Almost everyone would like to save money. However, the savings need to be worth the effort involved. For example, driving around for hours to save a few dollars isn’t a fair trade. Nor would spending hours researching your options to save a few percent off the sale price be worth the effort. However, there are tons of great hacks that you can use to save money without spending hours driving around with coupons. Here are five shopping hacks to help you save big.
Don’t Rush Out to Buy It
If you decide you want something, the first thing you should do is stop and wait. This will allow you to curb impulse buying. If you still feel like you want or need it, do some research and try to find it at a discount or second hand.
Another thing you could do is look for free samples and free trials. Maybe you could get the hand lotion or snack bar you wanted as a freebie. You could also try to borrow something before you buy it, though renting it is an option, too. If all else fails, then you can hit the store or visit an ecommerce site to buy it.
Be Strategic with Coupons
We’re not telling you to buy several copies of the Sunday paper and spend hours searching and clipping coupons in the hope of saving some money. Instead, we’d recommend being strategic with coupons. One thing you could do is conduct an online search for coupon codes and leverage website coupons when shopping online. A five minute search, or coupons you received in an email from the vendor as part of their loyalty program, could save you quite a bit of money.
When online shopping, you might also be able to get discounts when you leave items in the shopping cart too. Retailers will routinely send coupons to encourage you to complete the transaction. It might be 10 percent off, free shipping or a freebie on top of what you were planning on buying. On the other hand, you should pay attention during the checkout process so you don’t accidentally buy too many items or get hit with extra fees.
Prices aren’t always set in stone and you should always try to bargain if possible. You can almost always haggle down the price on last year’s model of car, dishwasher or wedding dress. Perhaps you could get free delivery or installation with the purchase of a big ticket item. You should also ask about discounts if the item is damaged or blemished.
Try to Time Your Purchase
While this isn’t always possible, it is always worth researching. As you may already know, the price of seasonal fruit goes down when it is in season, and the price of a product drops when the newest model comes out. Prices on items follow predictable patterns, and you can use these patterns to your advantage. The best time to buy winter wear is in the spring, for instance, while the fall is a great time to buy swimsuits. Try to pick up appliances and other big ticket items at the end of the month when salespeople want to make their quota. Also note that the prices of produce and meat will vary throughout the week.
Another thing you can do is stock up on items like groceries and toiletries when they go on sale. However, you need to be careful in the case of perishable items. There’s no point buying more than you can use up if you’re going to need to throw it out. That’s why stocking up on bottled water and canned goods is fine, but ten pounds of apples is a gamble. Just don’t buy things that are on sale that you wouldn’t normally use.
No matter what you want to buy, there are ways to save money on the purchase price. Use the right tactics, and you’ll see a significant return on the invested effort.