Bargain hunting is in my blood. I learned how to be a thrifty shopper from a very early age. I learned from the beginning that coupons were a necessity when shopping. In fact, when I was 2 1/2 and I wanted a play golf set I cut out a picture from the Service Merchandise catalog and gave it to my grandpa telling him I had a coupon. Yes, I wasn't even 3 and I was already clipping "coupons" and trying to save a few bucks!
I shop a lot (compared to some people), but in doing so I've learned a lot of ways to save money and get what I want. I thought I'd share a few of my best tips to save money and get the things you want! My biggest rule in shopping is that I don't pay full price!
- Shop often. This sounds counterproductive, but shopping often gets you out there more to find the best deals. I've learned the sale patterns and what items sell fastest by popping into my favorite stores often. Once you learn these patterns you can figure out what's worth waiting for and what you may want to jump on purchasing before it's gone. It's also good to pop into stores during the week, when the selection is sometimes best. Many stores run mid-week specials that can be better than deals you may find on weekends.
- Be friendly and talk to the sales associates. I think this one comes naturally to be, but I chat with the sales associates at my favorite stores. Building this relationship is not only fun, but can be really helpful if you need help locating an item of being in the know with discounts. (This is how I scored my part-time job! I also got to chatting with one of the girls at Gap about teaching and found that she was looking for a teaching job... I was able to help get her an interview and she now teaches at my school!)
- Consider store cards (but proceed with caution). I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about opening store credit cards. I don't recommend getting many, but check into the perks that come along with the cards at your favorite stores. My Gap card has great rewards (and can be used at Gap, BR, and ON), free shipping online, and a lot of additional discounts. If you can exercise self-control, some cards can be really rewarding. (Don't apply for too many, though, as just applying for lots of cards can hurt your credit.)
- Shop in store, when possible. It's not much of a secret that prices in stores many times go lower than those online. I hate paying shipping, so I try to shop in store whenever I can. Many stores also offer free shipping if you place an order there at the store.
- Look for deals online. (I know, I just told you to shop in store... Hear me out.) For shopping online I love using Ebates because I can search for promo codes and get cash back. (Click here for my referral link.) I typically only shop online from stores that I don't have locally, but on some occasions the online promos can be better than in store. (Hello, Cyber Monday!) A lot of stores also carry online exclusive styles that can be great finds as well.
- Subscribe to your favorite stores on e-mail and Facebook. I have an e-mail account that is pretty much just for the types of e-mails. I get a lot each day, but automatically delete them unless it's a store I know I'm interested in getting something from. That way I'm less tempted by random sales, but still stay in the know. Facebook is another great way to learn about deals and get in on Facebook fan exclusive deals. (Banana Republic did a one day 50% sale for their Facebook fans!)
What are your best tips to looking great and saving money?
I'd love to hear your tips, tricks, and hints!