Cash In On the Companies That Save You Money

The Groupon website
Richard Levine/Alamy
You may fancy yourself a deal seeker. You spot bargains. You clip coupons. You find ways to do things and get things for less money. Well done, but have you thought about cashing in on the savings trend by buying into the publicly traded companies that make it all possible?

There are plenty of stocks out there making money as a result of people just like you. Let's check out the deal mavens and gig-economy pioneers that are putting more money in your pocket. If you invest just right, it could translate into even more money in your pocket.

Broadcasting the Bargains

There are plenty of companies that have business models based entirely around saving you money. RetailMeNot (SALE) is a coupon aggregator, offering up crowd-sourced coupon codes that it shares with its growing community. (COUP) specializes in digital printable coupons that visitors can use at stores.

Diving into deeper markdowns, Groupon (GRPN) leads the way among group-buying sites. It teams up with merchants, restaurateurs, and service providers to sell prepaid vouchers. It's a win-win-win scenario. Businesses hungry for new customers don't mind taking pennies on the dollar for the introduction, hoping to woo repeat customers. Customers relish the markdowns, of course. Groupon cashes in as the middleman, walking away with roughly half of the value of the voucher.

Another company that bases its entire model on publishing deals is Travelzoo (TZOO), offering weekly emails full of sponsored getaway bargains. Travelzoo's growth has been slowing lately, but it still services an impressive membership base of 24.8 million people in North America and Europe.

Gambling on the Gig Economy

We're at the dawn of what many are calling the gig economy, where asset sharing is opening up opportunities for car owners to make a little money on the side by delivering food and merchandise orders, or even delivering people through peer-to-peer cab services.

In short, you don't need a car to get around. You don't need a second home to have a vacation property. You don't need a yacht or a private jet to go sailing or flying on your own.

Uber and Lyft, the two biggies of the driving services, aren't publicly traded. Big tech companies are investing in this space, but the payoff may not be there right away. If we shift to vacation homes, Airbnb also isn't public, but HomeAway (AWAY) -- the company behind VRBO and its namesake site -- is there to give vacation-home owners the online platform to rent out their properties when they're not using them.

So, yes, saving money has never been easier. The same can be said of investing in the companies profiting from the trends that are making it easier to spend less on things and experiences that people want.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends HomeAway and RetailMeNot. The Motley Fool owns shares of RetailMeNot. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out our free report on one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.
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