Immerse yourself in Firefox goodness while indulging your inner frugal fantasies. Here are 20 extensions that are sure to help you save some cash.
Cell Phone Minute Minders
1. Cingular Minutes Minder: Currently being reworked what with the Cingular/ATT merger mess. Keep checking the site for updates, though: there’s a lot of interest in this one!
3. TMobile Minutes Used: From the same creator as the Verizon Minutes Used extension.
Sprint Minutes Used: Keeps you up to date on your latest Sprint usage data (thanks David)
Grocery List Generator
4. Grocery List Generator 1.5: I was tickled pink when I found this one. Sad, but true… GLG organizes information by items (i.e. chicken), category ( i.e. meat), and dish (i.e. fried chicken). When you first install the extension, take some time and enter all the items you typically buy at the grocery store as ingredients. There’s even categories for ‘Household & Personal Hygiene’ and ‘Drugstore’, so you can enter those types of items, too.
The easiest way to explain how you can save money with GLG is with an example of how I would use it. I read a lot of blogs using an RSS reader, including one from a food stylist in LA (yeah, I know). In May he posted a great recipe for sopapillas. With GLG, I pop open the extension and enter a dish ‘sopapillas’. If I don’t have any dishes that use the same ingredients, I first add the ingredients as items and then add them to the dish. I copy the link of the post into the comments of the dish so I can find the measurements later, and then forget about the whole thing.
Later in the week I open GLG when I go through the weekly sales papers online. If chicken is on sale, I click the plus sign next to chicken and include the store and the price in the comments. I browse through my list of dishes, and find sopapillas. Those sound good, so I add that dish. When I click ‘Generate List’, I get a printable grocery list. This list is organized by category and includes the items I’ve chosen along with their comments ( i.e. chicken, ‘Bloom, 49c per pound’); it also includes the ingredients for any recipes I’ve selected. Print it out, take it to my stores, and I’m good to go.
Product Price Comparison
5. How to be WebSmart: Ultimate Pricechecker: NOTE – All searches go through the creator’s website The Ultimate Pricechecker gets results from eBay, Amazon, Shopping.com and Shopzilla.com (or any combination of the four) with one search. Results open in separate tabs in Firefox, which will be addressed a little later.
6. ComparePricesOneClick 1.0: Highlight a product name on the page, click the right mouse button, and select ‘Compare Prices’ to compare prices and read reviews.
7. Buy it online 0.9: NOTE – Uses Google Product Search Highlight a name of a product on a web page, right click the mouse, and choose “Buy it online” menu item, to see the list of on-line offerings of this product.
8. DealMine – Compare prices, discounts & rewards 1.2: This is a search tool to compare discounts, miles, points and other rewards from major membership programs. Also combines these deals to comparison shopping results to help you find the best deal.
9. Book Burro: NOTE: Requires Greasemonkey be installed first.. Also, there is supposed to be a newer version 0.3 available at BookBurro.org, but this 0.19 version from Userscripts.org is the only one I could get to function properly after install.
When Book Burro senses you are viewing a book, it will add a small panel to the upper right corner. Clicking the panel will trigger the agent to go query for prices at other book sites. You can choose which book stores and libraries you wish to check by accessing the ‘Tools’ menu, choosing ‘Greasemonkey’, and then ‘Manage User Scripts’.
Mailable Browser Tabs
10. Send Tab URLs 0.4: Say you’ve searched using all the price comparison extensions above, and now you have umpteen different tabs with results that you want to roll together and email to your brother so he can decide what to buy. This Firefox extension adds a File menu command to the main browser window; when choosing this command, the extension automatically creates a new email message containing a list of URLs from all browser tabs in the current window using your system’s default email client. NOTE: there’s documentation that this works best with computer based email clients rather than web based clients like Gmail, etc. And I can say from experience: it doesn’t seem to work with Lotus Notes. Then again, what does…
11.Chartlet: Chartlet periodically checks places on the Web to extract and store numerical values; you display the history of those values on demand in charts controlled by a chartlet. You can install and run as many chartlets as you want from the chartlet.net website, or you can create your own using the documentation in theAdvanced Usage Manual. Biggest way this can make you money? There’s a stock scanning chartlet already waiting for you day traders to download it and keep tabs on your holdings with updates as often as once a minute.
