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Frugality is in style, but that doesn’t mean you shouldunnecessarily sacrifice important aspects of your routine for thesake of saving money. Take advantage of the digital tools you haveto help find deals and cheaper alternatives to the products andservices you already use. Follow these five tips to help slashcosts without sacrificing your fun this summer.

1. Set up coupon alerts: Give your e-mail address to the cashierat check-out the next time you’re at one of your usual retailhaunts and receive coupons directly in your inbox. Many third-partywebsites also offer free Web and printable retailer coupons. Getcash back from purchases four times a year through Ebates, whichpartners with retailers on special coupons, and sign up forcommunity discount services like the popular Groupon.com.

2. Download a barcode-scanning app: Check out ShopSavvy or asimilar application that uses your smart phone’s camera to scan anitem’s barcode and provide you with competing local and Webretailers’ prices for that same product. Avoid an Internet securitymishap by only buying from familiar and secure websites.

3. Get rid of your landline: Cut out this extra service only ifeveryone in your household has a cell phone. Chances are, you makeand receive most of your phone calls on your cell anyway, so unlessyou have dial-up Internet, you likely have little use for a homephone. Instead of making long distance calls, use Skype – best whensecured through one of the many highspeed Internet packages available – to chat with far-awayfriends for free.

4. Plan nights out around bar specials: Look up time andgender-specific cover charges for bars you plan on checking out soyou can get in the door for less. Find drink specials on bars’websites and MyOpenBar using your Internet satelliteaccess. Many restaurants offer discounted appetizers and entreesduring certain times of the night, and even freebies to a certainnumber of customers. You can also use your smart phone to find yournext destination, the best specials and even your friends usingnetworking applications like Facebook or Foursquare.

5. Watch movies online: Save time and money spent on trips tothe rental store and sign up for a movie service like Netflix that allows you to streammovies instantly to your computer. You’ll have a greater selectionand support the movie industry by watching a legitimate onlinestream instead of a pirated movie. Also take advantage of movierental kiosks like Redbox, which offers new releases at $1 pernight.

Using the digital tools you already have helps you find greatdiscounts and painlessly reduces your spending. With so manyconvenient technological resources out there, why settle forspending more money than you need to? With a good Internetconnection and a little research time, savings are just around thecorner.

Courtesy of ARAcontent