I received a book, titled Good Deals & Smart Steals
written by the experts of Good Housekeeping Research Institute. The back cover summarizes the book as follows:
“Whether you want to cut back on expenses or simply love a great bargain, Good Deals & Smart Steals will show you how to get what you want for less -- without sacrificing quality. Reap big rewards while living well with hundreds of money saving tips..."
The book is meant to be a guide that shows you “how to save money on everything” and targeted to consumers who are on a tight budget, want to cut back on expenses, or those who simply love a bargain. I’m a snug fit into the latter group so I decided to give it a look-see. As a savvy bargain shopper, I didn’t find anything earth-shattering or new, but I did tab a few pages of interesting tidbits to share. From the people at Good Housekeeping, here are a few shopping strategies:
Get a lower price buy combining coupons, rebates, sales, and other discounts at the same time. For example: join the store’s mailer list to receive coupons, shop "one day only" sales, research to see if the item has a rebate, then use a cash back credit card or website (ebates.com
), and save on shipping by ordering online and shipping to the store.
Retail store shopping tips
- Find deals with an online shopper that shops over 250 designers/stores for you. You can tailor the search to your preference of item(s), store, brand name, size, price, % off, etc. and receive email alerts (daily or weekly) when the “shopper” finds items that meet your criteria. I use this site and I love it, so email me for a referral link.
- Always review the clearance page of your favorite online retailers.
- Always ask for a price adjustment if the price changes a few days later.
- Find bargains with pricegrabber.com and nexttag.com. Both offers coupons, rebates, email price alerts, and price histories to show you how much the item has been discounted already.
- Pay with a credit card. Your debit card doesn’t protect you if the website goes under. With a cc, you may get your money back.
- Only shop at secure sites. Look for the locked padlock.
- Always do a Google search when something needs repair or isn’t working properly. You may be able to fix it yourself or find that a small piece needs replacing, rather than the entire item.
- Buy cleaning supplies and package goods from dollar stores (like dollargeneral.com, dollartree.com, and familydollar.com). Their low operating costs and shelves filled with overstocked items keep prices low.
- Don’t forget the $1 spot at Target. The items are changed every six to eight weeks, so keep an eye out.
- When shopping wholesale, buy in bulk with a friend.
- Shop yard sales and flea markets early in the morning before items are picked over or late in the day when prices have dropped. Search for off season items.
- Get rid of things you don’t want or get things you need at these places: Freecylce.org, Earth911.org.