Become a penny pincher, then invest the difference

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The world is treated to immense media coverage every year on the day after Thanksgiving. Americans line up at store entrances and websites to score bargains galore as retailers get set up for the largest volume-selling day of the year. Bargains are found in plenty of places and in plenty of categories. Once December concludes, though, many of us go through the gambit of paying higher prices than we should for the rest of the year. You don't have to!

Whether you're looking to purchase a new flat-panel television, laptop computer or living room couch, become accustomed to always (always!) checking the right sources to ensure you are receiving the best bargain possible.

A few favorites of mine, FatWallet.com and GottaDeal.com, feature so many resources to the regular Joe about bargains it will make your head spin. Want to know who price matches who and where those factory rebates can be best applied to give you the ultimate bargain any time of the year? Both websites will treat you to a bevy of forums and feedback areas that will, with a little research, make you the most informed shopper you can possible be.

Now what to do with your savings? Ah, that's the other side of the coin. I say, take the difference between what you would have paid and what you did pay and invest it. The problem with most bargain hunters I've seen is that they use savings to just buy more stuff. Only buy what you need, find the absolute best price you can (and save shipping and/or local taxes if the purchase is online) and pass the savings into a money market, CD, interest-bearing savings account or even open up an index fund if you have a few thousand saved after a year of bargain shopping.

Check out our sister blog, BloggingStocks for great ideas about how and where to invest.

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