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Save Money By Simply Asking

Updated on October 28, 2013

Save Money By Simply Asking

I enjoy writing about and discovering the myriad of ways to save money, but what about one of the easiest ways, just asking?

I am sure anyone who is looking for ways to save money has heard this. Some may call it bargaining or negotiating in places that are not traditionally settings for negotiation, such as box stores or restaurants.

If you can bring yourself to do it, it never hurts to ask. Simple questions like:

- Are there any sales or discounts?

- Are there any specials?

- Can you make an exception?

- Can you ask your manager?

The worst you are going to hear is no, then you have your answer. But there are other things you can ask for that can save you a lot of money if you know where to look. I will give you a couple personal examples.

In college I used to clean an office building that had a dentist office, an oral surgery office and an eye clinic. My job was to come in after hours and change the garbage, take out the cardboard and vacuum.

One night I was taking out the cardboard and the eye clinic left an unopened box for me to throw away. Upon opening it there was an entire case of travel sized contact solution bottles and cases. The next day I called the office building manager and asked if that was a mistake and they said not at all, they get boxes like that each month and do not need that many. Being a contact wearer myself I asked if it would be ok if I took them instead of throwing them away, and the office manager did not mind at all.

Over the next 6 months while I cleaned that office building, I kept a few of those boxes. My wife and I both wear contacts. We have not bought contact solution or cases in over 3 years!

We also collected a couple of the same types of boxes of toothpaste from the oral surgery office, and floss from the dental office.

My point is, businesses are constantly receiving promotional items to use or give to customers. They do not have to use it, and many do not, or they give it to their employees and throw the rest away. I worked for a restaurant for a summer and they got all sorts of beer glasses and coasters from different brands they didn’t even carry, so I have a couple pretty unique beer mugs and a lifetime supply of coasters for our home.

So how do you save money?

Again, if you are willing to ask, the options are endless. Go to your dentist office and ask if they ever get extra toothpaste or floss. Ask your eye clinic if they have extra contact solution. While at your localwatering hole ask if they have glasses or SWAG they do not use just sitting in back.

Local or small businesses will have more flexibility and opportunity with this type of stuff.

It all depends on your comfort level, and how much you desire or use the product.

Even if a store is using a product, they turn it over every few months. If you really like a poster, ask a manager if instead of them throwing it out you can come back and get it when they change it.

I went to the movie “300” during one of its last days in theaters, I mentioned out loud to my friends how cool the poster was, the manager overheard me and gave me an extra one he had in back from a theater that used to play it but they took it down to put in a new movie.

Bottom line is that there is no harm in asking, and who knows, you may just not have to buy a product for a long time!

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    • mathair profile image

      mathair 5 years ago from Ireland

      So true - I have also heard that if the store assistant refuses a discount with a smirk, then you just need to try a little bit harder. Walk towards the door and tell him you can get it cheaper elsewhere. (Of course this is only on a large purchase ie a sofa or a bed)

    • Zabbella profile image

      Zabbella 5 years ago from NJ-USA

      Good reading. Sounds like you have the Midas touch! voted up.

    • roanna profile image

      roanna 5 years ago from Virginia

      Great Advice!