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Imagine life without email, instant messaging, Facebook, Myspace, Google, Yahoo Answers, Twitter, Craigslist…. the list is endless. The internet has increasingly made our lives more efficient in its relatively short existence. Because of the new products, software and services that are consistently popping up, the majority of people adapt their lives around the web. Look over this list and make sure that you are getting the most out of your internet.
1. Cancel your satellite or cable service and start using internet TV. Internet TV is in its early days but growing in popularity, this is beginning to make the Satellite and Cable providers a bit nervous. Internet TV is cheap and in many cases can be free. Stream Hulu to your TV or computer monitor and you’ve got free television.
2. Drop your satellite radio subscription and start streaming internet radio to your car. If you own an iPhone, there are a few apps out there that allow you to stream free internet radio. Just hook it up to your car through a FM transmitter or direct and you’ve just saved $120 a year.
3. Pay your bills online. Stamps are expensive $.42 at the time this article was written. Most companies offer the option to pay online. Paying online saves you money and the company money as well.
4. Take advantage of coupon and promo codes when buying online. We’ve all seen that box to enter a promo code in when we make purchases online, but the problem is we never have that code. There are plenty of online coupon websites out there to help save you money.
5. SKYPE your calls and drop your land line. Do people still have land lines? SKYPE offers free calls, video calls and instant messaging over the internet.
6. IM your friends instead of texting when at home. Text messages are expensive and cost both parties when being sent. Yahoo, AIM, Myspace, Twitter…etc all offer free ways to instantly contact your friends.
7. Use free social networking apps on your phone to send texts. This is similar to the last tip, but can be used on the go. I keep track of all my friends on my iPhone using a app that acts exactly like instant messaging on my computer.
8. Work at home. Do you really have to be in the office? Many companies are allowing employees to work at home at least part of the week and stay in touch via emails or company websites. Ask your boss if this is an option for you. This will save tons of money on gas, restaurant lunches etc…
9. Compare prices online before buying at the store. One day about a year ago without doing any research, I purchased something at Best Buy for what I thought was a decent deal. I saw the same product at Wal-Mart three days later for 30% less.
10. Say goodbye to the paperboy. In addition to print, most newspapers offer an online version as well.
11. Rent movies from the internet. iTunes has the option to rent movies online at the same cost as BlockBuster. Oh and there is no late fee. Netflix offers similar services.
12. Save a trip to the photo center. Most photo development stores allow you to upload your pictures online. This way you can pick them up at your convenience and not make the double trip. Walgreen’s has a pretty good online system in place.
13. Use a free antivirus protection. I’ve used AVG for years and it has helped me stay safe online, there are several free ones out there. A paid service could cost you around $60 a year.
14. Forget garage sales. Do you really want 200 strangers roaming around in your front yard? Let people bid on your Eiffel Tower wine glasses through ebay and make twice the money.
15. Sell your skills. Are you really good at something? Advertise your personal skills online and start picking up some extra cash.
16. Get a better job. Post your resume online so that employers can check you out. It’s free to do and honestly, what do you have to lose?
17. Store all of your pics online for free and save on hard drive space. Some websites give you the option to tag, organize your photos, and share them with friends. Storing off site is always a good idea. You can save on disk space and if there is ever a fire, you wont have to say bye bye to that picture of you dancing on the table at Fred’s Beer Lounge.
18. Make free calls on your cell phone. Use VOIP applications on your cell to make free calls. Fring is one I recommend.
19. Fill out forms online. I saved a trip to the courthouse when applying for my passport by downloading the application from the .gov site first. If you are applying for anything, check to make sure that there isn’t an online form that you can fill out at home beforehand.
20. Use an online travel service to save big. These services are great at finding cheap flights, hotels, and anything in between when it comes to traveling. After trying to book my own honeymoon online, I ended up on Travelocity where they offered much better deals than what I could dig up myself.
21. Check traffic cams before heading out. Traffic cams are increasingly being installed across the country. Check out the cams first to help you choose the best route. Your local news website may offer this service as well.
22. Find cheap gas online. This website tells you where to find the cheapest gas in your area.
23. Get free computer support. Are you having computer problems? If BlueFAQs.com cant answer your question (sorry for the self-promoting) there are plenty of online forums and sites where people love to answer computer related questions.
