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5 Cheapskate tips you might have overlooked

From the Cheapskate: I've rounded up five of my favorite money-saving tips from the last couple months. They weren't daily-deal posts, so you might have missed them!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


If you rely on the Cheapskate newsletter for all your Cheapskate goodness, I have some, er, news: You might not be getting your full share of that goodness.

See, my daily-deal posts are sent in newsletter form, but other posts aren't -- even those that might be related to saving money. Hence I thought I'd round up some recent posts you might have missed, starting with...

Three things you should always do at the online checkout

Stop! Do not click "Buy" or "Complete purchase" or "Order now" without reading these tips. Sure, there's one that'll help you save money at the last minute (automatic coupon code finder, anyone?), but you'll also learn to check a few important policies you might otherwise ignore.

Get notified when an expensive app's price drops

AppSales for Android will notify you when an app goes on sale.

You probably know that apps frequently go on sale. What you may not know is how to find out when that happens. If only there were some kind of automated tool that could inform you!

There is, and it's called AppShopper. That's the good news; that bad news is it tracks only iOS apps, a fact I embarrassingly neglected to mention. Thankfully, there's a next-best-thing for Android users, and it's called AppSales. Even better than the Web version is the app version, which lets you create a watchlist so you can track prices and receive notifications.

Get cell service on the cheap when you buy it in bulk

Cell service has always been a monthly-bill affair, but what if you could get a lower rate by buying a year at a time? That's the idea behind Mint SIM, which has some of the cheapest rates around -- provided you spring for 12 months in advance.

It's not ideal for families, because there are no group options, but an individual can pay the equivalent of $21 per month for unlimited everything and 2GB of 4G LTE data. For 5GB of data, the monthly nut works out to around $30. That's less than what Cricket Wireless charges for 2.5GB.

Your thoughts?

Track your mileage for free with Everlance

If you drive for business at all, you need to keep tabs on your mileage. Lots of apps can do this for you; the vast majority charge an up-front or monthly fee.

Everlance is just plain free. I've been using it for the past four months or so, and it works like a champ. Plus, it's now available for both iOS and Android. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Let BillFixers negotiate a lower cable bill for you

Call me lazy, call me unwilling to argue with phone reps, I just never got around to calling my cable company to fight for a lower rate.

Instead, I gave a copy of my latest bill to BillFixers and let its people do the negotiating. Spoiler alert: A week later, they'd managed a savings of $25 per month for an entire year. The catch: BillFixers gets to keep half of those savings. But it's still a lower bill for me after doing zero of the work. No complaints.

The company can negotiate other bills on your behalf as well. But I've also been informed that Billcutterz and Billshark offer similar services, so check them out too.

Bonus deal: Do your ears a huge favor and add a sound bar to your TV. Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Groupon has the refurbished Vizio SB2920-C6 29-inch Bluetooth sound bar for $69.99. When you're not using it to vastly improve the sound coming out of your TV, pair your phone or tablet with it for tunes and podcasts. (It wouldn't be unthinkable to spend this kind of money on a Bluetooth speaker alone. This one pulls TV duty as well!) The SB2920-C6 includes a 90-day Vizio warranty.