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Once in a while, a good bargain is all we need to make our lives more manageable especially if you want to save money simply and easily. The internet revolution has made it easier now more than ever to trim up to fifty-percent off the goods we purchase on a daily basis.
You may be stuck between a rock and a hard place whereby saving money is nothing but a pipe dream. Instead of sinking yourself deeper into financial depression, why not adopt a few frugal habits that are sure to turn your life around?
Merging these frugal habits with today’s effective technology can turn out to be a worthwhile move for you.
One of the best ways to live right on a tight budget is by never paying full price for stuff you buy. You stand to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on an annual basis by doing this.
Take, for instance; you spend $30,000 all through the year. If you average approximately ten-percent off of your daily purchases, you’ll pocket $3,000 in twelve months.
There are many surprising ways to save your hard-earned money on daily purchases. It’s all about staying focused and going for what you want. The more you put the following tips into practice, $3,000 may turn out to be a figure within reach after all.
1. Make Cash-back Apps Part of Your Shopping Routine
Cash-back apps are a relatively simple way to get a substantial return on what you spend. Considering there are a plethora of them on the android and apple app stores (which come at no cost, by the way), it wouldn’t hurt to download them and optimize your spending, would it?
Here are a couple of the best, free, tried and tested cash-back apps you should be having on your phone right now:
1. Ebates (Sign-up bonus: $10)
For most shoppers, Ebates is a go-to app for online shopping. It allows you to earn a whopping 20% cash-back at every eligible store you make any purchases, including Walmart and Amazon.
Ebates not only has one of the most rewarding cashback rates but also offers the most competitive prices out there.
2. Checkout 51
Check out 51 is the ultimate avenue for saving and making money on grocery shopping. Aside from fruits and vegetables, it also offers cash back rebates for various food items such as meat, snacks, cereals, milk, organics, and even pasta. Checkout51 is a cool app to have in your arsenal if you’re intent of subsidizing your grocery bill.
When you first scan your receipt within a month of registration, you get a 10% bonus. Like Checkout51, the majority of goods that will earn you cashback offers on Ibotta are groceries.
Though it gives you cash back on certain items, the amount offered is pretty substantial. Each time you scan a receipt, expect your money back either a day or two later.
The best part? We’ve partnered with Ibotta to get a $10 registration bonus when you sign-up and scan your first receipt when you use our link to register.
For a newbie app, Makeena is quickly making its mark in the receipt scanning game. As it doesn’t have any affiliate stores, you can easily shop from anywhere and earn your cash back.
You’ll be eligible for money back once you hit a minimum of $20. Their wide variety of offers will make it a walk in the park to surpass this threshold.
Using these and more apps, you’ll be able to earn a bit of cash back. While saving 10% may not seem like a big deal, it adds up if you save it over time.
2. Look For Price-Match Alternatives
Some big box stores and department stores often price-match their sales. A few stores like Toys ‘R’ Us, Best Buy and Target know a lot about price-matching online retailers.
How exactly does price-matching keep those extra dollars in your pocket? For one, you don’t have to pace up and down or drive everywhere around town to get an excellent deal. If you have a coupon that wasn’t beneficial at Amazon, it may very well be helpful at Target.
Price-matching saves you a lot of financial agonies. If you have the habit of placing an item in your shopping cart when checking out with the belief that you have to pay retail, try out the ShopSavvy app.
The app allows you to scan the barcode of the item you want to buy. It will automatically do a quick search to see if the item is more affordable online.
If there’s a matching result, price match it to get that exact price sold to you at that store. The same can also be done to your groceries.
Head on to the Southern Savers item search and do a quick scan of whatever goods you need at affordable prices. Take those awesome deals – along with your coupons – to Target or Walmart hand they will price match any deal from local competitors.
Many Walmart stores will price match local stores within a 50-mile radius.
3. Buy Second-Hand Clothes at the Thrift Shop
Since time immemorial, thrift shopping has always been known for its incredibly low prices on clothing. Break away from the bandwagon of buying stylish garments and check out the wide selection of clothes at your local thrift shop.
Most vintage and thrift shops put up almost new items up for sale at very reasonable prices. The same things are worth a fortune at regular stores.
To spend even less on that trendy silky blouse from Ann Taylor or that Gap hoody from a few years back, here are a few tips you can try out:
Dig Your Way to the Best Deals
The best deals are hidden deep within the vast, unsorted merchandise repositories. When you find something worth your while, be sure that it’s something you can afford.
Utilize the Senior/Student Discount Deals.
Check with your local store if they have discounts you can take advantage of. If it means making regular stops during workdays, it’s all well worth it in the long haul.
