This is a guest post by Mike Collins, who is obsessed with building sustainable streams of income online and achieving financial freedom so he can live life to the fullest with his wife and three amazing children. Read more about his adventures at WealthyTurtle.com.
Are you looking to save some money and trim your expenses without having to deprive yourself of the things you really enjoy?
Below are five simple tips that savvy shoppers use to get the most out of their money. Some are tried and true methods that will never go out of style, while others take advantage of new technology to help save money.
Shop Fee-Free at Costco
Most people don’t know this, but there is a way to avoid paying the Costco membership fee while still taking advantage of their low prices. Just ask a friend who is already a member to purchase some cash cards for you. Their website plainly states that “members and non-members may use the cash cards to shop at any Costco location”.
Never Forget Your Loyalty Cards Again
Some stores require a scannable loyalty card in order to take advantage of sale prices. They’re kind of a pain because they either fill up your wallet or turn your keys into some kind of medieval weapon, and if you forget them you’re stuck paying full price.
No more. Just download the free Cardstar app for your smart phone and you can store all of your membership and rewards cards right on your phone. And since most of us take our phones with us everywhere we go, you won’t have to worry about getting to the register and realizing you left your keys at home.
Compare Prices on the Spot
No smart phone is complete without an app that can scan barcodes and compare prices. The one I use is called Red Laser and it has saved me money on more than one occasion. Just scan the barcode of any item and then see what price other retailers (online and offline) are charging. It even compares prices locally so you can see if the store down the road has the same item cheaper.
Ask for a Discount
Some people are just born to negotiate and haggle over the price of everything from a new car to a pack of socks. Other people just pay full price without even thinking of trying to haggle. But there is a happy medium.
Whenever you’re making a large purchase, simply ask if there is any flexibility in the price. You’d be surprised how often that works. Just recently I was shopping for a new gas grill for the backyard and when I asked the salesman if he could give me a discount he took $50 off the price.
Purchase a Floor Model
A few years ago I worked part time at a baby furniture store. The store would regularly rotate the styles of cribs and dressers as new models came out, and whenever we stopped carrying a piece of furniture we’d mark down the floor model by at least 20 percent.
Many customers refused to even look at the floor models, but there were a few who kept an eye on the clearance section and waited for the piece they wanted to get marked down. They knew they could save at least 20 percent on a $500 dresser (and more if they were nice since we had the authority to offer another 15 percent off to make room for the newer models.
Obviously you need to take your time and carefully inspect any floor models before buying. Minor scratches or dings can be overlooked, but if there is anything seriously damaged or if there is a safety hazard you should pass.
Do you have any savvy shopping tips to share?