lost, for a little while

gearing up: good web sites
September 2, 2010, 1:30 pm
Filed under: gear, necessities, plan, sources, want

I may have to loosen the purse strings a little bit in order to fully prep for this trip, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna be blowing cash left and right. The cheapskate — er, “Master of Frugality” — in me is still alive and well. Below, some sites I’m keeping my eye on for the various things I’ll need before I leave.


  • Amazon.com: I’m sure this is news to no one, but I always scope the prices at Amazon, first thing–the used prices. It’s more ecologically responsible, and I have no problem reading someone else’s castoffs. The thing with Amazon, though, is that you get the best deal when you qualify for the super saver free shipping, and in order to do so, your cart needs to be $25 or more. I usually don’t spend this much on books, but if I can build up a list of necessities, first, it could be worth it.
  • Half.com: Glorious. Often has goods for cheaper than even Amazon’s used section (though not always), and if you shop from dealers like Better World Books, you’re getting a good deal, saving books from landfills, and supporting worldwide literacy. Bam.
  • Thriftbooks.com: Prices might not always be cheaper than Amazon or Half, but all orders within the U.S. are shipped free. That’s huge, people. No minimum purchase price required. (They do gift cards, too–hint, hint.)


  • I still check Amazon first to just get a general idea of brands, types, and price points. It might not always be the best place to make a final purchase, but good for researching a product.
  • Steepandcheap.com: Powered by the mammoth outdoor gear shop Backcountry.com, this site features insane deals on a few select items each day. Add it to your RSS feed to stay on top of things and never miss a deal.
  • Gadling’s Daily Deal: Another to add to your reader. Gadling posts great deals from the web for travel and adventure items–most often, it’s useful gadgets and luggage.
  • Woot.com: The original one-crazy-deal-a-day platform that sites like SteepandCheap and Groupon have piggybacked off of. This isn’t the site to go to with a specific thing in mind, but keep a close eye out for when they do happen to offer something you need. This past June, Woot was acquired by Amazon, but the site doesn’t seem to have changed.
  • Craigslist.org: Wasn’t expecting that one, were you? I’m not a big fan of buying new. It only adds to my otherwise overwhelming Catholic guilt. So if someone in the next town over needs to get rid of a barely-used camping stove or bike rack, I’m there. Plus, I can then, hopefully, add to my collection of “Shady Craigslist Deal” stories.
  • Not so much for the actual “purchasing” part, but Cool Tools is a site I’m keeping my eye on for product reviews and ideas. They get bonus points for having recced A Map for Saturday, which I’ve been dying to see since I came across the trailer two years ago.

Any other ideas, especially for pimping out the car?


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