old school techAre you a computer geek? If so, there are many ways you can actually grab all your favorite items for fractions of the cost you would normally pay. Simply do a bit of comparison shopping, combine discounts, and decide what really matters to you, and you should do awesome. Here are a few techie deals for the everyday computer geek.

Check Out Amazon Prime

For techies or anyone looking to combine savings, Amazon Prime is a great place to start. There are already thousands of tech products available under their two-day shipping program. Depending upon the product, this can save you almost half the cost of the Prime membership itself. Prime also allows their customers to stream an unlimited amount of movies and songs from their instant library.

Now, there is a new benefit added for Amazon Prime subscribers to access free – unlimited photo storage. Amazon’s Cloud Drive 100GB plan costs $100 a year. With the holiday’s right around the corner, everyone is taking photos and sharing them with family and friends. Unlimited photo storage is a great way to keep them all organized and accessible at any time. Any tech geek will be thrilled with this service.

Shop Using Price Comparison Apps

Another excellent way to get cheap tech deals are to find them yourself. Before shopping, be sure to use price comparison apps such as Smoopa, Consumr, PriceGrabber, and ShopAdvisor. There is no reason to drive around or call around store-to-store to find the best deal. You can save time and money using these apps. Your shopping competitors are doing it! In fact, according to a Shopatron’s Retailer eCommerce study about 86 percent of shoppers hit their smartphones first before making these purchases. They want to see product reviews, something you can’t find while browsing in a retailer’s aisle.

Some of these apps have more technology equipped with them than you’d know what to do with. For instance, with ShopSavvy, you can type in the name of the item and pay for it right there using your stored credit card info. You’ll quickly identify in-stock items on the map as well. Other apps alert you of price changes and compare in-store and online store pricing.

Check Out the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

As of now, it’s the holidays. However, if not, you’d want to wait for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. As of 2014, giants Amazon, Walmart, and Newegg are taking competition to an entirely new level. Whether this will be the new norm or not, this year Black Friday deals will actually start Thursday, on Thanksgiving Day. You’ll even find their e-commerce sites with deep discounts all month long, starting with Cyber Monday.

Amazon is expected to have tech products up to 80 percent off on certain items while Walmart is rumored to have incredible discounts on over 20,000 products including flat screen TV’s and game consoles. And, just for techies, you can search tech deals near you using Valpak and stock up on items from vendors such as Newegg, who will already have marked down 60 subcategories of products. It’s time to get all those computer accessories and build that new computer that you’ve been wanting.

Your Basic Computing Needs Do Not Need Top of the Line

In addition to you techies looking to build your own computers, you can also take advantage of refurbished items for deep discounts. Refurbished items such as MP3 players or laptops are increasingly cheap now due to technology advancing so rapidly. A refurbished laptop is perfect for running basic computing operations such as word processing or just surfing the web. Nerdwallet has an excellent article covering Where to Buy Good, Cheap Laptops. You’ll want to pay attention, so you’re not getting products that aren’t worth your time.

So there you have it. Four techie deals for the everyday computer geek. Keep your eyes peeled for deals and top them off with some of the best coupons available on the net. Now is the perfect time to stock up on holiday deals.

[Photo Credit: Betsy Weber]

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ways to spot car troubleWhen something goes wrong with our cars, there is usually a light that comes on the dash to tell us. If we are low on oil or are overheating, a light comes on. We can also tell if something is not right with our cars by sound too. The engine revving too high or low just doesn’t sound right, nor does the sound the one tire is making. But what about smell? Can you smell car trouble? In the words of Daniel Bryan, the answer is Yes! Yes! Yes!

Here are 6 ways to spot car trouble with your nose and hopefully save you some money by fixing things early.

6 Ways To Spot Car Trouble

You Smell Burnt Rubber

Unless you were just drag racing some crazy guy in a Frakencaddy at the stop light, the smell isn’t your tires. It’s most likely a loose belt or a slipping belt under your hood. The smell comes from the belt slipping or rubbing against something else. In some cases, this is an easy fix that you can do, but other times, you need the right tools to make sure the belt is on tightly enough. One word of caution though, don’t just reach into a hot engine bay. Those belts (and the engine) can easily burn you!

You Smell Gasoline

The most likely culprit is a gas leak somewhere. While the leak can be anywhere, it is important to have things checked out right away. Any gas leaking onto a hot part of your car is not a good thing. While you won’t be leaving a trail of fire behind you like the plane in Die Hard, it is still a dangerous situation.

You Smell Oil

Odds are here you have an oil leak. There are a few things you can do to verify this. The easiest is to look at the pavement under the engine of your car whenever you leave a parking spot. Just look for a fresh oil spot. The key here though is to look before you pull in too.

I had an old Volkswagen Golf that was leaking oil. I didn’t check the spot I pulled into once and when I came out of the store, I noticed a huge oil slick under my car. I thought my car was toast. I checked my oil level on the dipstick and everything was OK. It turns out the oil was there from before I pulled in. Don’t give yourself a heart attack like I did, look before you park!

One more tip, know that when you run the air conditioner, the water condensation will drip from your car. So during the hot summer months, you will see a puddle under your car and even a trail of drips too. Don’t be alarmed.

You Smell Rotten Eggs

Either you have an exhaust problem (the car does, not you, unless you just ate at Taco Bell) or someone is playing a mean trick on you. Most likely though it’s the exhaust. Many times the catalytic converter will fail or the engine not running properly will cause the catalytic converter to have issues. While not a major issue, it is something to have looked at.

You Smell Burning Carpet

Most times this smell comes from overheating brakes. Seeing as how you need your brakes, it would be a wise choice to have things looked over ASAP. It could be a simple fix like you forgot to take off the parking brake, to something more serious like failing brake pads.

You Smell Sweet Smells

When I say a sweet smell, I am talking about a smell like syrup. If you have the urge to eat some pancakes or french toast every time you drive your car, you may be leaking anti-freeze or engine coolant. The leak could be anywhere in the engine compartment, so it is best to have a mechanic look things over.

You should however check the coolant level. You don’t want your car overheating and doing more damage by ruining the engine. But, don’t open the radiator when it is hot! If you do this, hot liquid magma will explode all over the place, causing you serious burns. OK, it’s not magma, but it is super hot and will shoot out everywhere. Be careful.

Final Thots

In the end, you can spot car trouble with your eyes, ears and your nose. Who would have thought? The important thing is to remember what smells or sounds are major issues that compromise your safety and have them checked out and fixed immediately. Not only are you risking your life, but the lives of other people if your car breaks down and you lose control of it.

[Photo Credit: Stevan Sheets]

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