24. Take online classes. Towards the end of my college career there was a growing trend in online classes. While I don’t recommend taking them all online, sign up for some of the easy ones so that you can take tests in your PJ’s.
25. Are you selling your car? Make sure you sell it for the right price by checking Kelley Blue Book first.
26. Find a partner. Tired of bad dates? Dating can be costly and time-consuming. There are actually some quality online dating sights .
27. Get free software the legal way. There is some great freeware and shareware on the market these days. My favorite place to get it is here.
28. Keep track of your credit. Identity theft is more prevalent than ever. Check your credit report for free to make sure someone isn’t taking advantage of you.
29. Your pocket is singing. There are plenty of ways to get free ringtones. Don’t sign up for the ones you see on the commercials, there’s usually a catch to them. If you have the iPhone, there is a way to make your own ringtones for free in iTunes.
30. Find great deals from locals. Craigslist is a great resource to for scouring the local classifieds, among other things.
31. Forget something from work? Don’t drive all the way back to the office. Remotely log on to retrieve the files you left behind. Here is a free service to get this done.
32. Shop online. Online companies can offer better deals even when shipping is added in. Just make sure you check the shipping costs before hitting the “confirm” button.
33. Birthday cards get thrown away. You might as well just send a free e-card or print one yourself, there are actually some good ones out there. Save the ridiculous $5 they wont for greeting cards at Hallmark.
34. Give up magazine subscriptions. Odds are your favorite magazine can be found online for free or much cheaper.
35. If you insist on keeping your satellite/cable and phone, bundle it with your internet and save some cash.
36. Get a free operating system for your computer. Ubuntu is a community developed, Linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers… oh and it’s FREE.
37. Listen to free music online. There are a lot of internet radio stations across the web and then there is Pandora.
38. Are you in a band? Promoting a garage band was at one time a time-consuming costly venture. Thanks to the internet you can advertise for free and charge $1 a song on Myspace Music.
39. Free College? No not the online colleges you keep seeing on TV. Depending on your income level, your entire college education could be paid for through a Government grant. Apply here and see for yourself.
40. Buy singles. Remember when you had to buy the whole album and only 2 of the songs were any good? The internet solved that problem. Buy single songs for a $1 at iTunes and preview before you purchase.
41. Cook at home for free. There are some great free recipes online that can make cooking simple. There is always 30-minute meals too, if you’re in a hurry. Okay, you still have to buy the ingredients.
42. Find a sugar daddy online and have him pay your bills. I can’t believe these sights exist… wait it’s the internet, of course these sights exist.
43. Find a sugar momma online. Hmm…?
44. Make sure your plumber is a plumber by checking them out online. Here is a great resource for accomplishing this.
45. Have an essay due tomorrow? If you’re cool with PLAGIARISM, then you’re covered. Professors know about these sights, I would advise against using them.
46. Speaking of professors, if you get a bad one then prepare for a long time-intensive semester. Check this out to make sure they’ve got a good rating before you sign up for the class.
47. The Government might owe you money. Check and see here .(it’s a .gov site)
48. Get your vehicle insurance from a caveman or a lizard online. Some companies will give you free quotes.
49. Network the computers in your house to make transferring files from one to another a breeze. You don’t have to have the internet for this, just a router.
50. Get the internet for free. Limited to 10 hours a month. Get it here. I should mention that it’s dial-up and ad-supported. But it is FREE.
51. Filing your taxes is not that difficult. Don’t pay for these services, fill them out and file them on a .gov site.
52. Free email. There are lots of options for free email, my favorite is Gmail.
53. Have your neighbors split the bill. If you’re broadcasting an unsecured network, chances are your neighbors (this is especially true at apartments) are stealing your internet. Find out if they are and ask them if they want to split the bill. If they refuse, you can block them. I’m not sure about the legality of this one.
54. Get a bunch of free stuff online. Including free posters, software, t-shirts, mouse pads, clothing, hats,.. Here is the link.
55. Look for used items on Amazon before buying new. You would be surprised how new a refurbished cell phone actually is.
56. Don’t spend hours making your resume perfect. There are free templates to simplify the process.
57. Kick off your Sunday shoes. Many churches stream live video of sermons online.
58. Play the lotto online. The Florida Lottery ( Lotto 6/53) is open to anyone over the age of 18 who wishes to play there are no restrictions on who plays or who wins.
