13 Awesome Money Saving Sites We Love at Wise Bread

By Greg Go on 7 June 2009 (Updated 24 November 2009) 16 comments

When we found the 190 best money saving resources on the web, there were a few sites that made us say "wow!" and stood out from the crowd for one reason or another. Some had really awesome features, some eliminated lots of pain and hassle, and others were just so unique we had to mention them.  Here are 13 of the best of the best money saving sites on the web.

 

There are 3 reasons we really like Retail Me Not:

  1. Huge database of online coupon codes and printable in-store coupons.
  2. It's like a virtual coupon organizer that's always there when you're shopping.
  3. Users vote on the reliability of coupons, so the coupon usually works the first time we try it.

Retail Me Not makes it super easy to browse or search for coupons:

  • Firefox Add-on that tells you when the online store you are at has available coupons. Let's say you're on Amazon.com.  This add-on will tell you how many coupons are available for Amazon, and provide a link to get those coupons. Handy!  Now you don't need to go somewhere else to check for coupons before checking out.
  • Toolbar for IE and Firefox that gives you the full experience of being at RetailMeNot.com no matter where you are on the web.  Always have access to coupon search, coupon submission, the latest new coupons, and even chat with other Retail Me Not community members.
  • Printable coupon search engine that allows you locate and print out manufacturers' coupons and local offers.  For example, I can type in "pizza" and my zip code and immediately get a bunch of printable in-store coupons for Domino's, Papa Murphay's, Chuck E. Cheese, etc.

Awesome Feature: Every coupon has a reliability score based on user votes.  

Anyone can answer the question "did this coupon work for you?" with a simple click on the "yes" or "no" option (no registration required).  By not requiring registration, Retial Me Not gets the most user input possible on the reliability of the coupons, which makes the reliability scores even more, well, reliable.  No more wasting time trying dozens of different codes that don't work!

 

Sure, Fat Wallet's got a huge forum community helping us weed out the bad deals and find the really hidden gems.  Yeah, there's a big coupons database too.  Those are both awesome parts of Fat Wallet, but what gets us really excited is... cashback shopping!

Get 1-50% cashback on purchases you make through Fat Wallet at hundreds of partner stores.  Okay, there's only a handful of stores with 20% or more cashback, but there are plenty of huge stores that offer very nice 3-12% cashback on purchases made through Fat Wallet.  

Our favorite cashback stores include Bloomingdale's (4% cashback), Restaurant.com (20%), PETCO (8%), GoDaddy (12%), Shutterfly (7%), Home Depot (6%), Orbitz (3.5%), eBay (1%), and Dell (3%).

 

Fastest way to see if your credit cards or cell phone plans are the best deals you can get.  

Forget about manually comparing dozens of confusing plans.  Let BillShrink do the work for you and save money within 5 minutes. BillShrink will analyze your needs based on your current usage, and recommend plans that will save you money.

BillShrink can quickly analyze your usage pattern using your last statement.  For example, if you've logged into your cell phone's website before, you can just enter your phone number and password, and BillShrink will retrieve your information.  You can also fill out a short form to describe your usage pattern and current plan parameters. 

 

eCoupons has a no nonsense website that looks very similar to hundreds of other online coupon resources.  But if you look closer, you'll find three hidden gems of the bargain hunting world.

First, there's the grocery coupon "swap meet".  You mail in unwanted, unused and unexpired printed Manufacturer Coupons, and your account gets credited.  You can then use those credits to "shop" for grocery coupons that you can actually use.  You'll get those coupons mailed to you.  Click here to view available coupons. Nifty.

Second, eCoupons has listings of coupons for individual colleges and universities.  Students can bookmark the page and quickly find coupons that are available for stores on campus.  How convenient!

Third, eCoupons offer cashbacks for tons of great stores like 1-800-Contacts, Buy.com, Newegg, and REI.

 

Weird name but incredibly cool concept. Zilok is basically "Craigslist for rentals". You can rent your stuff out or rent someone else's stuff for a day.

For owners, get more out of your purchases. Or maybe even get them for "free". How much of your stuff is just sitting around?   Renting out that power tool or patio heater or kayak just a few times could pay for the item!

