Want the best deal? Hop on the phone.

For years, my husband and I have used our cell phones to help us save money and time.  Before we make a costly purchase, like for a printer or digital camera, we use our phones to jump online (from the store!) and look at competitors' Web sites.  If we find that another vendor is advertising a lower price, we show the store manager the ad; he or she is usually willing to match the lower price. If they will not match the price, we can make a conscious decision about whether or not the extra money is worth the convenience of having the item immediately.  In addition to saving some money, it saves us a lot of running around time.  Now, there is an iPhone application that takes this concept to the next level.

Save Benjis is a free application for the iPhone that provides Internet prices while you shop.  Right from the store, you can enter a product’s bar code, ISBN book code or Manufacturer's Product Number and receive product and price information from other vendors.   That way, you can be sure you are getting the best deal.  From Save Benjis’ Web site:

Compare prices and read reviews on your iPhone for over 15 million different products from over one thousand stores. When you find a better price using Save Benjis you can purchase the item using your iPhone with as little as one touch.

“Sometimes there is no substitute for actually being in a physical store. You get to see how big or heavy an item is, you get to try it out or try it on, but in today’s economy you can’t afford not to get the best price, and shopping online is the best way to guarantee that. We created Save Benjis so that you can easily get the best of both worlds.” said Cortis Clark, President of Sol Robots.

Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you can comparison shop on your home computer using FindersCheapers.com; FindersCheapers is one of the partners who created Save Benjis.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.