6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money

Google Alerts can do a lot more than tell you when your favorite hot topic or celebrity hits the news — it can also help you find savings! First, you need to know the ins and outs of creating an effective Google Alert. And here's how to use those alerts as a powerful tool that can save you time and money.

1. Find the Best Available Price for a Specific Item

It wasn't long ago that you had to physically visit competitor stores to find the best price on a particular item. Of course, online shopping has changed all that, and Google Alerts is making it even easier.

Let's say you're on the hunt for a swimsuit — not just any swimsuit, but the swimsuit you spotted Selena Gomez wearing in her latest Instagram post. Google Alerts can help you score the celebrity-endorsed bather for the best price. Here's how: Create a new alert using the name of the swimsuit, the name of the brand, and any desired size or color specifications. Then just sit back, relax, and watch as the results come streaming in. To hone in on the best deal, sort the hits Google dispatches to your inbox by price — and don't forget to consider the cost of shipping when zeroing in on your final choice.

2. Suss Out Coupons and Specials

It can be hard to know when to pull the trigger on a purchase you've been lusting after. Rest assured, Google Alerts can help you navigate. Simply create an alert for your favorite store and add in keywords such as "free shipping," "sale," or "discount code." This can help you determine when's the best time to punch in your order.

3. Set Up a Price Drop Alert

Let's say you're in the market for a Fisher-Price Power Wheels Dune Racer, which retails at about $249, but you're not willing to pay more than $200. By creating a price drop notification, you'll instantly know when the dune racer your child wants for his or her birthday falls within your price range. Simply enter a search query for "Fisher-Price Power Wheels Dune Racer $1..$200," making sure to put the entire entry in quotation marks. Also be sure to type just two periods between the minimum and maximum amounts that you're willing to pay, which specifies to the desired price range to Google. Under the drop-down menu for "how often," select "as it happens." Otherwise you run the risk of missing out on flash sale.

4. Scope Out Product Reviews

Let's say you're looking to purchase a new vacuum cleaner, and you've narrowed it down to three models that sell for just about the same price. How do you decide which one is best for you? One means of navigating this situation is to curate a feed of product reviews of the three vacuum contenders. To do this, punch in the name of the vacuum and "product review." You can either create three separate alerts, one for each vacuum, or enter the names of each vacuum into the criteria box for one alert, separating each name by the word "OR." Be sure that "OR" is in caps, but lose the quotation marks.

5. Crowdsource Free Events Near You

Punch in the name of your city, town, or region, as well as the tag, "free event." And feel free to add in any other keywords describing the type of happenings you're interested in attending, such as "music," or the name of your favorite restaurant. Voilà! Now you'll know about the free culture and entertainment offerings in your area.

6. Don't Be Afraid to Cancel or Tweak Your Alerts

If you find that your inbox is suddenly swarmed with alerts and you're having trouble sifting through the clutter, know that there are solutions. You can always cancel some of your alerts, reduce the frequency of them, or set up a Gmail filter that funnels them into a separate folder.

Remember, Google Alerts are only as helpful as you make them to be. If you find that certain alerts you've created aren't delivering what you're after, take a moment to tweak the search criteria or just flat-out cancel that alert. Google Alerts are supposed to save you time, not burden you with extra inbox clutter.

Have you used Google Alerts to shop? Share your experience with us!

Average: 2.3 (3 votes)
Your rating: None

Disclaimer: The links and mentions on this site may be affiliate links. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors.

Wise Bread is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.