So what makes for a good money-saving blog? I asked the creator of one of my favourites, Bargainista, for her take on what makes her blog so popular. "My blog is about smart shopping and value," says Toronto-based Eden Spodek. "Readers trust what my guest bloggers and I have to say," she adds.
As someone who loves to read blogs, I'll venture that regular, preferably daily posts and an entertaining or authoritative voice help make for a successful one, also. Without further delay, here are some great Canadian blogs to help you save money.
5 great money-saving blogs
Save on: Electronics, clothes, DVDs, groceries and sales tax. Plus you'll find links to coupons, freebies and online bargains.
Bookmark it: This comprehensive blog features flyers from across Canada highlighting the biggest steals, not to mention myriad posts on in-store and online sales. In between these posts you’ll find funny asides, like Dear manufacturers of the world - Quit using these stupid paper stickers! - a pointed jab at the impossible-to-get-off stickers plastered over new goods like appliances. Other money-minded bloggers love this site, "I read this one regularly to find good deals," says Spodek, who links to it on her blog.
Save on: Sample sales, baby clothes, jeans and more. While sales are mentioned, the blogger's focus is more about being an efficient shopper.
Bookmark it: Don't miss posts under the label Baby Bargainista if you've got young kids. You'll find the best tips on travel, how to resell kids' clothes, and a host of other budget-watching ideas. "We offer products or services [visitors] may find useful or have been curious to try, and shopping and customer service stories that often resonate with them," says Spodek, who writes exclusively for a Canadian audience. Is it hard to write solely Canadian content all the time? "It's more of a challenge educating companies in the U.S. that Bargainista generally doesn't cover products, stores or services that aren't easily accessible to Canadians," she says.
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Blog: Fabulously Broke in the City
Save on: Your personal debt, banking fees and silly expenditures. This blog spills the beans on how its creator cleared $60,000 of debt in just 18 months.
Bookmark it: Fabulously Broke is written by a cash-savvy twentysomething named Serena who by her own admission is no longer broke, but apparently still fabulous. It's a zany roundup of everything from inexpensive gift ideas to big-picture ways to curb overspending. Click on the channel "Best of FB" for a quick insight into how to avoid shopping temptation, and even the five things that cost way more in Canada. This blog's tagline says it all: "Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a shopaholic and a saver." Check out companion site The Everyday Minimalist by the same blogger to learn how to live on less.
Blog: Bucks n Bytes
Save on: Anything tech related, such as free apps, printer ink and paper. Not only does respected tech writer Marc Saltzman tell you what to buy, he also dishes on what to avoid.
Bookmark it: Really, who doesn't want to save money on the technology that has so fully encroached on our lives? Take a few minutes a week to check up on what Saltzman has posted, and you might come away with a smart consideration for buying a GPS unit, or a warning on why you should steer clear of certain extended warranty programs. He also has written about free apps that help you save money shopping, and a step-by-step guide on how to dry out a wet cellphone so you don’t have to fork over a handful of bills for a new one (hint: It includes rice).
Blog: Canadian Free Stuff
Save on: Clothes, online purchases and events. The real pull of this blog, however, is the cornucopia of freebie links with products from baby shampoo to tea.
Bookmark it: If you like free stuff and don't mind filling out online forms to procure it, you're sure to enjoy this blog. It's written in a friendly, accessible tone, but moreover, it is totally up to date and chockablock with some of the best steals in Canada. The last time we checked it out, there were links to free tea gift packs, calcium supplements, Johnson's baby products, tanning lotion, and, somewhat incongruously but no less complimentary, a Keith Urban concert at West Edmonton Mall.
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