Price Slashing: How to Buy More for Less
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
Where's My Money Going?
Today's economic conditions have wreaked havoc on everything from gas prices to public school budgets. Most families now require both the husband and wife to work jobs outside of the home to manage their debts. Some people are taking on more debt than they can manage, instead of living frugally.
Take a look at our Social Security benefits for retirement, for example. Have you ever wondered if our next generation will have these benefits available when it is their turn to retire? I worry they might not be available when I am going to need then.
With that being said, every opportunity a person can find to save a few dollars is a great opportunity. Cautious shopping can save more money.
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1) Look for clearance sales. At the end of season and after holidays, many items are put on sale in clearance sales, and if you wait long enough to make purchases, you can buy products for up to 80% or 90% off the original retail price. I collect Victorian houses and figurines and put them on display at Christmas time. Walgreen's is a store in my town that sells these every year, and I shop for more houses and figurines a few weeks after Christmas, when stock reaches 90% off. After season products are excellent buys. You can buy winter clothing in the spring during a clearance sale for a fraction of the original price.
2) Buy in bulk. I keep an eye on sales ads, and there are many products that routinely go on sale. For example, I like to buy better quality household supplies, laundry soap, and health and beauty supplies. Once every couple months, my local grocery store will have Tide laundry soap on sale for a few dollars of the original price. When this happens, I will buy in bulk to last until the next sale. Some sales are decent, and others are carry major savings. Those are the sales I watch for. However, a word of caution is pay attention to the sales. Sometimes, buying in bulk is cheaper. I use the calculator on my phone and figure out the cost per individual role of toilet paper that is on sale. If it is less expensive to buy the sales item over the bulk case of toilet paper, I will buy the one on sale.
3) Coupons. Clipping coupons is another excellent way to save money. There are several websites that offer free coupons that you can print and use at most store. My local grocery store offers double coupon days, and coupons up to 50 cents off will be doubled up to $1.00 off. This is especially effective on sales items. There have been times when I have found items on clearance racks for 90% off the original price. Sometimes, when you have coupons for these products, the store will end up having to pay you back because the savings from the sale and coupons adds up to more money than the cost of the product itself.
4) Rebates. Many retail stores offer in-store and mail-in rebates. Sometimes, the stores off multiple products with a mail-in rebate, allowing the consumer to mail in all the rebates at once, saving on postage. They would then receive one check instead of multiples. Sometimes, rebates can save a consumer quite a bit of money, especially if the purchased item was on sale, too.
5) Watch for wrong prices on consumer goods. Once, I was looking in the toy department at Meijer, and I found kites on sale. I bought three kites; one kite was $5.00, and the other two were $3.50. I spent a couple hundred dollars on my purchase and did not notice that they charged me full price for two of the kites. I realized this once I got in my car and checked my receipt. So, I took the kites and receipt back into the store. They had to refund the difference between what I paid and the sale price. On top of that money, Meijer also had to pay me $5.00 per kite because they were priced wrong. So, the end result was Meijer paid me $1.50 per kite to take them off their hands. I gained $40 worth of kites for a total of $2.00. Check the local laws in your state regarding how stores handle wrongly priced products.
6) Be careful with credit cards. I do not like credit cards. If you can pay for products with cash, this is a better idea than using credit cards. The only time credit cards are handy is for emergencies. If you are someone who pays off the balance each month, then credit cards are not as bad. The interest on some credit cards is outrageous. A credit card with a high balance draws interest, and you are lucky if half of your payment is actually going to the principal amount.
7) Pay cash for an automobile or pay on time? I am not a fan of car payments, either. I buy used cars and drive them until they cannot drive anymore. Once, I bought a mini-van from a friend for $175. I drove it for a year and a half, with few maintenance costs. I was only required to carry PLPD insurance instead of full coverage, which save me almost $150 a month in car insurance. When it was no longer able to drive down the road, I took it to the junkyard and turned it in for scrap metal. The junkyard paid me $310 for the van. So, I gained $135 from that car purchase.
These methods of saving money are just a few ways to make this happen. There are more methods you can use, but it would take another article to write about those, as they involve banking procedures, mortgages, and retirement accounts. Try these methods. You could save enough money to pay for the majority of your next Christmas.
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