Shopportunist: My favorite money-saving websites

Do you strive to be a savvy deal scout? Do you aim to impress with your purchasing prowess?

But, guess what? Not everyone has the time or desire to mine the far reaches of the internet for mind-boggling deals. Some even consider comparison shopping a hassle. Inconceivable, I know, but true. 

Scouring the web for the lowest possible prices on coveted items can be time-consuming. There’s no doubt about it. You can quickly descend into a rabbit hole of obsessive comparative shopping if you aren’t careful. Next thing you know, it’s nearly noon and you’re still in bed.

I speak from too much experience.

When it comes to online shopping, the key to discovering the best bargains on everything from potato chips to patio furniture — fairly quickly — is to know where to look and what tools to use. 

There are countless websites touting laundry lists of deals and rock bottom bargains. So. Many. How do you know which ones are worth your time? 

Also, a majority of retailers look to tempt even the most parsimonious with fleeting one-day deals. You don’t want to miss out, do you? However, just clicking through those each morning can trim an hour out of your day. 


Let’s not overlook the variety of cash-back sites, browser extensions and other online shopping tools that can help you keep more money in your pocket, either. Which ones should you add to your savings scheme?

To help you unearth dirt-cheap deals and spend less, I compiled a list of some of my favorite money-saving web resources:

Hip2Save. What started out as a simple couponing site evolved into an aggregator of the day’s best deal. The team that runs the site does a lot of the money-saving legwork, searching out the best offers and compiling lists of deals on furniture, toys, apparel, groceries and more. You’ll also find frugal living tips and a grocery coupon database. You can subscribe to receive a daily email running down the best deals. The site also has a solid social media presence. Visit hip2save.com

Brad’s Deals. Similar to Hip2Save, Brad’s deals offers shopping advice and a curated collection of the day’s most popular deals. You won’t find a barrage of bargains that will take you hours to wade through. Instead, Brad’s Deals focuses on a smaller crop of cash-saving finds. The listings are informative and feature all the pertinent information — how to get it, what promotional code to use, etc. Brad’s Deals frequently partners with popular merchants to offer exclusive discount codes. Also, with the “My Deals” feature, you can select your interests and receive a daily list of hand-picked deals. Visit bradsdeals.com.

SlickDeals. This is a community-supported shopping site featuring forums where fellow deal hunters spotlight and break down the best bargains. The SlickDeals team then culls the most compelling offers and presents them on an easy-to-navigate interface. It’s also a great spot to learn about upcoming discounts and pending deals. If you take advantage of the “deal alert” function and add your email, you’ll be notified of the day’s best deals.  You can even customize your alerts for a specific store, brand category or product. Visit slickdeals.net

RetailMeNot. One of the original digital savings destinations, RetailMeNot.com continues to be a reliable source for printable and online coupons. Here you’ll find coupons for retailers, restaurants, services and more. The site partners with thousands of affiliates to offer you cash back when you click to a store’s site through the RetailMeNot portal. To simplify the savings, you can download the RetailMeNot Genie browser extension. After installed on your computer, the company’s free browser extension will automatically find and apply promo codes for your purchases. Visit retailmenot.com.

Rakuten. Formerly known as Ebates.com, Rakuten.com is probably the best-known, most rewarding cashback site. It’s a whole lot like RetailMeNot.com, but you won’t find quite as many coupons. However, you will find significant cash-back savings and frequent “double cash back” promotions. Rakuten also features a chrome browser extension. Every time you land on a retail website you’ll receive alerts about that store’s cash-back offers or coupons. Rakuten also has a generous referral program. Currently, if you refer a friend who signs up for the free service and spends $30, you’ll earn $30 in return. Visit rakuten.com.

The best of the rest: Depending on what you’re interested in or shopping for, it’s always good to check out any one-day-only deals on your favorite stores’ websites. It’s best to click through the ephemeral buys first thing, before items sell out. For me, that’s The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy and Amazon. 


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