Between groceries, stocking up on daily essentials like toothpaste and shampoo, or making household purchases like new furniture or the latest laptop, our lives revolve around shopping. Figuring out how to save money on all those purchases can seem daunting. Thankfully, adopting just a few simple shopping habits makes it easy to shop smarter and save!
Buy Generic. Many generic and store brands contain the exact same ingredients as their name brand counterparts and are almost indistinguishable in taste, performance, and/or quality. They are priced cheaper because they are not advertised and marketed like the big name brands. For products that are regulated, such as medicine and staples like sugar and flour, there is little reason to not buy generic.
Buy based on unit price. Check your shelf tags. At the grocery store, the price tag underneath each product will list the “unit price” of the item, which is the price per measurement (ie – price per pound, ounce, liter, etc.) A product might be sold in various sizes. Choosing the package with the lowest unit price ensures you are getting the best bang for your buck.
Buying on markdown. Many shoppers are unaware that almost every item you see in a store will eventually be marked down to move it off the shelves and out the door. Online retailers do the same thing to make room for new product or to sell through overstock. Sites like BrickSeek.com find these marked down deals and tell you where to find them locally or where to buy them online. Stocking up on discounted daily essentials or buying that next big ticket item at half price can quickly add up to real savings.
Use a coupon. It is so easy to save money using coupons, and they are so readily accessible online. Gone are the days of clipping paper inserts out of the newspaper (although you can still find them there, too!). Many retailers today have e-coupons you can load straight to your store rewards cards or save to your phone. Coupons.com is a great source for manufacturer’s coupons, and new savings are posted constantly. If you know you’re going to be buying a particular product your next run to the store, check to see if you can save a few bucks by using a coupon.
Use a store credit card. Many of the stores in which we already do our daily shopping offer their own credit cards with savings that are applied with every swipe. Target’s REDcard, for example, automatically applies a 5% discount to almost all purchases. If you’re already a regular Target shopper, the savings can add up in no time.
Author: Bethany Hollars, Money Saving Expert from BrickSeek.com