more to help you make smarter choices.

BOOKS — Paperbackswap.com lets you sign up in a club where members send each other books through the mail. The only cost: postage.

LIBRARY ITEMS — Libraryelf.com links to libraries and sends you an e-mail reminder when your book or another item is due.