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#168736 - 03/05/09 06:33 PM Do you use the Internet to save money?
el_diabl0 Offline

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 301
Loc: NE Ohio
I am preparing an adult class, open to community members, with a general theme of using the web to save money. I'm in the outline phase, and have many ideas, but I thought I would put the question to a larger group of creative minds...during these tough economic times, how have you used the internet to simplify your life and/or save money?

I have some basic stuff, such as:
Local News, weather, sports
Podcasts (check iTunes' list)
Tons of free content
Hulu -free TV/movies
Good old email
Online banking
Upgrade/repair household items instead of buying new
Google docs/open office
Other free software
AV software
Free wallpaper
Delicious bookmarks
Google maps/trip planning using a gps/phone
Find cheap gas
Review products first: consumersearch.com
Home security
Get a dog
DIY security kits
Calculate electric savings
Free healthy recipes
DIY info and tips online
many are free
many libraries offer downloadable ebooks/audiobooks
Cheap computer classes online

Thanks in advance for your ideas...
Improvise, adapt, and overcome

#168739 - 03/05/09 06:51 PM Re: Do you use the Internet to save money? [Re: el_diabl0]
Mike_in_NKY Offline

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 121
Loc: KY
Freecycle, coupons.com

Edited by Mike_in_NKY (03/05/09 06:52 PM)

#168741 - 03/05/09 08:23 PM Re: Do you use the Internet to save money? [Re: ]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
The Internet allowed me to cancel my Washington Post subscription several years ago. That's well over $1000 in savings, to date.

Otherwise the Internet has probably cost me money because it brings REI-LL Bean-Amazon, etcetera, into my home.

It's too easy to shop now. And that would save some on gas that previously would have been consumed going to the Mall.


#168742 - 03/05/09 08:24 PM Re: Do you use the Internet to save money? [Re: ]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2743
Loc: Alberta, Canada
My Internet connection costs about as much as a 1.5 tanks of gas.

It pays for itself many times over each month, saving me a small fortune in gas and travel time.

I have my own one-man business, located outside a major city.

It used to be that I had to deliver each project by hand.

Now I press a button.

The same happens with research: I don't visit libraries very often because I can glean most information from multiple Web sources. Naturally I have to apply caution and best judgment to such sources.

#168743 - 03/05/09 08:27 PM Re: Do you use the Internet to save money? [Re: ]
el_diabl0 Offline

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 301
Loc: NE Ohio
[deleted by mtf - ask bigdaddy tx why via PM]

Edited by martinfocazio (03/06/09 07:16 PM)
Improvise, adapt, and overcome

#168745 - 03/05/09 08:30 PM Re: Do you use the Internet to save money? [Re: el_diabl0]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
We cancelled our $4.99 a month Netflix for free Hulu though I did spend $20 on a video adapter to run the video out to our tv.

DW uses the internet to search for and reserve books and DVDs from our local library which saves a lot of time and money.

We also get a lot of books from PaperbackSwap.com.

I get most of my gardening, home repair, canning info, and recipes from the internet. Also info on butchering game animals.

I search epinons.com and other review sites to decide which products will give me the best bang for my buck.

Slightly related, I make about 30 cents a day from my blog when people click on an advertisement. whistle

Edited by Blast (03/05/09 08:33 PM)
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#168751 - 03/05/09 09:53 PM Re: Do you use the Internet to save money? [Re: el_diabl0]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
The web certainly introduces consumers to more information and more options, faster and cheaper.

* Consumers can compare prices at more places quickly and without wasting gas driving around
* Consumers can read other people's opinions about many products before they buy so they don't waste money on something unreliable or something which doesn't actually fit the consumer's needs after all
* Consumers can more quickly find other options. You may have been looking for a Model X washing machine based on a friend's recommendations but discover that Model Y is 30% cheaper and does everything else you wanted.
* Consumers have more ways to get things--getting things through alternative ways like auctions (Ebay) or classifieds (Craigslist) are much eaiser and more mainstream nowadays than using face-to-face auctions or newspaper classifieds were in the past, in my opinion. The barrier between linking up private sellers and buyers has been reduced through the web.

#168765 - 03/06/09 12:33 AM Re: Do you use the Internet to save money? [Re: Arney]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
when buying computer hardware and electronics I use price comparison services like Google shopping and Pricewatch. These services make finding deals easy. Often friends buy stuff and brag about the price and how much a of a deal they got. Pretty common to be able to punch in the same item into these pricing engines and find it cheaper.

Online reviews are another bargain. They are less useful if your into the newest style or fashion, it takes time for good reviews to show up, but as long as your well away from the bleeding edge of consumerism online reviews are a good guide.

A key to using online reviews is to be able to tell when the writer is mouthing the manufacturers brochure and when they are adding useful information. One of the ways to tell is to simply visit the manufacturers site and read their sales pitch. When you see the same phrases in a review you can tell where they came from.

Reading reviews is a great way of avoiding the dogs and paying through the nose for a hyped item that isn't much of an improvement over similar items at half the price.

Reading about what is available and reviews of what is out there and finding the cheapest prices also confirms the old adage that value is in the middle of the market. Buy too low and you often get less than what you need. Buy high and your paying for hype, fashion, bragging rights, and features you probably don't need.

That value is in the middle of the market is handy to keep in mind. Shopping on the internet can be like the proverbial sip from a fire hose. Too many choices and options. Further obscured by the expected advertising, hype, fashion police, gear snobs and resellers desperate to shift mediocre products for premium prices because they got fooled also.

Sticking to the middle third of the market greatly simplifies the issue by removing two-thirds off the bat. The remainder is much easier to sort by using reviews and finding out how it worked for others.

The internet is also a great benefit and savings for such things as free books, general information, instructions, advice from people with similar problems. A lot of people are happy to help. It takes some time to differentiate between the well meaning and unskilled and those who are both willing to help and know something but even the rank novices can sometimes come up with good points. Nobody is the final word and everyone has something to offer. Most everyone, excepting the very few that are malicious, has advice that is worth what you pay for it.

#168766 - 03/06/09 12:58 AM Re: Do you use the Internet to save money? [Re: Art_in_FL]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2067
Loc: Colorado
Switch to Linux with opensource software downloads from various free repositories (Internet-based), and you save hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over a PC running expensive Windows OS with all the associated programs you have to buy (Word, Excel, virus scanner, malware detectors, backup/imaging software, etc.)

#168768 - 03/06/09 01:20 AM Re: Do you use the Internet to save money? [Re: haertig]
DaveT Offline

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 208
Loc: NE Ohio
Blast - what's your ID on paperbackswap? It asks for who referred you by your PBS nickname. I thought you should get credit for this.



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