Practical ways to live better on less.
We all love shopping, however, sometimes it is hard when you are on a strict budget. You don’t want to resort to credit cards, but you don’t want to forgo the purchases either. I have come up with some helpful tips to find the best deals at your favorite stores. I have used all these strategies myself over the years and they have really helped me to continue shopping while on a budget.
10 Ideas for Shopping on a Budget
1. Sign up for email clubs – One of the fastest and easiest ways to find coupons is by signing up for a store’s email list. For example, Michael’s gives you a coupon for 40% off one regular price item when you sign up for their club. This is a fantastic way to save a ton of money on your purchase. I recently bought a crafting project which was originally priced at $50 for only $25!
2. Check the weekly ads – This strategy will help you decide what you want before you enter the store and also give you the opportunity to check out prices beforehand. Make sure to get to the store early if there is any chance that the product might sell out. In addition, I always compare online prices to the weekly ad special prices. Sometimes, the items are still cheaper online. Make sure to take the time to compare!
3. Search the clearance bins – You can often find a few end of the season steals by browsing the clearance bins. This is also a great place for finding “as is” merchandise. I once found a nice coat that had a tiny scuff mark being offered at a huge discount, and I was easily able to remove the stain at home. Saving 20 bucks for something I fixed in 10 minutes at home: yes please!
4. Check Retail Me Not – You can often find valuable promo codes to use for online purchases. I always check Retail Me Not before making any online purchase! It would be wasteful not to take the 10 seconds to check. Why pay more if there is a coupon code available?!
5. Shop at the end of the season – This applies to almost every industry: clothing, holiday, sporting goods. All of these items are going to be cheaper at the end of the season when they are clearing their racks for new merchandise. Take advantage of the deals and you will be set for next year.
6. Be on the lookout for town rummage/garage sales – I love spending the weekends finding great rummage sales. Just browse through your local newspaper or on the bulletin boards at local stores for details on upcoming sales. You can always walk away with a few great deals at these sales. I usually search for holiday decor, cookware, and books, all of which are offered at fantastic prices. You can often bargain with the sellers, walking away with an even better deal. Plus, spending the day at a sale is much more fun that browsing boring websites online.
7. Follow Twitter and Facebook – Keep up to date with all the social media accounts of your favorite stores. They will often post special deals and promotions exclusively for followers. Oftentimes, a simple like will allow you to access special coupons.
8. Don’t make impulse purchases – Go into the store knowing what you want and just that. Don’t pick up a bunch of extra trash on your way out. Decide on a budget at the beginning of each month – and stick to it!
9. Wait to buy movies and electronics until Black Friday – I usually hold off on most of my movie purchases until Black Friday each year. This is the best time of the year for deals on electronics. You might as well wait and spend some extra money around this time, rather than paying more throughout the year.
How do you continue shopping while on a budget? Share some of your best strategies below!