Ways I Save Money (Part 1)
As most of my friends would tell you I am crazy frugal. I hate spending money and I love free stuff! It’s taken me a while to find some of the best resources, so I thought I might save you some time and share the best ideas I have found all in one place in a series of blog posts.
Some of the ideas are just things you may not have thought of. Others are things it’s taken me a while to figure out and I figured I should share the secret. I hope this is helpful to you and please feel free to comment with your favorite ways to save money.
In this post I’m going to focus on ways to save money with little work while your already in the store.
This is the first rule I was taught as a small child when I would go shopping with my mom and Grandma. The first thing you do after walking into the store after grabbing you store ad is look up and back. Looking up will help you notice sale and clearance signs. Many stores use yellow signs and balloons to grab your attention, but you have to be looking for it or else you will first be drawn to the full priced items that use fancy marketing and placement to get you to spend more money. Looking toward the back of the store or less popular areas of the store is also a good idea because marked down items are usually placed there to make room for new items. The major shopping center in my town moves clearance items to the area near the garden center. When I need something I go there first. My last tip about where to look is to check the bottom shelf. Usually the cheapest things are placed there because they are less likely to be seen than full priced items which are placed at eye level.
*Wait Till After the Season
Wait till after the season or holiday ends to buy items for next year. So many things are marked down the day after a holiday and this is the best time to pick up items you know you will be needing for the next year. The day after Christmas is the best day to get up early and head to your super store and pick up wrapping paper, holiday decorations, and toys for next year. After Christmas this year my sister in law picked up a train set for my nephew for next year. It was marked down 75%, a week later when we were in the toy department the same train set was back to full price at $50. She saved a large amount of money by knowing when to shop and being able to sit on things till the right time to give them away. Thank goodness for under the bed storage!
Another quick story about knowing when to buy, last year at the end of winter my favorite store marked down boots to $10. I picked up 3 pairs. This winter I had 3 brand new pairs of boots for the regular cost of 1. I have done the same thing this year with sandals. I got 3 new pairs for under $15!
*Keep a List for Fewer Trips
Keeping a running list of things as you run out of them will help you make fewer trips to the store, saving you gas. Saving gas is a big deal for me since I live pretty far from the store and gas is $3.75 a gallon right now. Having a list in hand also helps you not forget things, again saving you from having to make extra trips. Keeping a list will also help you with my next tip, price matching.
Know which stores price match. This is almost always helpful. When you get the ads in the mail on Sunday you can sit down and find the cheapest price and then go to one store and get everything in one trip instead of running from store to store to save a few cents. The only time this doesn’t save you the most money is if the store that price matches doesn’t double coupons, but double coupons is for another post. The time that price matching seems to save me the most is when I shop for electronics. Some stores will even price match online competitors, so it’s a good idea to look up store policies and know them.
My final tip for this blog post is to ALWAYS double check your receipt. Also watch as items are being scanned to make sure things are ringing correctly. I can’t even tell you how many times I have gotten the bounty law (which I have heard has changed recently, so please research this) because something was marked with one price and it rang up for more. I believe the old law was that they had to pay you up to 5 times the difference up to $5. I’m not sure what the law is now, but you can at least go and get a price adjustment. It might seems silly to wait in line to get a few cents back but it can add up. It always a good idea to make sure you are paying what you think you are.
I hope this post was helpful to you and look forward to a few more posts that will have similar content. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve to share!