So you want to find the best deals and get more from your hard-earned cash? Who doesn’t, right? Well, you’ve come to the right place for some quick and easy tips on how to save money the next time you go shopping.
First, we’ll start with the most important thing to understand: if you figure out when sales are happening and wait for the right time to buy, you can stretch your purchasing dollars by a huge factor. You can even make it a game to try to get the same item your friends rushed to buy the first day it came out for a whole lot less.
Read this step-by-step guide on how to shop for sale items in only 5 Steps!
Step 1. Do your RESEARCH!
Shopping for sale items requires some work unless you just happen to walk into a store with luck and find all these remarkable deals. Depending what kind of stuff you’re looking for, the best bet is to check store websites and use store apps to find the best sales. Many stores will post their weekly ads and flyers right online, so you don’t have to depend on newspaper inserts to find your deals.
I am a lover of the Flipp app. You can do searches on what you’re looking for and circle them directly on your mobile device. You can compare prices and it will compile a list of everything you circled in any ad. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to find deals on groceries!
Step 2. Find out their mark down schedule
Every retailer has a markdown policy, even if it’s not revealed to the public. For example, Target fans have identified an unofficial mark down schedule which seems to hold true for a lot of stores, including specific days where certain types of items go on sale. Things will be on clearance for about a week or two and most of the time the price will go down again, and the clearance sticker seems to hold clues as to whether the price will drop again or not.
Macy’s works in a similar way. It’ll start off with 25% off and then 50% off. The best thing to do for the best deals at Macy’s is to wait until their One Day Sale, which happens every month. If you absolutely can’t wait to purchase something at your local Macy’s, find out if they do price adjustments or accept competitor’s coupons.
Be careful when researching markdown policies, as some vary from store to store within the same brand, and there is inaccurate data on the Internet about some of them.
Step 3. USE COUPONS!
I don’t know why some people are ashamed to use coupons – they are your best friends when looking for the best deals! Of course, read the exclusions and use them wisely.
Here is another trick regarding coupons: many stores will MATCH competitor coupons and special deals. They have got to be the same type of store — think Walmart and Target and Sears for instance, rather than some obscure website — but some will even price match Amazon prices…insane!
Step 4. Subscribe to Retailers’ Newsletters
Subscribing to retailer newsletters or “special offer” emails can save you lots of money with exclusive deals as well. Often, you will receive a coupon or code that won’t appear anywhere else this way.
These emails can get kind of out of hand, so I would recommend creating a separate email account for these kinds of things so they don’t clutter your inbox with tons of spam.
If you don’t feel like going through all the steps to create a new email address, you can always use Mailinator.com.
Step 5. Be REALISTIC and PATIENT.
This is the most important step of them all. Be realistic about what you buy and whether you need it or not. Teens buy a lot of stuff we really don’t need, so to save your money is a better choice most the time.
However, if you are going to buy, be patient and do so when items go on clearance or by using the tools above. It is understandable to feel like you have to buy something for fear of it being gone if you wait any longer (FOMO), but learn to play the sales game wisely. You’ll end up saving more and being happier at the end!
If you follow all the tips above and REALLY do your research, you’ll find what you’re looking for — with the best possible price tag on it.
Now that’s a sweet deal!
A few other things to try:
- Install the Ebates browser extensions, which helps you get cash back on online purchases.
- Use Honey browser extension to find the lowest price on Amazon and automatically apply coupon codes at checkout at many online retailer.
Kristen Marquez graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.