I still remember the day I first discovered Pinterest. I was speaking at a college, and the event coordinator was holding her iPad as we chatted. All of a sudden, in response to something I had said, she started scrolling furiously on her iPad, asking, "Have you seen Pinterest—I am addicted to it!" I hadn't. Now I'm addicted too. But it has only been more recently that I've realized Pinterest isn't just a collection of cool pics. It’s so much more. There are plenty of savings to be had—if you know where to look!

1. Print-and-use for free

Pinterest is home to scores of free print-and-use materials to help you stand out from the crowd when wrapping gifts, canning fruits, planning parties, assembling your resume, and even building model cars!

Check out these free printables boards on Pinterest:

How you can save: While you may think "I can find free printables anywhere," many of the best printables artists are now licensing their print creations. For instance, here’s a printable party kit—the licensing fee is $7.99, but the fonts aren’t customizable, and you can find all of these printables on Pinterest (with free fonts to boot) free of charge!

2. Pin it now and save on it later

Pinterest has a relatively new feature designed to encourage frequent pinning. With this feature, if you pin an item and it later goes on sale, Pinterest will notify you.

Great places to start pinning and save:

  • This Pinterest board tells you about the product, where it’s sold, what it costs (and when it’s reduced), as well as how to order it.
  • Find other Pinterest boards that feature automatic price notifications.

How you can save: If you drool whenever you see a certain product, but can't afford it, you can pin it to track any reductions in price until it (hope hope hope) finally drops into your price range. 'Nuff said.

3. DIY instead of hiring a pro

Pinterest is packed chock-full of DIY tutorials, hints, and tips.

Check out these neat DIY Pinterest boards:

How you can save: Let's say you need a costume for an upcoming event. You could buy one and spend anywhere from $20-$200+. You could rent it for the same price range—per night—or you could make your own. Here, you’ll spend the cost of the materials only and pay nothing (other than your time) for the labor, which is typically one-half of the cost of any costume's retail price. So if a costume costs you $200 to buy or rent, you can expect to pay no more than $100 if you make it yourself using DIY tips from Pinterest.

4. Find awesome deals, discounts, and coupons

Of course Pinterest is no stranger to the couponing crowd—and vice versa. In just a cursory search, I discovered tons of boards for different niche couponers, including grocery, organic, birthdays, and (my personal favorite!) the Krazy Coupon Lady!

How you can save: Krazy Coupon Lady’s Freebies, Deals & Steals Pinterest board alerts you to free stuff each day. On KCL's Gardening and Outdoors board, find home remedies for bug bites (e.g., white vinegar from your cupboard eases wasp stings—no need to spend $5.49 for a bottle of Benadryl spray!) and send squirrels packing by grating some ultra-cheap Irish Spring soap in your attic (plus save on the $250 critter control consultation!)…and there's plenty more savings where these came from!

5. Repurpose and reuse instead of replacing

Pretty much any item can be repurposed—if you know how. For instance, did you know that you can turn a worn-out sock into a handy holder for your iPod? You can also turn an old cookie sheet into a magnet board and make perfect party glasses out of used mason jars!

How you can save: Spend $19.99 on a magnetic board from Amazon, or use that old cookie tray and spend $8.72 on supplies to DIY. Get a free iPod holder with an old sock and a pair of scissors, or spend $22.25 for a holder from Amazon. Kick in $2 for straws and cupcake liners and you have beautiful party glasses, or buy a set of 12 from Amazon for $15.43.

6. Recycle with a pin!

Pinterest can virtually eliminate your coupon folders—instead of snipping and placing paper coupons into envelopes, you can save digital coupons in online folders called "pin boards." The Pinterest app makes sure you can access these digital gems on the go.

How you can save: You can stop your paper ($78 – $100/year in most cities) and also save a tree by using digital coupons and board "envelopes" instead. Also save time—instead of snipping, clipping, and filing, just click and pin—and you're off to the next item on your to-do list!

6 Surprising Ways to Save Right Away--Just by Using Pinterest!