The Internet is probably the best tool the cheap chick has. Where else can you sit in your pjs, drink tea and find free or almost free stuff? It also lets you network with others that may know where good deals are.
I have been online since the only thing that you could log into was BBS and even then half the time you couldn't get through or there was nobody there. Now you can get info at the click of the enter button. When you do a search you will get 100s of 1000s of sites there for you to comb through. But as every treasure hunter will tell you - you have to find a lot of rocks before you get that diamond.
Google the term 'frugal' and you get 10 400 000 hits. That is a lot of money saving ideas. Google 'free stuff in Canada' and you get 3 780 000. Potentially a lot of free stuff. But out of all this about 75% of it is junk, outdated info and sites which are phishing for info from you.
I have a few that I like to visit on a daily basis. Some I go to several times a day. Others I go through on a weekly timetable. I thought I would share them with you and perhaps give you an idea of what to look for in a 'good' site.
Don't let the title fool you. This site is packed full of goodies. Being that I also supplement my children's learning I guess I fall into that homeschooling group. Everything I have sent for from here has come. If it asks for the school I just give them the name of my home school. Tons of posters, teaching aids and fun stuff for kids. A lot to go through but well worth the time and effort. I did the kid's stockings last year strictly from stuff I got from this site. They seemed pretty excited by most of it.
This is a good site to check daily, even more than that if you have time. They have a coupon database, a freebies section and post the flyers weekly. You can sign up and become a member (free to do so) and earn prizes, cash and treats. I visit and have found some very good deals before other sites have posted. Best part is it a 100% Canadian.
This site was my first freebie site so it will always be near and dear to my heart. Though not always up on things as quick as others, they do have a very good selection of shareware and things to use on your computer. Excellent for removing dead links quickly. The best thing this site has is a UPC data bank which is also searchable. This has been a God send when entering contests for me. Well worth bookmarking just for that.
I found this site while looking for ways to make really cheap yet healthy and tasty meals. At first it was the name that cracked me up and made me go look inside. I was expecting RoadKill Pie, Chitlins and grits...but actually I found a wealth of information. Her recipes have never failed me - especially the homemade yogurt made with powdered milk. I sold my yogurt maker after making hers. Also great on this site is the $45 emergency food diet for a family of 4 to 6. It is well balanced enough to get you through a really lean week. Though American has a lot of great ideas. Try the grape jelly made with frozen grape juice...it tastes just like Welch's! Um, well yeah duh I guess it would...I make it with Welch's juice...sometimes I am a bit on the slow side!
This is really one stop shopping for all your frugal needs. Coupons, contests, freebies, recipes- you name it, they have it. What to learn how to make your own laundry soap? How to collect UPCs or stretch those Shopper's Drug Mart points? They have all the tricks of the trade. Make sure you read some of the articles as they are a wealth of information. Also great part is they have a search engine that is pretty good. I found this site searching for a recipe for baked beans of all things! BTW - the beans were pretty darn good.
Some honorable mentions are:
A good freebie site.
A good site to let the kids play games on and earn everything from free ice cream to tshirts. Truth be told I do it daily with my morning tea.
A growing site with a little of everything.
A user driven site with tons of everything. I love the info I find but I find it a bit all over the place.
A great site for decent, presentable homemade gifts.
A slick and pretty funny blog with lots of recipes and crafts.
An excellent site for tons of free cross stitching patterns.
A great site for kiddie recipes, birthday party help but best is their craft section. All easy and all with stuff you have around the house.
Up next: Why cleaning saves you a lot of money.