Penny Pincher Extensions: 20 Essential Firefox Add-ons for Frugal Web Shoppers

By Christina Laun

Shopping online presents a great opportunity for good deals and comparison shopping, but it’s often a lot of work. Fortunately, there are simple Firefox add-ons that can make your online shopping experience a little easier. Whether you want to know where to get the best deals on electronics, compare prices, or limit the amount of time you’re allowed to spend shopping, there’s an add-on out there for you. Check out these 20 extensions that were designed for frugal online shoppers.

  1. Pronto Shopping Messenger This add-on offers a great way to effortlessly comparison shop online. Pronto draws from over 60,000 merchants to look for the best price on millions of items sold online. Not only that, but downloading the plugin can also provide you with exclusive coupons.
  2. Biet-O-Zilla Biet-O-Zilla s a must for any serious eBay shopper. It interacts with your eBay account to let you make last minute bids even if you’re not on the eBay site. You’ll also get easy access to your watched items.
  3. ShortShip Considering shipping costs when comparison shopping on eBay can be tricky, as eBay only sorts by item prices. ShortShip makes the process effortless by giving you the total cost of the item you’re looking for, as well as converting currency, and allowing you to easily see any negative feedback a seller has.
  4. eBay Buddy eBay Buddy can be a useful tool for the frequent eBay shopper. The extension allows for easy navigation of eBay, categorized browsing, forums, and even a full site map of eBay, all located in a simple drop-down menu.
  5. Grocery List Generator Buying groceries online is becoming ever more common with services like Amazon and Peapod delivering them straight to your door. If you’re buying them online, why not keep track of what you need online as well? With Grocery List Generator, you can enter the items you normally buy, household cleaners and personal care items included, and the add-on will create a list. Additionally, you can use the list generator to make notes to yourself about where items are cheapest, or track the ingredients of something you’re interested in making.
  6. DealMine This is a useful search tool for comparing prices, discounts, miles, points, or anything else from major membership programs and retailers. It can alert you to the best sales, and also help you compare and contrast memberships so you get the best products and services for your money.
  7. Buy It Online Buy It Online uses Google Product Search to help you find the best bargains on the web. If you see something you’d like on a webpage, but aren’t sure where you can pick it up online, simply highlight the product name and the add-on will do the rest, generating a list of sites that offer the product.
  8. Compare Prices One Click This add-on makes it incredibly easy to compare prices on items you’d like to buy. If you’re browsing a website and you see an item that catches your eye, you can highlight the product name and right click to compare prices and read reviews.
  9. Ultimate Pricechecker Ultimate Pricechecker is a utility that goes through the namesake website to find the best prices on any item you’re interested in, drawing results from eBay, Amazon,, and The utility will open a new tab for each site, giving you the price of what you’d like to purchase at hundreds of stores so you can get the best deal.
  10. Book Burro For the online bookworm, Book Burro can be a great way to find the cheapest books. Book Burro works by detecting when you’re shopping for a book online and creating a small panel in the upper corner. When selected, Book Burro will search for the best price for the book. You can even manage which sites you’d like it to check if you know certain sites have better deals.
  11. Advanced Travel If you’re a frequent flyer, Advanced Travel can be a useful add-on to have when looking for the best deals on flights, hotels and rentals online. It searches through the most popular online travel sites to give you rates on a single, easy-to-use page.
  12. FareFirst is another tool for getting the cheapest rates for online travel. You simply select the type of flight you’re interested in, and FareFirst can help you monitor the prices for these flights. Fares are updated regularly and are subject to a rating system. The more stars a flight has, the better the deal you’re getting.
  13. Woot Watcher For those that don’t know, Woot is an online shopping site that sells one item every day for rock bottom prices. The catch is that you may not always need that item, no matter how cheap it is. Woot Watcher can be an easy way to keep track of what’s on sale everyday, so you won’t miss out if any great items come up that you actually do need.
  14. FatCash Some of you frugal online shoppers might already be members, but for those who aren’t, it’s a great way to get rewards for buying things online. You can get up to 4% cash back at places like and The FatCash plugin lets you know if the site you’re shopping with offers these rewards by displaying a FatCash icon in the status bar.
  15. Update Scanner There is a delicate art to waiting for items to go on sale to buy them. If you buy too soon, you’ll be paying too much; too late and they may sell out. This extension can help you watch out for those sale prices. It will monitor any item you choose for changes and send you an alert so you can wait for just the right time to buy.
  16. Foxcart Creating Christmas, birthday, or other wish lists is easy with this add-on. Foxcart allows you to bring items from sites all over the web into one simple and easy-to-use list that you can print out or save for later.
  17. Shopzilla allows users to easily search and compare prices on dozens of popular online retailers like Amazon, Froogle, and PriceGrabber as well as numerous auction sites. And if that’s not enough, Shopzilla can provide you with links to deal finders and customer reviews as well so you’re always ahead of the game.
  18. Chartlet Chartlet is useful for keeping up-to-date records of changing prices or other numerical values online. Simply create a “chartlet” to keep an eye on any numbers online. The program will keep a record of the history and allow you to easily keep track of any changes.
  19. PageAddict It’s easy to become addicted to online shopping. It’s fun and there’s an endless amount of options out there. Since you never pay in real cash, it can be easy to forget how much you’re actually spending. PageAddict can help you limit your online time. It keeps track of how much time you spend on each page and can create graphs of your long term web usage habits. You can use this information to restrict how much time you spend on different types of sites, which can help you save both time and money.
  20. Send Tab URLs This extension can make comparison shopping a breeze. If you’ve got several tabs open for an item you’re looking at, you can easily roll them together to be emailed with this add-on. When you opt to email the tabs, the program creates an email for you, which contains the URLs from the tabs you have open, making it quick and easy to send the information to a friend or relative, or just save for yourself.

Firefox isn’t just a free and fast browser, it can also be a great asset to he frugal online shopper if you are willing to customize it to your needs. Try out a few of these extensions and see if they help you pinch a few pennies, or at least make online shopping quicker and easier.

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