1) Time your vacations! Visit Aruba in April or September for unheard-of savings. Hurricane season scares people away from the Caribbean during these two months, but Aruba and other far south islands are safe from most storms. “Repositioning” cruises, such as Alaska to Hawaii every September, and many others, are deeply discounted because the ship needs to relocate for the year. Most offers don’t include flights, however.
2) Over 39,000 free e-books available (gutenberg.org) for Apple, Android and Kindle. Barnes & Noble and Amazon offer a wide selection.
3) Reserve in advance at one of thousands of registered hotels with tingo.com. If the price goes down before your check-in day, you automatically get rebooked at the lower rate.
4) The TrueEarnings card from American Express and Costco is among the most generous, giving you 3% cash back for gas, 2% at restaurants and 1% for the rest of your purchases.
5) Top-notch online university-level courses for free. Check out the sites at The Saylor Foundation and University of the People. A brief listing includes:
6) Trade items with 500,000 swappers at swap.com. There are about 1.5 million items to choose from.
7) Comparison shop for utilities: https://www.allconnect.com/
8) Save a ton of money on car trips all across America. Zimride.com arranges “ridesharing” for people needing a seat or offering a seat for a small fee.
9) Sneaky savings on flights. According to farecompare.com, the best time to buy your ticket for potentially lower prices: Tuesday at 3:00 PM. The least expensive day to fly: Wednesday.
10) Three apps for instant price comparison. While at the store, scan the product’s barcode for online prices for that very item. Amazon Price Check (Android, iPhone), Google Shopper (Android, iPad, iPhone), or Redlaser (Android, iPhone, Windows Phone).
The editors, “Deals! Deals! Deals!” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, August 2012
Photo: Scotten PeA (flickr)