The Recessionista Cheat Sheet: 13 fab websites that can save you money and offer great freebies

By Melina Byrne, the Money Maven (formerly the Recessionista)

For all those who missed Melina Byrne’s swan like journey from cash-strapped Recessionista to savvy Money Maven, we’ve created a series of cheat sheets. This week, Melina shares her 13 favourite money-saving websites.

1. RESCU’s Deals & Steals and Competition sections.

As a RESCU writer, I can’t enter the amazing competitions like ‘Win an Alex Perry dress’, but I check Deals & Steals regularly to find out when my favourite brands are offering money-saving promotions.

RESCU is also offering exclusive Facebook competitions so sign up as a Facebook fan, if you haven’t already.

2. SmsPup.com 

If your mobile phone bill is stressing you out, try SMSPup to send free SMS from the web. You can register for free and then receive SMS points for completing online surveys and viewing email promotions.

3. Priceline Club Card

As a member of Priceline’s Club Card, you’ll receive discount vouchers, based on how much you spend per quarter. I once received a $15 Club Card discount voucher so it’s worth joining if you love Priceline as much as I do.

4. The Entertainment Book

Downsize your entertainment bill with the Entertainment Book. I’ve bought the Sydney version ($65) for years, saving thousands on restaurants, hotels, cinemas, tourist attractions and other venues.

5. Magazine subscription sites like Mag Shop 

If you’re a magazine junkie, yearly subscriptions are much more cost-effective. You can save $25+ per year, or even more with a bundle deal.

6. Top Bargains

Keep an eye on Top Bargains, Australia’s social bargain sharing site, for discounts and freebies. I received 2 free samples of Jarrah Moments’ hot chocolate, thanks to this site.

7. Chemist Warehouse discount pharmacy

Simple savings can be made by shopping at discount chemists. I generally save $10 on my medical prescriptions and $2+ on beauty products.

8. ComGateway

Use ComGateway to save money and avoid stress when shopping at U.S. online stores. Click here to read my recent article on this great service.

9. Clothing rental sites

Before you spend a fortune on clothing you’ll only wear once, browse clothing rental sites like Dressed Up and Indian Giver.

10. Clothing swap sites

If you want ‘new’ clothing without spending a cent, sign up for clothing swap parties at Swap My Style or The Clothing Exchange.

11. Hoyts Birthday Deal 

For a limited time only (update: this offer expired on 1st August 2010), Hoyts Cinemas is offering you a free movie ticket on your birthday. With movie tickets priced at $17+ at the moment, this deal is amazing value.

12. Coles Online

I find shopping online is much cheaper as it’s harder to impulse buy (e.g. no tempting chocolate in front of the checkout). I estimate that I save $30 a week by avoiding the actual supermarket.

13. The Uniform Project

This addictive fashion blog is my daily inspiration. It encourages me to be creative with my own wardrobe as it’s about a woman who pledged to wear the small black dress for 365 days to raise money for charity.

If you want to read more Money Maven/Recessionista articles, go to her new home: rescu.com.au/money

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