Technology is a huge help for consumers looking to spend money smarter. The problem is that new money-saving Web sites and apps are launching almost daily. It's nearly impossible to investigate them all. We've rounded up a few interesting and promising ones that have come out in recent months. All are free, and more details are available online. Keep in mind that these aren't being listed as the best, just a sampling of some of the newest.OpenChime.com
OpenChime says it will get price quotes for you from local service providers, such as plumbers and house cleaners, saving you the hassle of calling around — and potentially turning up a better price than you would have gotten on your own. You simply get an email with price quotes.
The Web site will keep track of your frequent-flyer miles, and hotel and credit card rewards points, in one place, perhaps allowing you to use them more efficiently. And it will alert you, for example, when your miles are about to expire.
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Prominent deal site DealNews is not new, but its iPhone/iPad app is. Users can browse more than 100 deals a day or request push alerts, which send personal-deal alerts for specific products or coupons to on-the-go users.
The world didn't need another site with printable grocery coupons, but this is produced by a major player in the coupon industry — Catalina Marketing, the company behind those coupons that print out at the end of your cash-register receipt.
Notably and exclusively, the site includes YourBucks, which aren't coupons but relatively high dollars off your future purchases. For example, recently, if you bought two bottles of Listerine whitening rinse, you got $4 printed on your register receipt to spend however you want, just like cash, on your next grocery trip.
Upromise is pretty well known already; it's a site where you can earn money for college expenses as you shop — ideally, by making purchases you would buy anyway. It now has a GPS-enabled smartphone app on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry to make it easy to find nearby restaurants and retailers that participate in the Upromise program. It will give you directions from your current location.
Having trouble keeping bills straight with roommates? PayDivvy offers online bill pay and group payment. It can, for example, automatically divide bills among roommates, friends and family, who can then pay those bills automatically.
This site bills itself as the Kayak of the restaurant world, aggregating deals for dining rather than travel. BiteHunter scavenges the Web for deals and information that restaurants are promoting via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Web sites, newsletters and daily deal sites and compiles it in one place.
This site puts a different spin on paperless coupons, or e-coupons. Most often, you automatically get the savings at the register, but Saving Star squirrels away your savings in an account. That way, you can cash out by direct deposit into a bank account, PayPal account and other methods. SavingStar also has apps for iPhone and Android that allow you to choose coupons on the go.
This gift-card management app for iPhone or Android devices allows you to store your gift cards on the phone, look up balances and spend gift cards by showing the bar code on the phone.
If you have a programmable sprinkler system, you can potentially cut back on water use — and save money — by watering more efficiently. Enter into the app such variables as location, plant type, soil type, sun and shade conditions, and sprinkler type. The app will provide an ideal monthly watering schedule.