I have become such a deal addict that whenever I need to make a purchase, I go through my mental list and see what will work for this purchase. Once you start saving, it’s hard to stop. Here is a list that may help you.
- Refer a friend program – This usually works for services like pest control or cellphone service. We started using the yard pest control that our neighbors use and by doing so, we both received $25 restaurant gift cards.
- Online coupon search – If you’re headed to a specific store, do a quick search online and see if there is an IPQ you can get. I found many of these during the holidays because everyone wants your business.
- Club rewards - This ties in with the internet printable coupons above. If you don’t have any luck with a search, check the store or restaurant website. If you sign up to receive e-mail notifications, you may get special coupons or rewards. Sometimes you may get a sneak peak of sales before the general public does.
- Competitor coupons – Check to see if stores you frequent take competitor coupons. You may be surprised how many do. Craft stores, hardware stores and some grocery stores.
- Coupon doubling - There are some grocery stores that will double a manufacturing coupon up to a certain amount.
- Discount shopping day - Some stores offer discounts for shopping on a specific day of the week. Bealls, here in Florida, often offers 15% off if you shop on a Wednesday.
- Kids eat free – If you have kids and love to eat out, you should have a list handy so you know which restaurants to go to on what night. These are typically offered during the week when the restaurants are slower. Kids Meal Deals is a great website to find participating restaurants in your area.
- Senior discount – This may not apply to everyone but you should be aware of days or times when stores offer them. You never know when you will want to go shopping with family and maybe they will benefit from your knowledge.
- Early bird specials - Shop or eat early and you just may save. Kohl’s occasionally offers discounts for shoppers during specific days or times. Some restaurants also offer discounts if you come before their rush hours.
- Secret shopping - You could possibly get paid to eat out or shop at your favorite store. Check back for information on secret shops I’ve done and how you can do them too.
- Company discounts – Can you get a discount based off the company you work for? Recently when we signed up for our cellphone service, we where happily surprised that we would get 5% off our monthly bill because of where my husband works.
- Price shop - Many folks price shop stores in their area, but you should also price shop online. Many online “stores” can offer lower price because the have low overhead. The majority of the time you can also get free shipping. Who wouldn’t want to shop in your PJ’s and have it delivered right to your door? I took advantage of many of these offers during the holidays.
- Price matching - Many stores will price match the lower advertised price at a competitor store. hhgregg recently told us they would price match and take 10% off the difference. So if you are one of those people who don’t like online shopping, there is no reason you still can’t benefit from a lower internet advertised price.
- Price adjusting – WHAT! The TV you just bought yesterday is now $50 less today? There is nothing more frustrating than opening the Sunday paper and seeing your previous purchase at a lower price. This is one of the questions I now ask stores. Most of them will price adjust within 30 days of your purchase. Over the holidays, I price shopped a toy for my daughter. Target had it on sale for the lowest price I had seen AND I had a coupon. I bought it and 2 weeks later they lowered the price again. I went in for a price adjustment and they told me they do not do those. I was relatively new to deal-shopping then and knew I had made a newbie error by not knowing this ahead of time. Well, I went out to the car and retrieved the item and returned it. I just happened to still have one of those coupons I used on the previous purchase, so I went to the toy section and bought it again at the lower price. What? You wouldn’t do the same?
- Thrift store shopping - This is usually a hit or miss for me. But with an open mind and an imagination, you may get lucky. Check back for details on my latest find.
- Garage sales – This is also a hit or miss for me. It’s so much fun when you find something, and there’s nothing like a little outdoor shopping. Last summer, I found an under-the-cabinet TV for my kitchen. It was brand new in the box, and I never would have splurged on an item like this at full price.
- Shop with a list – If you go with a list, you are less likely to impulse buy.
The number one tip I can give you is to have patience. Ironically, I don’t have a lot of that. Nevertheless I’m learning, and I have a strong desire to save my family money. If you have any tips you’d like to share, please leave a comment.