There isn't a person on Earth who doesn't want to save money when they shop, but wanting to do it and actually doing it are two totally different concepts. You can't stop shopping — you need items like food, clothing, and furniture — but you can take a whole new approach. These five tips from shopping expert will help you save money on practically any purchase, from your dinner to your new dining room table set.
- Shop at the right time.
When you shop can have a huge impact on the price you pay for practically any product. For example, your fruits and veggies are going to be cheaper at the supermarket when they are in season. If you need a new appliance, it's best to buy it in early fall because mid-fall is when companies release their new models. Buy your holiday décor after the holiday season to take advantage of huge markdowns. Wait six weeks after a new piece of clothing hits the racks to buy it on sale, or better yet, wait until the end of the season to buy it on clearance.
- Stay on top of deals and coupons.
Thanks to the Internet, there is no shortage of ways to find big savings for any product you need or want. Almost every major store has an email newsletter, an app, or social media where they offer regular coupons and announce ways for you to save. Many even still mail fliers and coupons. You can also visit websites like Coupons.com to look for coupons on items you need, or you can open up the Sunday paper and clip coupons and read advertisements for the week.
- Make a list before you shop.
Whether you are buying a week's worth of groceries, your kids' back-to-school supplies, or your holiday gifts, make a list of everything you need to purchase. Stick to it when you shop to ensure you don't spend money on things you don't need.
- Do your research.
Sometimes, taking a little time to research can help you save big. For example, if you want to buy a new refrigerator, you probably know that several big box stores carry the same brands. Look at their websites and sales ads for the week and compare prices. Compare the big name stores to the local independent shops in your area. Some stores may even match prices if you call around and ask.
- Take advantage of shopping holidays.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, sales tax holidays in your state — they make for busy stores, but if you can brave the crowds, it's actually worth it. Just make sure you stick to your list. Don't be tempted to buy that $5 toaster if you already have a toaster.