Surf the Net and Save
screenshot of Billshrink.com Web site

Sites like Billshrink.com are incredible, free resources that offer you loads of money-saving, cost-cutting tips.

Screenshot by HowStuffWorks.com

Remember Terrance from our hypothetical couple Tanya and Terrance? Rather than scanning advertising circulars for bargains that would have saved only pennies (which would have been burned driving to a second store to shop), Terrance would do well to investigate some of the new cost-cutting and cost-comparison sites on the Internet.

Sites like billshrink.com, billeater.com and validas.com are free, cost-comparison search engines that save you money. You input information about how much you're spending for gas, cell phone bills, television service, credit cards, utilities, insurance and a host of other consumables, and these sites spit out alternatives that can save you money. For instance, if you tell Billshrink that you're paying $3.65 per gallon for gas at Station X on Y Road, the service will let you know if there is cheaper petrol nearby. Blogger Neil Patel tried Billshrink and discovered he would save nearly $3,000 over a two-year period if he broke his cell phone contract with Verizon and switched to AT&T [source: Patel].

Sites like Billshrink cost you nothing and take the stress out of cost-comparison shopping by doing most of the time-consuming research for you. Knowing you're saving money will give you confidence about the purchases you're making, which brings us to our number one stress-busting, money saving tip. Coupons are up next.