Ask Deals: weed out the junk and find real savings

save money

Even though the economy is showing signs of improving, I think that all of us have realized the need to be smarter with our money. We’ve all seen too many people suffering from the consequences of careless spending and not enough saving.

The thing is, sometimes, it’s just hard to find the deals that are relevant to us. There are a lot of sites who post coupon and discount codes, and I love writing about them and sharing them with you. One common problem, however, tends to be the need to wade through a bunch of expired junk in order to get to the current deals.

Ask.com has launched Ask Deals to help remove that obstacle. Now, you have a place to find current and relevant deals. It does the searching and scanning and puts any current deals in one place, under organized categories.

ask_deals_screenshot

There are several ways to locate deals: by zip code/location, by category, by store, offers with only free shipping, offers expiring soon etc.

Each category also features a “deal of the day”, which you can sign up to have emailed to you daily.

It really is as simple as that. All of those savings will add up, so you can be prepared for a future rainy day.

Do you have a site that helps you save money? Share it with others in comments. I’ll highlight them all in a future post.

Go Ask Alice: Alice.com

One of the neatest and most useful sites to debut recently is Alice.com, a product planning site that helps you track your shopping, reminds you when you might be getting low on an item and has FREE SHIPPING. Do you get the implications of that?? No trips to the store for necessities! Have them brought right to you.

I was impressed with the ease of use of the site and the ability to track, budget and plan your shopping. Getting started and using the site are truly a snap.

To start, build your family. Here’s mine:

Alice signupScreenshot

Choose the items that you use in your home:

Alice pickproducts

Your account will be created and a nifty screen will give your some tips for getting started:

Alice gettingstarted

Here is where it gets really cool. Once you’ve created your account, you have access to coupon codes and a plethora of tools to help stay organized :

My products: keep track of the products you use

Budgeting: track how much you are spending on items

Advanced planning: plan out what you use when and when you will need a new product

Order History: see what you have purchased and when

Shop by room, Best Deals, Green Products: there are various ways to search and shop for items

Alice my account

See that little text box in the image above? I added that to show you the other beauty of this site: It shows you current deals that are available. Each deal only has a certain number offered, so once that number reaches zero, it is no longer available.

Conclusion: Alice.com is such a neat, interactive site. Adding items to your cart is as simple as drag-and-drop. The prices seem reasonable, shipping is free, and selection is good – filled with brands you are familiar with.

Let me know if you use it and what you think of it.

*fyi: the link I used for the site includes a referral code. Feel free to delete it if you sign up, but if you keep it, it will give me 3% if you ever make a purchase. You can do the same with your friends and family too.

Save Money Using Discount Codes

savings

photo: Iain Farrell

I bet that these days you are more actively looking for ways to save money.

What about when you shop online? Did you know that most sites offer deals and discount codes? You can sign up for every newsletter available and have them delivered into your inbox. Or, better yet: check out the following sites before shopping.

Each site is updated regularly.

RetailMeNot.com: find discount codes for things from clothing to printing to toys to garden supplies. The site is easy to use and locate codes. And the codes are easily copied to your clipboard to paste into your order form when you place your order. There’s even a helpful tutorial for getting the most out of the site.

DealLocker.com: discounts to stores such as Best Buy, Amazon, and Kohl’s are available. Also, you can rate your shopping experience and product on the site. Be sure to check out the reader reviews.

CouponCabin.com: an animated demo for learning to use the site is available.

CouponCodes4U.com: rebates are also listed.

Don’t pay full price. All it takes it a couple of moments to check these sites and locate savings.

Online After-Christmas Sales and Savings

shopping

Wondering where the online deals are?

This year, they should be easy to find. After a dismal Christmas retail season, the worst in 50 years, retailers will be wooing you with deep discounts.

“Similar to Cyber-Monday, the post-Christmas time of the Holiday’s is another great time to shop online for deals on electronics and other sought-after items before ringing in 2009! Check out the deals at the following four merchants for online sales this weekend!

Continue reading at Associated Content for a brief roundup of shopping savings available online.

photo: robholland

Makeup Markdowns

I’ve never been a foofy girly-girl – I’ve always leaned towards girl with a touch of grunge.
EXCEPT when it comes to makeup. I love makeup. I love applying it. And I’ve always liked wearing it.
I don’t want to become a shopping blog… but I found some good makeup discounts that I had to share:

Pur Minerals is having a Buy one Get one Free sale on some of their Holiday KITS and makeup brushes.
Purchase $50.00 worth or more, and get free shipping.

This Travel set from Clinique is marked down to $18.85 – a great deal for two lipsticks, eyeshadow trio and eye cream.
A Travel set with a travel size bottle of Happy (my favorite summer scent) is also available for $16.85

SkinCare RX (which carries some of my favorite skin care lines), SkinBotanica and Apothica are offering 20% off everything. The buttons below will take you there – and be sure to use the code. (good until December 20th)

Apothica Holiday Sale - Save 20% Storewide!  Use CSkinCareRx Holiday Sale - Save 20% Storewide!  UseSkinBotanica Holiday Sale - Save 20% Storewide!  U

I’m not one to go out and spend a lot of money on fancy cosmetics and skin care treatment, but I am becoming aware that this old gal ain’t getting any younger – and I would like to be able to treat myself to some good products (read: something not bought at the drugstore). And sales like this allow me that.

I’ll occasionally share this sort of stuff. I’ve always loved scouring the internet for good interesting links. And with the ecomony as it is, I’m learning to scour for good deals as well.

Let me know if you’ve seen any good pricing for cosmetics.