For renters, you can save money by renting, instead of buying. How many things do you buy and only use a couple of times?  Stuff like canoes, laptops, cameras, cars, books, baby strollers, and everything in between is available for rent from someone near you.

If not for the money, you can also do it for the environment.  Fewer new purchases means a healthier planet.  Daily Candy put it really nicely.  They said Zilok helps in "connecting you with other people in the community to support a green lifestyle with peer-to-peer renting."  We love the idea (and the phrase) "peer-to-peer renting".

 

 

Brad's Deals is unique because there's one passionate bargain hunter behind it all -- Brad Wilson.  You could call him the uber bargain hunter.  He has been publishing online coupons and deals daily since 2001,  when he started the site to show friends where and how he saves money via deals.  He even provides scanned Black Friday mailer ads from popular stores so you don't have to fish them out of your mailbox.  Now that's commitment!

Brad's commitment to saving people money has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, ABC News, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, and USA Today. 

Best thing about the site? From the email alerts to the daily deals posts, everything about site oozes personality. It's like a trusted friend giving you some advice about deals.  You feel like you can trust Brad.  Despite the site's popularity (and what must be a very busy Brad), even the contact email address for the site goes directly to the uber bargin hunter himself!

 

Sweepstakes Advantage is really the only choice for sweepers looking for a site that is both comprehensive and trustworthy.

eaways are organized by prize being given away, frequency (daily/weekly), rules (24-hr entry, snail mail), and location restrictions. There is also a nifty checkbox next to each listed sweepstakes so you can easily keep track of which ones you've entered.  

The reason this site is a go-to resource for sweepers is the very active community of over 150,000 members (wow!) who help make sure the sweepstakes listed are legit, so you don't have to constantly wonder if you're entering a scam.

(Wise Bread's resident sweeps expert, Linsey Knerl, recommends Sweepstakes Advantage for serious sweepers. Check out Linsey's ultimate guide to sweeping -- Sweeping 101: What the Real Winners Know -- to learn other best practices of winners.)

 

 

One of the easiest way to save money is to setup an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account at regular intervals (for example, when paychecks are deposited).  That way, you're paying yourself before you have a chance to spend all that money in your checking account.  You can do that and more with SmartyPig.

You set a goal and choose the amount you want to contribute each month to reach that goal. SmartyPig automatically pulls that amount from your checking account each month. Just like a savings account at your local bank, SmartyPig pays an interest on the money deposited and all deposits are insured by the FDIC. You can get cash from the account with a debit card or electronic transfer.

But unlike your local bank -- and this is the really neat part -- SmartyPig allows other people to help your savings grow. You can make your goals public to friends and family, so they can contribute to your savings if they want to. 

What a cool way to save money for college, a 3-month backpacking trip, or other big purchases like a car or house.

 

Deals Catcher is one of the largest deals websites around.  The deals are published by a full-time staff, which ensures that they're of the highest quality.  Deal Catcher also has a very large and active forum community of over 50,000 people.  You can ask questions about deals and the hundreds of people on at any given time will be quick to respond. 

Make sure you bookmark their Sunday Saver site, which complies weekly sales circulars and Sunday paper ads.  Use this instead of buying the Sunday paper to save yourself a few bucks (and a few trees).

My favorite feature is Deal Catcher's price comparison engine. It is a great way to immediately verify whether you are looking at a deal or a dud.

 

Current Codes is a no nonsense coupons and discount code database.  There's no complex navigation, image-heavy decoration, or any of the other non-essential things that clutter up websites.  Current Codes is an accurate and comprehensive database of coupons.  Period.

There's a full-time staff whose only jobs are:

  1. scour the web for all available coupons and discount codes, and
  2. verify their accuracy.

And when we say it's "no nonsense", we mean it.  If you like your websites clean, simple and to the point, Current Codes is the place for you.

 

Online since 1999, TechBargains has been saving me money on computer components and other electronics since the last decade.  Where other deals sites look at everything, TechBargains is focused on only tech deals.

If you like gadgets, TVs, video games, computer gear, cameras, and all things tech, TechBargains is a geek shopper's nirvana. On the other hand, if you like shiny new gadgets at great prices a little too much, then maybe you should stay away. You've been warned.

