Wednesday, September 4

Where to find money-saving ideas on Reddit

Where to find money-saving ideas on Reddit
| By Michelle V. Rafter, MSN Money

What you don't know about this social network could hurt your wallet. The site has groups devoted to everything from frugal living to investing.

If you only know Reddit as a place to see silly cat photos, analyze your breakup or catch up on the news, you're missing out on a wealth of tips for getting deals and saving money.

The social media website might not be the first place you think of for scoring discounts or picking up advice from savvy investors. But tucked inside the service's conversation threads are dozens of forums devoted to those and other money saving and personal finance topics.

Acquired by Conde Nast in 2006 and run as a subsidiary of the publishing giant's Advance Publications division, Reddit says it has nearly 2.5 million registered users in more than 177 countries. That's a fraction of Facebook or Twitter's size, but devoted fans check in daily to ask questions, chat or post links to interesting things they've found online. A popular feature called "Ask Me Anything" has seen President Barack Obama, Bill Gates and other notables from politics, business, science, sports and entertainment stop in to answer user questions.

Reddit's most avid fans are Millennials, but other age groups are discovering it too. According to a Pew Internet report, Reddit is used by 6% of all U.S. adults who are online and 15% of men 18 to 29.

Reddit divides the material posted on the site into thousands of categories called "subreddits." Subreddits are identified by the letter "r/" before their names, so for example, the subreddit on coupons and couponing is called r/Coupons.

The r/Coupons group claims nearly 23,000 active members who swap discounts on a variety of merchandise and services. Recent posts linked to coupons for 25% off Timberland footwear, 20% off merchandise at Sports Authority, 9% off room reservations through, and a free 5 oz. Yogurtland frozen yogurt. Related subreddits include r/Frugal and r/LivingSocial.

Here are some other subreddits to help you out with saving money, frugal living and other personal finance topics:

r/EatCheapandHealthy: Members of this popular forum share tips for cheap eats, including low-cost recipes, suggestions for budget-friendly meals, and where to buy non-perishables in bulk. One user recently asked for help sticking to a $50 monthly food budget. (She got a lot of suggestions to stock up on beans and rice). Check the right-hand column of any subreddit page for a list of related topics.

r/PersonalFinance: Saving money isn't just about getting deals. It's also a way of life, one that frequenters of the r/PersonalFinance subreddit embrace. One recent poster celebrated paying off $40,000 in credit card and other debts after 14 months of penny pinching. "Thank you, r/personalfinance, for keeping me inspired every day!" he wrote in a victory message. Other users post requests for help figuring out 401k investment strategies, paying off student loans or dealing with deadbeat roommates. Related subreddits include r/Investing, r/Banking and r/Tax.

r/Thrifty: This discussion group bills itself as the overlap between saving money and saving the environment, offering tips for reducing, recycling and reusing. In a recent post, one Redditor shares a photo of a used metal bed frame bought on Craigslist and repainted to look new again. Others link to articles on raising backyard chickens or using a scythe instead of a power trimmer for yard work. Related subreddits include r/Anticonsumption and r/Recycling and r/Sustainability.

r/BuyItForLife: At any given time, it's possible to find 100 Reddit users hanging out on this forum for advice on products that are, according to its description, "practical, durable and quality made … to last." More than 89,500 people subscribe to r/BuyItForLife, which in recent days has hosted conversations about nail clippers, wallets, cordless vacuums, portable canopies, fish knives, bartending sets, backpacks, and lunch boxes. A similar subreddit is r/GoodValue.

r/Scams: Use this subreddit to find out whether the deals you find on Reddit or elsewhere are legit.

If you're a newcomer, it helps to familiarize yourself with basic Reddit rules before posting anything. All subreddits have moderators who spell out what's acceptable behavior and what types of posts or language could get you locked out of their digital turf; look for guidelines on the far right-hand side of subreddit pages. Fair warning: when it comes to subject matter and language, some subreddits are more freewheeling than others. Find out more about Reddit etiquette here: Reddiquette.

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