With the economy in shambles and job security growing more uncertain, it is more important than ever to sock away every penny you can. There are many ways to keep more in your pocket, whether it is by saving on utility bills or learning how to get more product for less cash. I prefer the latter, because I am working on building a stockpile for my family.
There are many ways to save money when you shop, but most consumers simply don’t take the time to take advantage of them all. Of course, if you don’t follow personal finance gurus, money-saving bloggers or have close friends and family members to teach you, it can be a long journey. Below are a few tips to help you on your quest to save more cash and boost your budget.
Coupons – of course!
Coupons are a fabulous way to stretch your shopping dollar. Whether you are shopping for groceries, clothing, shoes or services, there’s a good chance that you can find a coupon to help offset those costs. This may be a monetary amount off of a certain item, a monetary amount off of your entire purchase or a percentage off of your purchase. Obviously, coupons vary from product to product and from store to store. If you want to save the most money when you shop, you have to do your research.
Shop the Sales
There’s something to be said for a fabulous sale – it’s true. Black Friday is one example of an almost guaranteed day to save. However, there are also big sales at many other points during the year that you shouldn’t overlook. Back to school sales are usually held in mid-late July or early August. You’ll find tax season sales from early March – April 15th. You’re also going to find goods on sale around each of the major holidays. I’ve noticed that the sales are usually better up to a week before the holiday you are shopping for. Of course, the best sales are the ones we don’t expect, so always keep your eyes and ears open.
Price matching is something that several stores are doing nowadays. Because of this, many savvy shoppers are able to waste less gas and less money by getting more of the items they want at one store. What is price matching? When an item is on sale and listed in the sale ad for a specific store, but another store (let’s use Walmart as an example) offers price matching, you can shop at the price matching store. When you get to the register, simply show the sale ad from the other store to the cashier and you will receive it for the competitor’s advertised sale price. Please note that any price match items do have to be the same brand, size or advertised style.
Research Products Online
If you want to make sure that the items you purchase will fit within your budget, then you’ve got to do your homework. Sites like PriceGrabber.com, Inc can really make a big difference when you’re dead-set on saving every dime you can. Sites like this allow you to instantly check for the best price available. You can use these sites to find the best deals on a wide variety of items, but I have the most success with clothing and shoes. In fact, yesterday I saw Levi’s jeans were on sale for $21.99! That’s a deal! Want to make that deal better? Pair it with a coupon!
Rewards – Use Them!
Whether you have a store loyalty card or have managed to get the nifty little Catalina’s to print out some spendable credit at your store of choice, you have to be sure you spend it. Don’t let those rewards go unused and certainly don’t wait until they expire to realize what you’ve got! That’s free money that you’re throwing away if you do! In fact, many of us couponers use these rewards to help lower our out of pocket cost and build our stockpiles with ease. Check out one of our store match-ups to get a better idea of how you can use these wonderful little blessings.
Don’t Shop Hungry
It might sound silly, but I promise you it’s not. Shopping while you’re hungry can influence not only the amount of food you purchase, but the types of foods you purchase. This is a new year. If you want to stay on track, you can’t set yourself up for defeat by going to the grocery store with a rumbling tummy. Grab a bag of trail mix, a granola bar, a handful of almonds or cashews – anything that is going to help tide you over until you can make it to the store and back. I guarantee it will make a difference.
Mix It Up!
Don’t limit yourself to just one method of saving. There are so many fabulous ways to help keep more of your money in your pocket that it just makes good sense to combine them. Use coupons, rewards and sale prices together whenever possible and I promise you that you will start to see a huge difference in what you spend while shopping – providing you don’t spend what you save on something you really don’t need.