 

Do you love entering giveaways on blogs?  Then Prizey was built just for you.

They list giveaways from bloggers, and also post details like the deadline to enter and what kind of hoops you have to jump through.  (90% of giveaways only require posting a comment.)  Subscribe to the feed to get the latest giveaways in the blogosphere.

It is insanely easy to win blog giveaways.  While national contests announced on TV and radio have thousands of contestants, blog giveaways often have less than a hundred.  The chances of winning are fantastic and Prizey makes it even easier.

 

Prices and Coupons bridges the gap between price comparison and coupon codes.  Let's say you want to buy a camera.  Going to a price comparison engine (like Google Shopping) that will tell you the prices from different stores is a good first step.  But wouldn't it be cool if the price comparison engine also told you if there are coupons available?

That where Prices and Coupons comes in.  Unlike typical price comparison engines, Prices and Coupons' search engine takes into account applicable coupons and discount codes.  So now when you compare prices, you know you're getting the best possible deal without having to look for coupons for each of the stores manually.  Saves so much time.

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Guest's picture
Aaron

Greg, I would suggest that at least one site that pools together free samples should be included in the top 13. Consumers who are able to sample products are then able to make a well informed decision, thus not wasting money unnecessarily. However, having said that, the list you have is very good. And I have used them all.

Cheers

Myscha Theriault's picture

Wow! I like the tool bar suggestions for Retail Me Not, particularly. Good list.

Guest's picture

Inheritance tax planning is very essential if you really want that your estate goes in the hands of whom you want to. This demands a very strong and calculated financial planning and if all ends meet in a proper way, your family will be free from any further finance problems in future.

Guest's picture
J.

Hello,

I picked up some nasty spyware at Retail Me Not, probably from downloading the Firefox Add-On you recommend above. It was really a pain to get rid of, as none of the common anti-virus and anti-spyware programs recognized it. Until the site managers clean up the site and get rid of all malware, I would advise your readers *not* to download any .exe files from this site.

Guest's picture
Julian

Thanks for sharing these gems. Fatwallet.com just got a new user!

Guest's picture
Justin

Great list of useful sites. Lots of useful coupons and codes on these sites. Thanks for sharing.

Guest's picture

I have frequented many of the sites you have listed. I love finding bargains and I share them with my readers on my site and blog. So much fun finding great deals or freebies!

Guest's picture
Evi

I'm so glad to see you included Dealcatcher.com in your list. I rarely ever see this incredibly useful and simple site listed in posts on other websites(i.e. mashable[which happens to also have a boatload of cool website collections])and it's kind of disappointing!

I suggest checking out the boards on Dealcatcher, as well - they have a Free Stuff forum with many active posters. Sign-up isn't necessary to read the posts, and it covers pretty much every current freebie out there. :)

Awesome post!

Guest's picture

yes. retailmenot is the king. they have lot of online coupons. i love it

Guest's picture
Susanne

I'm the owner of 247Coupon (http://www.247coupon.com) and I recently had my entire site completely re-designed and I added a bunch of new features, the main one being the ability for visitors to register as a user and submit coupons. I'm adding coupons several times/day and deleting expired coupons regularly so that the site stays up-to-date. I tried designing it with a simple layout and not too much "clutter". It's a strict coupon site, i.e. no internet "deals". Hope you guys like it!

Guest's picture

Webfloss.com is kinda like BradsDeals, but written by a Generation X consumer blogger and Mom :)

Guest's picture

Thanks! Awesome list of useful sites!

Guest's picture
Chris

Nice list.

I live in NYC and follow a few sites which help me save money in the city. You may want to check out this one:

http://www.CheapInTheCity.com

Guest's picture

This was a very detailed list-- There were several sites that I have never heard of before and look forward to visiting. I especially like the Sweepstakes Advantage site that you included. This will save me a lot of time because I often follow coupon blogs that list similar info and end up with 10+ sites to follow... I will be retweeting this list to share with friends.

Guest's picture
Guest

Thanks for all these great resources. It is so important for people to know about
these sites trying to make it these days in this economy! I'm always interested
to learn about great websites. Dusty Rhodes.

Guest's picture

Nice collection and nice to become familiar with the list you provided :D