10 ways to save money online
Published 24 September 2012 by Helen Gradwell
The internet could save you money in many ways, whether you want help managing your money or finding deals and vouchers.
If you want to save money, you can probably find a huge range of ideas and tools online that could help you. You just need to know what you're looking for! Here are a few places to start…
If you're buying online, you could be losing out if you don't do a quick search for relevant vouchers or discount codes. It's easy to do: just enter '[shop or product name] discount codes' into a search engine. You could also find discounts on meals out and high-street savings.
Keep an eye out for deals on products, attractions, spa days, meals out and more on daily deal sites like Groupon. If you fancy doing something fun without breaking the bank, have a look to see what's on offer in your area.
One man's trash…
If you're after a new item, it's well worth checking whether somebody is willing to give it to you for free on sites like Freecycle. People advertise products they no longer want or need, and if you snap them up you could get something new for free - whilst keeping it out of a landfill. You won't always find exactly what you're looking for, but it never hurts to check!
It's common knowledge that you could save money on household bills and insurance - among other things - on price comparison websites. But if you've got a specific purchase in mind, you can also compare the price of that product in different shops. Try http://www.pricerunner.co.uk/ for goods and https://www.petrolprices.com/ to find cheaper fuel near you.
When you shop through sites like Quidco, you can get cashback on your purchases.
Be a guinea pig
Well, not literally. There are sites like https://www.bzzagent.co.uk/ where you can sign up to try new products, ranging from cosmetics to food. They'll send you products in return for your honest opinion.
You could also try being a mystery shopper. That way you could shop in some of your favourite stores for free and feel a bit like an undercover detective at the same time.
Know what you're entitled to
Are you claiming all of the benefits that you're entitled to? For more information, you could check out the thinkmoney guide to benefits and your rights.
Find the hottest deals
When a user finds a great deal - whether it be on tins of soup, a DVD box-set or a new TV - they can upload it to http://www.hotukdeals.com/. If other users agree that it's a good deal, they'll vote it to the top of the 'hot' list. That means you can use the website to see whether there are any attractive deals on at the moment.
Manage your account online
Did you know that managing your account online could help you manage your money better, so you can save more? Keep a close eye on how much you spend per month - and what you spend your money on. Some accounts even have budgeting services built-in, and some can turn your monthly spending into graphs or pie charts. That way, you can see whether you're overspending in certain areas, and try to spend a bit less.
As well as saving you money, the internet could actually help you make it. For example, you can sell items you don't want on eBay or sell old CDs, DVDs or games to a site like http://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/. You could also try writing a blog - if you can attract visitors you could make some money from ad placements. If you have an idea for a funny video - or you want to start a video blog - you could make money on YouTube if you attract enough hits. If you're a keen photographer you could make a bit of extra cash by uploading your pictures to stock photo websites. Basically, if you have a talent or skill, there's probably a way of making money out of it on the internet if you have a bit of time and patience.