‘Most people use their computers almost solely for E-mail and browsing,” says Steve Kieley, an instructor and faculty member at Ewing SeniorNet. “But there are many ways your computer can save you significant money.”
An easy one? “Don’t print,” Kieley says. “People say, ‘Can you make a copy and send it over,’ but with E-mail you don’t need it.” And while it sounds obvious, Kieley says a number of people used to seeing things on paper routinely forget that they do not need to waste the ink
Saving paper and ink is one of the “28 Ways to Save Money Using Your Computer,” which will be presented by Kieley on Tuesday, July 7, at 2 p.m. at the Ewing Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road.
“For those who already shop online, this presentation will highlight several ways to save that I’m sure will be new to them,” Kieley says.
The program is free and is the first of SeniorNet’s “Computer Tips and Tricks” series since it was rescheduled from the second to the first Tuesday of each month. For more information or directions call 609-882-5086 or 609-883-1776, ext. 6206. Or you can visit www.ewingsnet.com
It’s the S. As a monthly learning session, “Tips and Tricks” has had numerous discussions about finding deals online. And many of those who have taken courses through SeniorNet are worried about giving their credit card or bank account information to a machine, Kieley says.
But there are ways to tell if you are in a secure end of cyberspace. One way is to look for the little padlock symbol at the bottom or top of the screen, but another, less common tell is the beginning of the URL.
All web addresses begin with http — a secure one begins with https, Kieley says. That added letter is extremely difficult to fake and is, when in conjunction with the padlock, one of the simplest ways to know your information has not landed in the wrong hands.
Coupons. For the bargain hunter there are plenty of online sources for coupons you can use in an actual store. Sites such as retailmenot.com or deallocker.com offer a hefty supply of coupons on everything from photos to footwear.
You are often limited to major retail outlets, however; and one thing to watch out for, Kieley says, is the limited-supply coupon. Retailers limit the number of usable coupons for any promotion but the website does not necessarily tell you that.
Consequently, people looking to print them out find they can’t. “It can be very frustrating,” Kieley says.
Less on shipping. Akin to coupon sites, there are sites devoted to telling you which sellers offer what shipping deals. Dealtracker.com is probably the most popular, Kieley says. Sites like this can help you gauge whether it costs less to buy in a store or have something sent to you.
Kieley offers a tip: For big-dollar items, like HDTV sets, it almost always is cheaper to buy on line. If you want to get a feel for an item you could always drop into a store and check it out, he says, but check online before you buy. The savings could be significant.
Prior to his life as a volunteer SeniorNet instructor and computer bargain guru, Kieley worked for PSE&G for 39 years.
A mechanical engineering graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology, he holds a master’s from NJIT and retired in 2003, as PSE&G’s director of asset management.
Kieley worked in electric distribution field operations and construction around the state and consulted on management structures and practices for electric companies in Brazil, Oman, Peru, and Chile.
A former president and member of the board of the Engineers Club of Trenton, Kieley also serves on the board of the PSE Federal Credit Union in Somerset.