Most of the software we review and recommend at ATMac is created by individuals or companies with just a few employees. This "indy" software, as it's known, is usually able to be tested before you buy it and is very reasonably priced, but if you want a bunch of different pieces of software it can still add up quickly. Here are a bunch of websites which offer discounts on different pieces of software at different times.
MacUpdate Promo have a different deal every day with a large discount on the software price. They also have an extended sales page which lists software available at a smaller discount for a longer time. If you check out the extended sales be sure to look for the "Show me" dropdown and select each option in turn to make sure you're shown all the available software on sale.
MacHeist intermittently offer bundles of several pieces of software for sale at heavily discounted prices. Some of it requires that you solve an Internet-based "treasure hunt" type activity before you can purchase. The answers to the treasure hunt are always posted on their forums within a few hours of the puzzle being announced, but it can take an awful lot of forum reading to find the right code to use. This may or may not be worth the trouble, depending on how much free time you have and how much you like weird puzzles.
Mac Bundle Box is a software discounting website, intermittently offering a bundle of software which can be purchased at one low price.
MacZOT have a different deal every day with a large discount on the software price.
TheMacBundles.com bills itself as the "farmer's market for software." A new site also offering a bundle of software which can be purchased at one low price.
The Mac Santa bundle has been around for two years now each December. Last year Mac Santa offered a two-tiered discount system that takes 20% off of a particular batch of software each day and then 10% off all previously featured software until the end of the promotion on December 24th.
MacToSchool was offered in 2007 just before the USA school year commenced. The 2007 bundle offered a variety of programs which are mostly related to education/school stuff but many of which would be useful to anybody. No longer available.
dealmac doesn't offer discounts themselves but they do offer a central place that lets people know about discounts of many things including Mac software. Many of the discounts listed above are listed in their Mac software category, as well as other one-off discounts they find out about. Dealmac also offer a bunch of other categories which may interest readers, including Apple hardware and more general computer-related supplies.
I've purchased a lot of my software this way - using evaluation versions until I've found them for sale at a price I can afford. If you're wanting to buy software it may be worth your while to subscribe to some of these websites and see if what you want comes up. Tell me how you go!
- Ricky Buchanan