Whether you’re buying a new car or taking out insurance, looking for a holiday or just doing the supermarket run, it always pays off to shop around. Price comparison sites put prices side by side from a range of different retailers and companies so that you can easily work out where to find the best deal: so much handier than scrolling the supermarket shelves or ploughing through catalogues.
www.moneysupermarket.com and www.comparethemarket.com are great for straight-to-the-point comparisons. Money expert Martin Lewis’ www.moneysavingexpert.com also offers really helpful background to finding the best deals along with some really eye-opening tips, such as when to get the best deals on train fares.
Stay in touch
If you want a free alternative to phone calls with loved ones, especially if they live abroad, Skype can be a real revelation. Skype basically allows you talk to your friends and family whilst looking at them live on a screen, a lot like a real face-to-face conversation.
All you need to get started is an Internet connection, a webcam and a Skype account which you can easily sign up to just using an email address here. As well as laptops and PCs, you can also use Skype on most Smartphones and tablets.
If you love spontaneously discovering wonderful new things, the Internet is a real Aladdin’s cave of treasures. Pinterest is a social media site, which is great for pointing you in the direction of things you might interested in, from yummy recipes to craft patterns to nostalgic pictures. It works like a virtual scrapbook, allowing you to save and share the images and ideas you find that you really love. Don't forget to follow Yours on Pinterest here. You can also be inspired by chat and connect with others on our Facebook members only site here- just ask to join the group.
If you love debate or just want to uncover something really uplifting and inspiring, TED talks are well worth a look. These are brief talks on fascinating subjects, such as how we make choices, how our body language affects us and the science of happiness, from experts, academics and sometimes even celebrities. There are hundreds of these, so a good place to start might be this top 20 list of the most popular TED talks of all time here.
Never forget again
Have the nagging feeling you need to do something but can’t think what on earth it is? The Internet might be able to help. Remember the Milk is a webiste and app that allows you to make online to-do lists you can see on your computer and if you have them, carry around on your Smartphone and tablet too. You can jot down what it is you need to remember and organise your priorities for the day. You can also ask to be given a little nudge to remember the most important things. Sign up to Remember the Milk here.
Buy something beautiful
With Christmas fast approaching, you might be on the hunt for lovely gifts for family and friends. Aside from hitting the shops, eBay is a great place to start for online shopping. Just search for what you’re looking for and find for the right item and price for you. Just be aware with eBay that items that are not marked as ‘buy it now’ (meaning it's a fixed price), work on a bidding system where you’ll have to compete with other prospective buyers. This can be a good way to get a great deal just make sure you don’t get carried away and go over your budget.
If you want something really different, we really like Etsy at www.etsy.com/uk which sells really unique quirky and unique vintage and homemade items .
Get a bargain
If you’re planning a meal out, a little bit of Internet research might be able to save you a surprising amount of money. Voucher Codes boasts hundreds of money-off vouchers for most chain restaurants, as well as for gift services such as flower deliveries, tourist attractions to take the grandchildren to and even for holidays and new computers.
For deals local to you take a look at Groupon which shows you a range of more personalised suggestions for saving money.
Have lots of lovely photos on your camera that you’d like to share with family and friends? Bring back that warming feeling of sharing a photo album with loved ones through Dropbox. Dropbox is simply one big online container for all your digital photos which is great if you have lots and a good way to protect photos from getting lost if you're computer should ever break down.
Once you’ve made a Dropbox account, you can upload your photos from your camera (you might need to plug in the USB cable that came with your camera or insert the camera’s memory card) and then make different folders in which to store your photos. You can then click ‘share’ and enter the email addresses of those you want to send your photos to and with a click at their end, your family and friends should be able to marvel at your holidays snaps or coo at your lovely photos of the grandchildren.
There’s more advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.