6 Money Saving Tips to Shop Smart

saving tipsWe’re all looking to shop without breaking the bank. Even if it’s just buying necessities, using money saving tips and being frugal, you still got to spend. I’ve compiled several tips that I use all the time to save without having to compromise on quality.

Coupons

You might have seen the TV show, extreme couponing. It was part of a realty series where housewives would collect newspapers from their neighbors, trash cans, and anywhere they could, just for the coupons. The goal was to buy $800.00 worth of groceries, while only dishing out $50.00 cash and the rest were coupons. This is very extreme (that’s what the show is called), but coupons are still a great way to shop smart.

Electronic coupons are available online.

There are several websites offering electronic coupons. Some of the coupons are universal and others are store specific. You just enter your club card number in the site, then whatever coupons qualify for your location will be automatically attached to your card. When you go grocery shopping items associated to the coupons on your card will automatically be discounted at the register.

Online Shopping

Online shopping is becoming much more popular because people are discovering hidden savings, and they feel online security has vastly improved. Smart shoppers are turning to the Amazon’s of the world for savings. These types of companies have developed streamline distribution systems and buy in bulk; these savings are passed on to the customer. Supplements/vitamins is another area where buying online can save consumers quite a bit of money.

There are also Groupon, Living Social and some cities have their own offers. Be sure to check. I’ve found some great local deals.

Online Banking

You may not consider banking as a money saving tip, but anywhere you can save is saving you money, and that’s smart. The hassle of stamps, writing checks, mail delivery delays, and posting errors becomes a thing of the past when you use online banking. Whatever stamps cost these days, 59 cents or something like that, is an instant savings when using online banking. You’ll have a record of your payments and if, just if an error is made in processing, the banks will cover all late charges and letters to vendors. There are just to many advantages to discard online banking as a savings tip.

Credit Card Rewards

Credit card companies are heavy into reward programs these days. There’s two keys to taking full advantage of these programs. First, be sure to payoff the balances each month. Second, find a reward program that fits your spending and reward objective. Credit card companies can afford to offer reward programs because the majority of card holders don’t payoff their balances. This is a proven marketing plan that more than covers the rewards handed out. A rewards program that gives you points for air travel is useless in the hands of someone who never travels. Make sure the rewards program fits your needs.

Budget

People cringe when we talk about personal budgets. Account is short for accountability, and this is one reason people don’t want to account for their budget. But if you want to save money, you have to know where your money is going. A budget will give you a picture of your expenditures. Cutting a little here and there won’t hurt your lifestyle, but it will save you hundreds of dollars monthly, and this is smart budgeting.

Ask for Discounts – Negotiate

Sure places like grocery stores are difficult to negotiate with, but here’s something to remember. Every store has a discount rack for expired items. I’ve found items where the expiration date was a few days away, I spoke with the clerk and asked if they could discount it, and in most cases they did…a quick saving for two minutes of work – not bad. Clothing stores, furniture stores, places like this are more open to negotiating prices, especially when you’re buying several items from them. The main thing to remember is – the worse thing they can say is…no.

Featured image by http://dribbble.com/Umar

Comments

  1. Great list John! Today we start our Christmas shopping. We have our list and budget and ready to go! For bigger purchases (electronics, etc) asking for a discount for paying with cash can get you another 3-5%).

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