Travel Price Comparison
12. Advanced Travel 1.2: This plugin runs a live search on the most popular travel sites and will then show you all of the companies’ rates on a single page for airfare, hotels, and car rentals. The engine is also IP targeted, which means that depending on where you access the server from, you will see different sites.
13. FareFirst: You set up this extension with flights you’re interested in, say to Las Vegas. When you hover over the icon in the tool bar, you’ll get a small window that pops up and tells you what the current fare is for that flight. The more stars the fare has, the lower it is than normal and therefore the better deal it is.
14. Woot Watcher 0.5: If you’re not familiar with Woot, it’s a site that sells one new item every day for low bucks. The catch? Well, they don’t carry a bunch of things, it’s just one item they have a bunch of for cheap. And you never know what it’ll be. Plus, it changes every day. If you’re lucky they’re having a Woot-Off and the item will change throughout the day: as the $5 bacon lined cellphone cases sell out, the $30 6 GB flash drives come up. This extension will let Firefox do all the work for you, and the current Woot item and price will show at the bottom of the browser window in the status bar. So, skip the bacon lined cell phone case, and bring on the flash drives!
15. Update Scanner 2.0.8: Got a product you’re watching at an online store, waiting for it to go on sale? This gem will monitor any type of web page for changes and will display a notification window when something has changed. Click the blue up-arrow on the bottom status bar to show the Update Scanner sidebar: webpages that have been updated are shown in bold and the updates are highlighted. You select how sensitive you want the extension to be: get notified of every little edit, or only when a fairly large change is made to the page.
16. FatCash: Checks if the site you’re on offers FatCash (for FatWallet.com members) and displays an icon in the status bar. In case you didn’t know, FatWallet lets you earn cash back when you shop online, including 4% at Overstock and 4.4% at Target.
Local Deal Finder
17.Loki 2.0 by SkyHook Wireless: Loki is a little hard to explain, but if you’re on the road a lot (whether for work or pleasure), you’ll probably love it. Ditto if you’re the type who hangs out at the local coffee shop soaking of their free wifi. With Loki, you take your laptop to the nearest wifi hotspot, click the ‘FindMe’ button, and soon you’ll be give the approximate address of your current location (based on the IP information of the wireless connection). If it isn’t right, click the ‘Location Tuner’ to give the engine the correct location. If you’re a paranoid type, go ahead and change the street number or something. Once you’ve done this, try searching for, say “Chinese Food” in the search area of the Loki toolbar. POOF! You have a list of Chinese restaurants near your current location, all via Google Maps. On vacation and your luggage got lost? Tune in the location you’re at, then try searching for “thrift store”. Apparently there are five within a mile of my house!
Be an eBay Sniper
18.Biet-O-Zilla 0.4.6 Homepage: Biet-O-Zilla interacts with your eBay account and allows you to make last minute bids even if you’re not on the eBay site. It is basically a port of the Open Source software Biet-O-matic (see http://bom.sourceforge.net/).
Save Money by Saving Time!
We all know time is money, so if you find yourself loosing daylight to the wonder that is the interweb, try one of these tracking extensions. Both will let you know how much time you’ve wasted, er, spent online for a given day. One of them allows you to not track time spent on work sites, while the other one will let you categorize sites and set time goals for each category (plus there’s graphs!). Either one (or a combination of the two) would be useful for freelancers, contractors, or anyone else who needs to keep track on the time the spend online.
19. TimeTracker 1.2.2: Keep track of how much you spend browsing with TimeTracker (recently named Download of the Day on Lifehacker). Specify sites that shouldn’t count towards your daily browsing time, such as those you use for work.
20. PageAddict 0.4: Choose PageAddict from the Tools menu to display a summary of the time you’ve spent on each web site for this day, and a graph of your web surfing habits from the past. You can categorize sites by tags and restrict how much time you spend in each category in a day.