Consumer Reports: Great online ways to save on shopping

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The team at ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports, regularly sweeps the Web for the latest and greatest shopping sites and apps. Each site meets ShopSmart’s requirements for privacy, contact-info disclosure and service.

Bing.com/explore/rewards: Best for automatic rewards for shopping. The search engine’s new rewards program gives you points for doing Web searches at the site and trying new features. Subscribe to get started, then redeem your points for Redbox rentals, earn money for charities and get gift cards to use at Amazon.com, Starbucks and other major retailers. Don’t Miss: The Refer a Friend program lets you earn rewards for recruiting others.

CouponCactus.com: Best for coupons and cash back. As if saving money weren’t great enough, this site helps you make money, too. Head here to find a promo code before you complete your next online order. And be sure to sign in before checking out at participating sites; you’ll earn cash back for anything you buy. Don’t Miss: The Coupon Cactus Exclusives section offers special codes.

MyPermissions.org: Best for protecting your personal info. Liking your favorite brands on Facebook is a great way to see what’s new and get special offers. But the trade-off is that you might be granting access to your personal info. This browser add-on reveals everyone you’ve given permission to raid your data, alerts you in real time when anyone tries to view it and makes it easy to revoke the privilege. Don’t Miss: The free app for Android and Apple.

Slice.com: Best for tracking all of your purchases. Register the email address you use for online purchases and it keeps a record of every transaction, stores your receipts and alerts you if you’re eligible for a price reduction or refund. Want to know when that package of goodies will arrive? It tells you that, too. Don’t Miss: Slice & Dice charts your spending categories. You might be surprised to learn what percentage of your cash is spent on shoes, for example!

The best shopping apps include:

Bondsy: Get rid of your unwanted stuff easily; no visits from creepy strangers required. This app helps you sell to or trade with your friends and friends of friends. Works on Apple.

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 or charitable donations. Works on Android and Apple.

EcoBonus: Earn rewards for buying with the environment in mind. Scan your 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 and Apple.

Goodzer: No more running from store to store in search of just the right necklace to complement your date-night outfit. Instead, just type what you’re looking for into this app and it searches mom-and-pop stores and chain stores to show you ones that have it nearby and how much they’re charging. Works on Apple.

Pounce: See a must-have product advertised in a circular or catalog? Just snap a photo of it and this new tool lets you “pounce” on the item — that is, buy it via the app, directly from the retailer. It currently works for Ace Hardware, Babies R Us, Staples, Target and Toys R Us; look for more retailers to be added. Works on Apple.

By the Editors of Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org)


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