For those of you out there who are still using Internet Explorer, there is another option that won’t open your computer to all sorts of security holes. Better yet, it will automatically kill most pop-up windows and, when you switch to it, it will incorporate all of your bookmarks from Internet Explorer. I switched years ago and it’s the best thing I ever did; in fact, I now get frustrated when I have to use Internet Explorer on other machines.
First things first: download Firefox. If you look over on the right hand side of this post, you’ll see a button that will take you straight to the Firefox download page (you might have to scroll down a bit to see it). Download the program, install it, and give it a whirl.
Got Firefox installed? Good. Firefox is an extensible browser, meaning that with just a click you can download additional pieces that will allow your browser to do all sorts of interesting things. As for me, I like browser options that make it easy for me to save money. Here are ten Firefox extensions that will make it easier for you to save money while using the web.
Book Burro BookBurro may be my favorite FireFox plugin of all. You don’t ever notice it except when you visit a bookseller site, and then it pops up quietly on the upper left of the page. When you visit a book, it drops down, showing you prices for that same book at other booksellers. Not only has this saved me money on several book purchases, it also saves me the time of jumping from site to site. If you read much at all, this is the most important download on this list.
Pronto Pronto provides a tool similar to BookBurro, but not quite as elegantly. Pronto provides price comparisons on a wide variety of products with a floating button in the lower right of the screen. I’ve found this to be useful (interestingly enough) when shopping for kitchen products; Pronto helped me find a much better price on a great mixer.
Skype Sidebar This plugin integrates Skype with Firefox, making it very easy to call people and manage your contacts while surfing the web. For those unfamiliar, Skype is a program that allows you to make free person-to-person telephone calls via the internet, and extremely low cost calls to any telephone number. I find this particularly useful when discussing web materials with people; not only is the call free, but it is much easier for both parties to understand what is going on.
Gmail Space Rather than using a memory stick to transfer files, I often just use Gmail Space on the various machines I work on. This FireFox plugin lets me use my Gmail account as a tool for transferring files from place to place, provided I have an internet connection. This plugin is installed on every machine that I access with any regularity.
FareFirst FareFirst integrates with FireFox to enable you to quickly compare travel costs from location to location. If you’re planning a trip, you can just enter the information here and FareFirst will keep an eye on the trip for you. Each time you run FireFox, it will let you know what the best deal for the trip is.
Sage Sage is a site feed reader that integrates itself into Firefox, enabling you to add feeds to it with just a click. This extension saves me both time and money; I monitor a lot of blogs that update to mention good deals and other financial information and this tool enables me to keep tabs on all of them in reasonable time, thus saving both time and money.
Package Mapping As a frequent eBay seller, it’s financially important to me to keep track of packages as they’re shipped around the country. Package Mapping makes this very easy; I can keep tabs on where each package is and it alerts me when packages are delivered. It makes the process of tracking shipped items very easy, and that makes my work selling items on eBay that much easier and financially secure.
Minute Minder for Cingular This plug-in alerts you to the minutes you have remaining on your current cellular plan, which can be invaluable at helping you avoid overage fees. It quietly inserts itself into your browser window, so you can keep an eye on it without wasting valuable screen space. The only disadvantage is that this plugin currently only works with Cingular; I’m hoping to see it expand to other carriers soon.
Grocery List Generator I often see tasty and inexpensive recipes on the internet, but then I forget to buy the items for those recipes at the grocery store. Grocery List Generator incorporates itself into Firefox and makes it easy to add ingredients to a shopping list, whether you are finishing with a cupboard inventory or you want to make sure to buy some tarragon for that egg recipe.
Quitomzilla Although I’m not a smoker, several members of my family are, and I’m keenly aware how expensive the habit is. Quitomzilla is a plug-in that provides record-keeping and constant motivation to help people to quit smoking. If you’re a smoker, you’re burning up a lot of money; Quitomzilla can be priceless in helping you to kick the habit.