Whether purchasing items big or small, most savvy shoppers are always looking for smart ways to save money. With these simple steps, you can shop smarter and save money today. Being more aware of your spending will help pad your wallet and manage your expenses. Follow these six tips and you'll be sure to save.
01Get Money Back When Prices Drop
The first action towards saving is to review what you've already purchased and see if you can earn money back. A great way to do this is with Paribus. Simply put, Paribus is a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It's free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you've purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item's price and help you get a refund if there's a price drop. Once you use Paribus, you'll be saving money on both purchases from the previous 30 days and future purchases. Sign up now for free!
02Use Coupons & Savings Cards
Next, pay attention to coupons and start to use them. Store savings cards are often tied to store coupons and offer free registration; get one for any store you frequent. Even if you don't clip coupons the old-fashioned way, sign up for in-store coupons, check circulars, and register for email-based coupons. If you like receiving email coupons but find the volume overwhelming, create a separate email address or make a folder in your email account for all coupons. File them all there. You'll save money, stay organized, and have easy access to in-store savings whenever you need it.
03Befriend a Salesperson
When shopping in stores, it's beneficial to become a regular customer and even befriend a salesperson. They might fill you in on upcoming discounts, sales events, or special coupon offers. Some stores offer "friends and family" discounts and encourage salespeople to share at their discretion. Additionally, if you are eyeing a certain item and know the salesperson, they may be able to set the item aside and allow you to delay the purchase until an upcoming sale.
In the same vein, if you can, shop local. Often, local stores will offer better prices and are more likely to provide assistance or a generous return policy if something goes wrong with your purchase. Being part of a community means knowing the people who live, and work, there and patronizing the shops near you.
05Use Credit Card Points
Another way to shop smart is to maximize credit card points. With many credit cards, you can acquire credit card points for most purchases. Some categories will yield higher points at different times of the year. Pay attention to these promotions. If you are planning on purchasing a big-ticket item and have some timing flexibility, you may earn extra points if you can buy during the promotion. Another route is to use credit card points to purchase your items. You've earned these points and while they aren't necessarily "free money," you won't be paying additional money for what you're buying.
06Ask for a Discount
Finally, a simple way to save is to ask for a discount. It doesn't hurt to ask. Many stores will sell floor models, previous years' merchandise, slightly damaged, or overstock items for a discount. These are not often advertised on sale, but by simply asking and showing interest in purchasing, a store or salesperson may be able to provide a discount.
The key to shopping smarter is being aware of your choices and then learning how to save. With a tool like Paribus, you can earn savings from online purchases and with a budget and savings goals, you'll shop smarter in the future. For continued motivation, keep track of your expenses and your savings in a monthly budget. By seeing the money in and out as dollars and not just tossed credit card receipts, you'll be motivated to save and become a savvier shopper.