For many people, shopping is a relaxing and fun experience. But, then again, the thrill of finding a cute dress or limited edition book is enhanced when you can find these items while saving money.
Fortunately, you can always take advantage of any number of shopping hacks regardless of industry and what you’re looking to purchase. With that in mind, here are five great shopping hacks to save money this year.
1. Do a Little Comparison Shopping
To get the best deal on any item you plan to buy, you may have to invest some time comparison shopping. Some retailers may offer clearance sales to get rid of overstocked merchandise, while others may simply offer the item at a lower price. Depending on whether you’re after a new book or computer, the product you’re looking for may include different customization options available through one retailer but not another. That’s why it’s best to do your homework and shop around before committing to any purchase.
2. Find and Use Coupon Codes
Browse any number of online coupon code websites, but know not all of them are created equal. Stick to reputable coupon sites with verifiable reviews, or use a retailer’s own website. Sites like Ebates.com or Coupons.com can provide current discount codes that save you time and money. Many online retailers, even those with brick-and-mortar locations, will have a coupons/discounts page on their website, so look there first before committing to any purchase.
3. Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales
Retailers tend to run seasonal sales on various products, so shopping around toward the end of a busy season can translate to huge savings for you. For example, clothing retailers will overhaul their racks and displays in the spring to feature shorts and T-shirts, and then will do the same come fall to feature jeans and sweaters.
Meantime, car manufacturers try to clear out current year models at the end of the summer to make room for next year’s vehicles. By following trends and taking advantage of seasonal sales, you can often snag some steep discounts on items that need to be moved to make room for newer merchandise.
4. Use e-Commerce Marketplaces
Using e-commerce websites like Groupon and LivingSocial is a great way to find just about anything without breaking the bank. From tickets to sporting events and concerts to clothing, electronics, household goods and more, you’re bound to snag some steep discounts on goods and services that you would otherwise pay for at full price.
While sites like Groupon or LivingSocial are available to the public and offer discounts for a limited time, others can only be accessed with a paid membership or through an employer partner. Check with your employer to see if your employee benefits include memberships to e-commerce sites, then register for an account and start racking up the savings.
5. Purchase Versatile Items
Although trendy items may be in style for the moment, it’s often the versatile, timeless pieces that you will still be using years after you purchase them. For example, if you’re planning to revamp your wardrobe this year, find classic apparel that will allow you to mix and match with other pieces to round out your new ensemble.
For instance, buying a new, little black dress can make you look and feel great, and you can dress it up or down depending on the season or occasion. By investing in items that will serve a long-term purpose, you can save money by not having to replace them every season — and your wallet will thank you.
Creative Shopping Hacks Save Money
If you enjoy shopping regularly, incorporate these savings hacks into your routine. Whether you’re searching for a $40 dress or a $40,000 automobile, planning ahead with these creative shopping strategies is sure to save you money.