Online Sites that will save shoppers time, money and aggravation this holiday season; Plus, five new shopping apps worth trying
YONKERS, N.Y., Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the holiday season just around the corner, now's the time to develop a savings strategy for purchases. The November 2013 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, showcases new online sites and apps that make shopping faster, easier, and more fun while saving money, and these services are free!
"There are so many ways to save money on purchases, but keeping track of them can be overwhelming," said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. "Using these free sites and apps can make the experience a lot less daunting."
Four New Sites for Saving Big
ShopSmart identified dozens of sites that will suite almost any shopper's needs. Here's a look at four that can help maximize savings:
1. Bing.com/explore/rewards allows users to earn automatic rewards for shopping. The search engine's new reward program gives points just for doing Web searches at the site and trying new features. Subscribe to get started, redeem points for Redbox rentals, earn money for charities, and get gift cards to use at Amazon. Don't Miss: The Refer a Friend program allows subscribers to earn rewards for recruiting others.
2. CouponCactus.com is great for scoring coupons, promo codes, and cash back. Sign into this site before checking out at other participating sites (which include lots of biggies, such as Audible.com and Nordstrom.com). Subscribers earn cash back on their purchases. Don't Miss: The Exclusives section offers special codes.
3. ThePriceGeek.com can help users price check items. Type in a product to find its average price and the price history for recently sold items. Scroll down to see where the product is available online and how its asking price compares with the average online. Don't Miss: Provide an e-mail address on the results screen to receive price alerts.
4. Unroll.me manages deals for its users by organizing all daily e-mail into one message and allows that to unsubscribe to sites in seconds. It currently works with Gmail and Yahoo! and a few other email clients. Don't Miss: This site can corral social-media notifications, too.
The Latest & Greatest Shopping Apps
Shoppers on the go won't miss great deals when armed with these free new apps:
1. CheckPoints: Scan grocery-product bar codes, play games, and watch videos to earn points. Then redeem them for gift cards, frequent-flyer miles, Facebook game credits, gadgets, and charitable donations. Works on: Android, Apple
2. EcoBonus: Earn rewards for buying with the environment in mind. Users can scan receipts and enter product codes for wholesome brands such as Annie's Homegrown and Seventh Generation, then redeem points for stuff or donate them to charity. Works on: Android, Apple
3. Goodzer: Users can type what they are looking for into this app and it searches mom-and-pop stores and chain stores nearby to see who has it and what they are charging. Works on: Apple
4. My Shopanion: Scan potential purchases to get real-time feedback from other users, find the best prices, and buy in just two clicks. Works on: Apple
5. Shopping by TheFind: Scan bar codes to find the best deals locally and online. The apps lets users know if retail partners Best Buy and Target can match the lowest-priced result a search turns up. Works on: Android, Apple
For more great sites and apps, check out the November 2013 issue of ShopSmart on newsstands now.
About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication's celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and "best of the best" lists. It's ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.
ShopSmart is available 10 times a year. Subscribe at www.ShopSmart.org.