SAN ANTONIO — Artificial Intelligence or AI can do a variety of tasks and that include saving you money, if you use it the right way.
AI can be helpful if you need general approaches to savings. Ask for a saving strategy and you will get useful advice.
“It can give you good ideas on how to save on electricity, how to save on your water bill, just all kinds you stuff you might not think of yourself,” said Wilder Shaw, a writer for Cheapism.com who tested ChatGPT for several ways to save.
It can also help you cook up a cheap meal.
“Ask it what you already have and what you can make out of it if you’re not exactly sure what to do,” Shaw said. “You say you have like a pepper and a box of pasta and something else. It’ll sort of whip together a recipe for you.”
Or use it as a free travel agent.
“Save on travel by looking for cheaper flights for you. It can tell what kind of hotels you should stay in under a certain budget,” Shaw said. “It can tell you neighborhoods to help with certain expenses. It can really sort of plan the entire thing for you and you certainly don’t have to pay a travel agent for that.”
Yet it can struggle to find the best bargains on specific items.
“You can use it as a jumping-off point,” said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with Dealnews.com. “It’s not going to tell you Apple has this MacBook on sale right now at Best Buy. It’s probably going to give you pretty basic tips about finding items. It was basically shop around these times of the year, which were Black Friday, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, and July 4.”
You are better off finding deals yourself.
“We were searching for Dyson vacuums, so it said there are these models on sale, this is how much you can save, but the problem is that it didn’t tell us stores to go to and there were no links to click,” said Ramhold.
Instead, use it as a starting point to see when a sale is likely. Then set price alerts, search prices using Google Shopping, and look at deal sites to get the best price on specific items. It is more work for you, but you will get better savings.