The One Easy Money-Saving Tip Financial Pros Swear By

Streamline saving money while you shop with this simple tip.

Inflation. Layoffs. The R-word (sadly, not rest or rum—just recession). The era of doom scrolling has continued in 2023 with waves of not-so-good news that may have you clutching your wallet like your grandmother used to clutch her pearls.

Saving money may not seem feasible, but you may feel it's more important than ever.

"With inflation surging and consumer goods costing more, from groceries to furniture, learning how to shop savvy can help stretch your dollars and allow you to afford more with less," says money-saving expert Andrea Woroch.

Saving money sounds great, in theory. But bargain hunting can feel overwhelming, and you have 85 other things to do.

"While bargain hunting can take some extra time and effort, there are some helpful tech tools that do the work for you," Woroch says.

Here's a simple but genius way to streamline your saving.

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Why Financial Pros Love Browser Extensions

How many tabs do you feel like having open at once to figure out the best deal on a patio set or jeans? Do you really have time to scour the circulars and hop from one grocery store to the next in search of the best deal on eggs?

Plenty of sites and newsletters give you the 4-1-1 on the best deals, but they've basically become circulars. It's a saturated market. Cue more overwhelm.

"Not to mention, copying and pasting coupon codes that don't work half the time can be frustrating and make you give up on the hunt for a discount," Woroch says. "I'm all about streamlining the process."

Shopping savvy doesn't need to be a stressful time suck. Woroch swears by browser extensions or plug-ins that you can download.

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"I like these browser tools because they save you time by doing the bargain hunting for you and make saving simple," Woroch says. "It simplifies the deal-hunting experience, which has become quite cluttered with so many different sites."

In other words, these browser extensions leave more room in your schedule and less space in your wallet. They're also clutch in the fast-paced online shopping space.

"Retailers are constantly fluctuating prices, so if you aren't paying attention, you could miss out on...a price adjustment," Woroch says.

You've likely heard the best things in life aren't free. So, how much do you need to pay to save?

"Most browser extensions are free and can be found in the extension stores through your favorite browser," says Kumiko Love, the money expert behind The Budget Mom.

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How To Take Advantage of Browser Extensions

You don't have to be a tech whiz to use browser extensions.

"Extensions are easy to install," Love says. "You simply search for the one you want, and it should pop up with a list of options. When you click on it, you should get an option to add to Chrome or whatever browser you use."

Love suggests being discerning in which tool you use. Think about it: You wouldn't purchase a pair of jeans online without reading a few reviews, right? The same goes for browser extensions, and the stakes are actually higher.

"Though these browser extensions can be beneficial, they can also pose some risks," Love says. "One of the trade-offs is allowing them to collect your personal information and shopping data. Look for extensions that are from a reputable company [and] have significant download history. Always read their privacy policy."

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Woroch recommends these browser extensions:

  • CouponCabin's Sidekick: This browser extension gives you automatic alerts every time it detects coupon or cash-back opportunities as you browse an online retailer. "Then, [it] automatically tests and applies the deal with the biggest value to your cart and activates any available cash back for your purchase too," Woroch explains. "You can find coupons for thousands of online retailers and cash back, from clothing to electronics to online groceries and take out orders to travel."

  • PriceBlink: This extension compares prices based on what you're currently eyeing online, helping you find cheaper options across a variety of sites. "This is super helpful because they may show you a better deal at a site you may not have thought to check on your own," Woroch shares.

  • Karma: This tool allows you to set sale alerts. "Just add items you want to buy to the wish list feature, and they'll let you know when they detect a price drop. This way, you never miss a sale," Woroch says.

  • Camelizer: "[This browser extension] offers price history to help you determine the best time to buy and beat dynamic pricing," Woroch explains.

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Avoid This Browser Extension Pitfall

Browser extensions are useful tools that help you save money—but you'll want to save yourself from this common mistake users make.

"A drawback to money-saving browser extensions is having the FOMO mentality," Love says. "When you know you will find a good deal, you want to go shopping, even if you have no previous plans to buy anything."

Woroch agrees—browser extensions aren't risk-free.

"Set a time rule such as 24 hours to consider a potential purchase," Woroch suggests. "This will give you time to sleep on it and really think through a purchase."

But some shoppers' fingers are faster than their conscious.

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"If you can't resist a sale, delete payment info stored in online retail accounts, turn off push notifications in-store apps that send alerts when a new product or sale is released and unsubscribe from store newsletters that send tempting deal alerts," Woroch recommends.

The influx of bad news and other stresses can trigger emotional purchases, especially if a deal pops up.

"If you shop to cope with emotions, find healthier ways to manage your feelings by calling a friend or going to a workout class," Woroch says.

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Other Simple Ways To Save Money

Browser extensions are a still-under-the-radar way to save. But experts share basic financial wisdom is still worth taking into account.

"The first step is simply tracking what you spend today in a given month so you know where your money is going," says Radhika Duggal, the CMO at Super and a former Chase Bank executive. "That becomes your baseline budget."

Once you've done that, search for ways to save. Avoiding purchasing things you don't need is a no-brainer (even if it's easier said than done). But you can also score some wiggle room with monthly bills.

"Spend time going through each bill and look for potential savings," Woroch suggests.

For example, you may not need an unlimited data plan or every single streaming platform. Avoid auto-renewing subscriptions and insurance policies—instead, re-evaluate each time they come up for renewal.

"Don't forget to compare competitor rates and negotiate with current providers or switch to save and cancel those unused subscriptions," Woroch says.

Then, make savings a monthly habit.

"Once you’ve identified each savings opportunity, set your monthly savings goal," Duggall advises. "Track your progress against that goal, celebrate your wins, and reset your strategy if you face any hurdles."

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