Who isn't looking to save money these days? Whether you're buying something for yourself or you're looking for holiday gifts that won't break the bank.
Consumer Reports ShopSmart experts have been on a virtual shopping spree and are letting us in on their secrets for finding deals on just about everything.
"Price-comparison search engines are a must," says Lisa Lee Freeman of Consumer Reports ShopSmart. "They can save you time and they can save you money, too. But our research found that some are definitely better than others."
Consumer Reports ShopSmart assembled a virtual shopping basket of eight items, including New Balance sneakers, an Avatar DVD, and this Samsung netbook.
Then editors searched for each product at 25 price-comparison sites. They wanted to see which found the best prices and were easy to use.
Some turned out to be a waste of time. On shopping.com, that search for the Avatar DVD turned up paintball goggles.
But one search engine identified the lowest prices for six of the items, including at least $100 savings on that netbook.
That top site is pricegrabber.com, and it does a lot more than compare prices.
"Pricegrabber is great because it'll calculate taxes and shipping for you so you can compare apples to apples," Freeman explains. "And if you don't like any of the prices you see, you can sign up for e-mail price alerts, which will let you know when the prices drop."
It's worth it to use price-comparison search engines for small items as well as big ones. Prices do change, but Consumer Reports found the best sites turned up savings from about $10 on a hardcover novel, to almost $400 on binoculars.
Consumer Reports says, for the best results when comparing prices, use a product's model number.