Money-saving shopping tips to help you shop smarter, not harder…and save some extra cash in the process!
Goodness me, I love to shop. If you’ve read Dream in Lace before or have ever met me in person, I’m sure that will come as absolutely NO surprise whatsoever. But alas, it had to be said. My guess? You kind of like shopping too.
As shopping fanatics, it certainly would be nice to “shop till we drop” with an unlimited bank balance. But, that just simply isn’t the case for most of us now is it? No. In reality, the vast majority of us have to look at price points and keep an eye on our budget. And that’s where today’s post comes in: money-saving shopping tips to help you shop SMARTER…not harder.
Money-Saving Shopping Tips
In reality, there’s absolutely no way we can eliminate shopping from our lives.
We’ve already established the likelihood that anyone who lands on this post has a love of shopping already. On the off chance you don’t, though, I think you’ll agree shopping is a fundamental part of life. As long as you’re living, there will be household supplies to be bought, groceries, clothing, appliances, furniture, makeup…you name it.
Given that it’s always my goal to be as useful as possible to my readers, today I’m sharing some money-saving shopping tips I’ve picked up over the years. From using your AMEX cards Canada to earn rewards to finding the best sales. Shopping can be fun and tactical. And I promise you, there is absolutely NO coupon cutting or mail-in-rebating required. (Do those still exist? Seems like an old-fashioned trend now that I mention it.)
The tips below I sincerely hope will help you shop smarter and save money in the future. And by all means, if you have any money-saving shopping tips of your own…please share them in the comments. We’re all in this together!
Be Patient, A Sale Will Come
Have you ever bought something full priced and then kicked yourself when you see it on sale about a week later? It’s like a punch to the gut. If you’re super efficient and haven’t used the item yet, you could return and purchase it again at the sale price…but another idea? Be a bit patient.
Many out there will tell you to absolutely never pay full price for something…and they’re not wrong. No matter what you’re in the market for, there’s bound to be a sale that comes up shortly. Grocery stores and drugstores run weekly deals on basically every product in their vast inventories. Likewise, long holiday weekends or “just because” sales spring up on fashion/beauty sites all the time. Take J.Crew or LOFT for example, both routinely run site-wide sales at 30, 40 or even 50% off. That means, if you don’t have an immediate need for a certain article of clothing…it’s in your best interest to wait a while and see if a sale comes up.
*Bonus* If you add items to your cart and don’t complete the sale — many retailers will follow up with an email to you offering a savings right then and there just to entice you to finish your purchase. That’s one of my most favorite money-saving shopping tips because it truly feels like you’re getting an exclusive special deal. And we all love to feel special!
The Cartwheel App for Target
For years now, I’ve heard that Cartwheel app mentioned again and again as one of the best money-saving shopping tips out there. Silly me, though, was a clearly skeptic as it wasn’t until December of last year that I FINALLY got around to installing it on my phone. We all know Target is one of those stores where it’s SO EASY to overspend…so think of the Cartwheel app as an Ace in your back pocket to help you get the very best deals you can while you’re there.
How does it work? You simply log into the app with your Target.com username/password and look over the current sale offerings. You can browse deals by category (i.e. clothing, household items or beauty) OR look all the offerings at once. Scrolling through, you’ll find direct digital coupons ranging from $1 to $5 off in instant savings to a percentage off a specific range of products. I’ve scored deals like $4 off my favorite body lotion, to 20% off No. 7 skincare products, 25% off my favorite vegan pizzas and a whole lot more.
When making a Target run, I simply look at the Cartwheel app to check for any promotions on items I need before heading into the store. From household cleaning supplies to toiletries and workout gear, you’ll find deals on virtually every range of product Target carries. (They even have savings on books!) Once you locate an offer that interests you, simply tap the + button and it will be added to your account. Then, in the checkout lane the cashier will be able to scan the Cartwheel barcode generated by the app on your phone and *badda boom* your shopping total will come down!!
On my average trip to Target, I’m saving around $15 to $20 with the Cartwheel app…which can really add up fast!
Comparison Shop to Find the Best Deals
When shopping for products that are available from multiple retailers (i.e. electronics, designer clothes, furniture, etc.), it definitely PAYS to do a little comparison research online to find the best price. One way to do this would be to specifically check prices on Amazon, Best Buy, etc. But that takes time. A better option? Take advantage of comparison shopping sites that will do the work for you.
Take CapitalOne’s WikiBuy for example. You can quickly search a product you’re interested in buying and compare prices from around the internet at the click of a button. This is super handy as it literally just takes a second and will save you from having to hunt around a bunch of different retailers. Also, of course, it will help you save some cash.
For example, let’s pretend you want to buy a new iPad. On WikiBuy you’ll be able to compare prices at Best Buy, Amazon, Staples, Walmart, etc. to find the best deal. Have a specific store in mind for shopping? You can also look up current promotions from a massive list of retailers such as Madewell, Topshop or ASOS (just to name a few).
Stock Up on Seasonal Basics Ahead of Time
Truth be told, a classic white v-neck tee is going to cost you a lot more at the start of summer…than it will at its end. Same goes for seasonal staples like turtlenecks, coats, swimsuits and more. One area I really stunk at in college was economics, but even I understand the laws of supply and demand will work in your favor here.
When it comes to those items you know you’re going to need, plan ahead and take advantage of end-of-season clearance sales to stock up in advance on those basics. At the end of winter, buy yourself a classic peacoat and stow it away till fall. You’re always going to need basic shorts in your wardrobe. Find a good price at the end of summer? Pick those up hide them away till the weather turns nice again. Seasonal basics like these are timeless and really don’t have a lot of design changes season after season. So, be smart and buy them when they’re at their lowest price!
On Makeup: Shop Directly from the Brand
Obviously we all love one-stop beauty shopping at Ulta, Sephora and department stores…but that won’t get you the best price. One of my most favorite money-saving shopping tips? To shop directly from the brand in question for makeup and skincare.
It’s actually kind of funny to me, but truth be told: there was a time I didn’t know this was even possible. I used to stock up on all my Philosophy skincare and bath products at Nordstrom, paying full-price 100% of the time. Then, one day I learned that Philosophy actually has their own site and routinely hosts their own sales at 20, 30 or even 40% off. Same goes for Aveda, Lancome, Tarte…the list goes on and on!
Figuring out beauty brands have their own websites with their own (more frequent) sales was a big “aha” moment for me. It seemed so obvious that I’m surprised it took me a while to figure that out…and yet I talk to so many people who didn’t know it was possible either. Sure, we can all wait around for Sephora’s rare VIB sale to save on beauty. But for a much quick bang for your buck? I suggest going directly to the source to save the most money.
Hopefully today’s post helped you discover some money-saving shopping tips you hadn’t thought of before. Obviously there are standby favorites like using coupons, but in 2019 that does seem a bit passe doesn’t it? Taking advantage of store apps, online sales and price comparison websites are great modern ways of putting technology to use to help you shop smarter.
Please let me know if you have any money-saving tips hanging up your sleeve! I’m sure you love shopping every bit as much as I do and would love to hear your ideas on how to save money wherever you can.
Bonus? If you have a gym membership, this post discusses how to get the most out of your membership fee and even earn gift cards to Macy’s, Amazon, iTunes and more.
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