January Shopping Is Always the Best
When you shop in the first month of the new year, you’re likely to get a 50% discount off of everything you buy. On top of this, you may be rewarded with bag sales along with huge store-wide savings.
If you prefer online shopping, try out Swap.com and save money on all of your favorite brands. Being the largest online thrift store and consignment, Swap also gives you the chance to sell pre-owned or new clothing. By shopping at Swap, you save money as you make money. Now that’s a win-win.
4. Go Online Coupon Hunting
Almost every store today boasts of its smartphone app complete with new deals, sales, and of course, coupons. While a couple of them are worth your time(Target and Staples being the best), it would be best to have coupon-specific apps like RetailMeNot on your phone.
RetailMeNot has tons of in-store and online coupons for hundreds, if not thousands of stores all across the U.S. Most thrift stores nowadays accept electronic coupons. Text these coupons from your RetailMeNot app and enjoy a low-cost shopping experience.
Smartphones and other internet-enabled gadgets have made it easy to have an array of couponing options online. Just search the name of your favorite store on your preferred search engine along with the words ‘printable coupon’.
Make some comparisons on the first five results that will come up and choose the one that suits you the most. If you find coupons for a particular store’s competitor(s), there’s no harm in that. Most stores honor their competitors’ coupons.
From home improvement stores to craft stores, you’ll be surprised at how many stores accept their rivals’ coupons.
5. Get the Best Prices Online
In this fast-paced environment, you should beware of the fact that brick and mortar stores are deceptive and laced with hidden gimmicks to get you to spend money. The items are expensively priced and placed at an angle for you to notice them quicker.
On your next visit to the store, take notice of how the lower and upper shelves are stacked with more affordable products. When buying or window shopping online, you won’t be enticed to buy anything that’s not in your shopping list.
If possible, make a list of items you need. Check out the prices online and your local store and list them down side by side. You’ll be surprised at the huge financial gap and just how much you can save when you shop online.
Another reason you should set your eyes on online goods is the fact that there are varieties of online promotions and coupons that moderately priced.
Cutting coupons to use them at brick and motor stores can be time-consuming, not to mention expensive. Using online coupons is less complicated and can save you a few extra dollars.
In addition to paying half the price of essential items, you get to save on gas. Starting an engine is more expensive than clicking a mouse. Don’t waste your time, energy, and cash on stuff that is well within your reach.
You stand to benefit significantly from free shipping offers as you don’t have to break a sweat (or the bank for that matter) for stuff you can access easily online.
6. Just Ask for a Rebate
If you’re a regular shopper at a particular store, try walking in one day and ask for a price cut. You’d be surprised at the frequency in which you can get discounts by merely asking.
If you’re always shopping from one store to another, try asking for discounts when the item you wish to purchase is flawed in one way or another.
For instance, if you want to buy a mirror and it has a noticeable mark, reach out to the store staff and ask for a discount. Just by asking, you can save up to 50% off the initial price.
While this may be a simple path to take in a bid to save cash, it doesn’t always work. The store staff may not give you the discount you wanted, but they can let you in on upcoming promotions.
When you know when to expect huge deals on store items, you can end up paying half the price and save on tax money.
7. Save Big on Concert Tickets
Concert tickets are among the most basic stuff you should never have to chuck your hard-earned money on. If you’re a die-hard music fan, knowing where and when to fish out half-price ticket deals will save you precious time, energy and of course, money.
Here are a few effortless ways you can revel in your favorite international and homegrown music acts without splurging on expensive tickets:
Don’t Buy First-Night Tickets
First-night concerts are often the most overpriced – you know this if you’ve ever been a first-night reveler. If the artist in question is performing in multiple dates in your city, cut costs by buying tickets in-between or towards the end of their tour.
Purchase Directly From The Venue
You stand a better chance of keeping your ticket prices low when you buy them directly from the site. You can save an extra ten to fifteen-percent when you cut out payment of delivery cost and booking fees.
Do Your Homework
Have the accurate times and dates of when the tickets are to go on sale. Early birds may receive half the ticket price. Check out significant ticketing sites such as The Ticket Factory, Ticketmaster and See Tickets to buy tickets and be the first to know when tickets are out.
An alternative site is Scorebig.com. It has codes that save you $5 off $20 or $30 off $150. Their entire selection is devoted to wholesome family entertainment.
Subscribe to Mailing Lists and Newsletters
A quick way to save on concert tickets is being well-informed. Subscribe to newsletters from notable ticketing outlets such as Ticketline, See tickets, 365tickets, AXS or Ticketmaster.
8. Make Your Purchases During Predictable Sales Periods
A specific lot of items are sold for more affordable prices at certain times of the year. These predictable periods will enable you to anticipate and make arrangements for your shopping a few months or years in advance.
