Among other things, I like saving money. I brought this up in both of my CIS 101 courses, but when I look to buy things, I use the Internet to help me find some deals.
For example, rather than simply going to Staples to buy something, I check prices online. It's not worth my time to go visit 20 sites to get the best price, so my time is also a consideration. The best solution is to use one of the sites that do the work for me. Two such sites are PriceGrabber.com and Google Products (formerly called Froogle). Let's say I wanted toner for my home printer - a Samsung SCX 4100. If I go to PriceGrabber, I see the price on Staples is $95.39. However, if I were willing to go with another company, I could get it as low as $68.70. Not bad for a few minutes work! Now, in this case, the vendor with the low price is one I don't know, so I could also read merchant reviews on the site, and make a decision on how safe I want to be.
They also offer generic toner, so if I were willing to do that, I could get a generic cartridge for this device for $30.99. That is a savings of almost $65 from the original retail price, if I am willing to go with a generic cartridge. As a bonus, the retailer with the lowest price is one I am familiar with and one who has excellent reviews. If I needed toner, I'd go with the generic cartridge for that price.
I used toner as an example here, but you can try anything and see the results...a Nintendo Wii...a Panasonic VIERA 50" Plasma TV...an LG Refrigerator...Acqua Di Gio Cologne...a Fellowes Intellishred SB-99Ci Shredder...Note that not everything on the site has multiple vendors listed, but it is a good site to do some initial research. Remember - if there is a site you are not sure if you trust, read reviews, and feel free to make a decision from there. These sites do not discriminate between big sites (Dell, Staples, etc) and small sites, so all will be listed.
There are other places I go for other deals, but if there is something specific I am looking for, I usually start on PriceGrabber or Froogle.