We’ve scoured the internet for some of today’s most strategic money-saving hacks. Whether you’re at the grocery store shopping for yogurt or at the mall on the hunt for a new pair of shoes, use our slick shopping hacks to save big.
Save Money When Shopping Online
Make an online account with your favorite retailer and add items on your wish list to your cart, but don’t checkout. Leave the items in your cart and wait for price drop alerts before you make a purchase. Target is a popular retailer that provides price drop alerts, easily allowing you to save big!
Price drop alerts are especially valuable when it comes to high dollar items. Imagine putting a $600 smart TV in your cart and receiving a price drop alert for $425 a week later. This tactic combined with your patience saved you nearly $200. If you prefer, create a separate email that you devote strictly to price drop alerts. This way your regular email isn’t flooded with promotions.
Don’t forget to check your email for sign-up coupons. Many retailers will send you a discount code simply for opening an account through their online site. You can combine your sign-up discount code with the price drop alert to maximize your savings.
Another way to save money online is to opt for free pick up at the store. Many retailers offer this service. You make a purchase online and instead of having it shipped to your house, you go to the store to pick it up. This eliminates having to pay shipping, and if you make several purchases through the retailer throughout the year, this can save a considerable amount of money.
Save Money at the Grocery Store
Always double check your receipt on any purchase you make. Double ringing items is a common mistake that costs you a lot of money. It’s also important to keep an eye out for items that don’t ring up correctly. Let’s say you go to the grocery to buy several boxes of cereal because they’re on sale. Once you get home, you discover you paid full price for the boxes. You’ll either have to make a trip back to the store for a price adjustment or eat the loss. You can avoid this by carefully watching the cash register when checking out.
While we’re on the topic of sale items, let’s talk about buying in bulk. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy a ton of it. Especially when it comes to food, buying too much of an item can lead to a huge loss of money — and a huge waste of food, too! Most foods don’t have an extremely long shelf life. If an item is marked four for $10, this doesn’t mean you have to buy four. Instead, ask a sales associate if you can apply the same discounted rate if you buy only two. Most times, the discounted price applies even if you’re buying only one item.
As far as meats, only buy when they’re on sale. You can use an app like Flipp to find the best sales prices on items at your local grocery store. Also, take a look at the different prices on different cuts of meat. Take boneless skinless chicken thighs for example: this meat is just as good as chicken breasts and a whole lot cheaper. The most notable tip to follow when going to the grocery store is to always eat before you go. If you go hungry, you’re almost guaranteed to overspend (or to snack).
Save Money at the Mall
The earlier you start shopping, the better your chances of saving money. Let’s say you’re shopping for a prom dress for your daughter. If you wait until the last two weeks before prom, you’re likely to spend much more on a dress for several reasons. First, dress stores mark up their prices right before prom. Secondly, everyone else is shopping for prom. This means even if you find a good deal, there’s little chance the dress will be the right size or style. If you start shopping early, you’ll have plenty of time to catch a dress on sale that your daughter absolutely loves.
Another way to save money at the mall is to use an app like Retail Me Not. You can do extreme coupon clipping with this app, making it super easy to save lots of money at checkout. Let’s say you take the kids back-to-school shopping at American Eagle. You walk up to the register with $400 worth of items. Using your Retail Me Not app, you pull up a 25% off discount code. That’s a savings of $100! (Pro-tip: Using the YouFirst app that comes with any YouFirst Checking account, you can get savings just like Retail Me Not that are guaranteed! Ask an associate for details.)
To save even more money, leave the shopping cart at the door. Ditching the cart and carrying around your items will help you avoid overspending. Not having a cart means you’re less likely to pick up impulse items and instead stick with the items that you actually need.
Lastly, take advantage of price adjustments. Take Victoria’s Secret for example: if you buy an item and it goes on sale within 14 days of your purchase date, you can take your receipt in for a price adjustment. Plenty of other stores offer the same deal, like Bath and Body Works, Land’s End, and JCPenney.