Commodities such as appliances, for instance, are often sold at throwaway prices during September and October – according to About.com. During this time, retailers are restocking their stores for the arrival of fresh models.
For the most part, air conditioners are known to be more affordable when summer’s over, and fall is just setting in. During late summer, computers and loads of other educational material (textbooks, stationery, etc.) are given significant back-to-school discounts.
There’s always a specific month or season to buy anything and everything. Rather than buying items like this right away, take a few moments to do some digging as to when their prices are likely to go down.
There are lots of different places you can find useful info about this.
9. Check Your Dailies for Major Price Reductions
As it goes for all items, if you find something you like, keep regular tabs on it. Random items tend to go on sale for no particular reason – be it the end of a clothing season or a Shell Shocker on Newegg.
Make sure to buy a copy or two of newspapers in your area especially on weekends; some items are given incredible discounts to attract more customers. Most retailers nowadays have taken to the press to advertise their next big sale by stuffing them with coupons and fliers.
There are a few out-of-the-box ways you can get super cheap coupon inserts without having to subscribe to your dailies. Here are a few of them you can try out:
- Visit the dollar store – though you’ll need to be an early bird to snag one before they’re sold out.
- Check fast food restaurants and coffee shops.
- Scout out your typical grocery stores every Monday morning for discounted Sunday papers.
- Visit your local library and ask the librarian for coupons from the Sunday papers.
- If you use a single mail room with neighbors who don’t think much about coupons, help yourself to the treasure they consider trash.
- Don’t be afraid of a little dirt. Go dumpster diving and get free coupons.
- Check with local schools to see if the kids read newspapers for day-to-day enlightenment. If they do, you’re bound to find tons of coupon inserts from a single classroom.
You can keep tabs on general stuff from televisions to internet-enabled gadgets and in your daily newspaper.
An hour or two each week you spend circling sales dates, and clipping coupons can prove to be very cost effective when the time comes to finally make a purchase.
10. Buy Refurbished Items
What comes to mind when you know that a particular item is refurbished? Most likely you’ll picture something that’s been used for years, broken, then rebuilt.
When it comes to electronics, however, it’s not as easy to determine what’s refurbished and what’s not. There are so many ways to tell if a particular appliance has been used or notThat aside, you can save a ton from opting to buy used stuff than brand new products.
It’s one of the best ways to get a functional product at a throwaway price. Just because a product is labeled ‘refurbished’ doesn’t mean that it can’t be used. After all, all refurbished items were new at some point.
When buying refurbished electronic goods from an offline or online retailer, it’s imperative to always be on your guard.
Inspect the product at hand personally and insist that there be some warranty or return policy that will cater for future difficulties. In short, understand what you’re getting yourself into.
If saving money is a priority for you, spending your money on refurbished tech should be among your money-saving strategies. Buying a new iPhone 7 phone, for instance, will cost you $549.
An expe price tag A mind-boggling amount for most of us. When you buy one that is refurbished, you can save an extra $210 and get it at approximately $334. You can get a $150 PS3 for a mere $92.99 and save close to $60.
The surprising thing is that most of these refurbished items can last you longer than any brand new one ever could. How you handle them, however, matters a great deal.
11. Negotiate Your Way to a Pocket-Friendly Price
When all else fails, your negotiation skills should come in handy. Many purchases are in need of bargain hunters rather than those counting days for the discount periods to arrive. A perfect example is automobiles.
While vehicle dealerships have specific sale periods, veteran car shoppers know for a fact that there’s no such thing as putting a price tag on a car.
Most car buyers use FightingChance.com to acquire comprehensive information on the dealer and markup profit that’s built into whatever car they have in mind.
Do some digging and find out crucial information including how well the car you have your eye on is doing at the global market. Having this at the back of your hand can be very useful when you visit a car store, and you wish to negotiate a more affordable price for a new ride.
Cars aside, you can also negotiate about getting discounts on major purchases. Never put into consideration the size of the item you’re purchasing.
What should be of essence to you is your willingness to say or do whatever it takes to keep those extra bucks in your pocket. It could be useful in alternative financial strategies or better yet, toward retirement.
Become a Savvy Frugalist and Save More Than You Earn
This list of tried and tested shopping tips can be of great use to you if you have an obsession with getting good deals.
Asking for a discount or buying a used iPhone doesn’t degrade your financial status quo in any way whatsoever. Instead, you’re doing what most shoppers don’t do – making sense of your dollars and cents.
Being cheap or stingy about your money doesn’t mean that you have to let go of your style and preferences. By following the above-mentioned tips, you can still live life to the fullest while never having to pay full price for anything ever again.