59. Legal advice is expensive, unless you get it online here.
60. Make sure you’re not on your roof the next time it rains. Check to see if you are in a flood zone. (.gov site)
61. Picking the right college can be time consuming. Here is one way to save time and simplify things a little.
62. Lost your library card? Most college and local libraries offer an online version of their material. You can find lots of free info this way without leaving the house.
63. Sell yourself for free. Create and print your own business cards. If you can operate word-processing software you can do this.
64. Don’t pay for video games. There are tons of free video games online from the classics to the new releases.
65. Creating a new website? Get some attractive templates for free.
66. Complete projects yourself professionally. Here you can get step-by-step tutorials on home improvement projects. We all know how much it can cost to hire a contractor.
67. Do you frequent speed traps? Speeding tickets…OUCH, talk about expensive. Avoid speed traps, or at least locate them.
68. Plot out your trips. Find the quickest route from point A to point B.
69. There are a lot of free wallpaper sites, but navigating through the sea of them can be difficult. This is my go to site for free wallpapers, it has wallpapers for triple monitors, mobile devices, HDTV etc…
70. Put your money in 1 and 0’s. Do you’re banking online, its quick convenient and free. I bet you’re bank already offers it.
71. Get a smart phone with the 3G network. Just having quick internet in your pocket will save you both time and money.
72. Use Google Analytics if you own a website. This is a must-have for anyone who wants to increase traffic and sales on their websites.
73. Trade your own stocks. I **** the idea of a middle-man in some cases. If you feel confident enough, trade stocks yourself online.
74. Avoid health bills. Feeling sick? Maybe you can find out whats wrong with you at WebMD.
75. Is that a tornado or a train? Have The Weather Channel contact you via text message or email when a storm is heading your way.
76. Make your own cold beverage. Cut costs in half by brewing your own, this site will get you started.
77. Do you fish? Most states offer the ability to purchase licenses online. Check your local Parks and Wildlife website.
78. Save on vet bills. Adopt a pet on Facebook and save money on food and pet supplies.
79. Start an online blog. If you’re a good writer, and know a little about coding, you have the opportunity to make decent money online.
80. Create an online store front. If you already have an established business, don’t miss out on online sales. Once the website is set-up, it can usually be put on autopilot. You can create an easy free store at ebay stores.
81. Having a party this weekend? Use Twitter to announce it to all of your friends in one simple Tweet.
82. Turning 28 soon? Find all of your old classmates quickly in order to prepare for the 10 year class reunion. Myspace has something similar.
83. Are you heading down to Sudan any time soon? Take care of passport pictures from the comfort of your home.
84. Hungry? You’re already online, go ahead and order a pizza.
85. Find a better deal on your health insurance. Here is a place to get affordable health insurance quotes and compare individual health insurance plans side by side.
86. Have Captain Kirk find you a great deal on a hotel, car or flight. (I kind of hit on this idea earlier)
87. Divorced? Don’t waste time in the dating pool, order a new wife from the internet. Okay, it would be in my best interest not to put a link in this one.
88. RSS your favorite sites. RSS allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually.
89. Get an answer for any question usually within minutes.
90. Get a virtual assistant. When you hire a virtual assistant, costs like employee insurance benefits, paid vacation, and sick time are a thing of the past.
91. Make sure your new lover isn’t wanted by the FBI. Check out there background.
92. Was that a bill collector that just called? Type in any number into Google including the area code to get a free listing.
93. We’re currently in a recession. Make sure you can retire.
94. Make sure you’re not talking too much. For AT&T customers.
95. Speak to your Foreign friends without learning the language.
96. Convert your MPG’s to AVI’s. There comes a time in everyone’s life when they just don’t have the right extension.
97. Send photos to Grandma’s picture frame and cut down on visits.
98. Don’t get off the couch to change songs, use your phone to change tracks, playlists and volume. There is an app for that.
99. Never leave the house. Live a virtual life.
100. Visit an online garage sale.
101. Continue to visit BlueFAQs.com regularly for great tips and news.
Wow, you’re still reading? Thanks for sticking with me. I hope this helps someone out there.