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Never pay full price if you KNOW you can get it cheaper!

The season is changing.  It’s time to change the wardrobe and buy those few pieces to keep your wardrobe up to date. As you’re pulling out what you have, take a mental note of what you need.  Try on what you have, if something no longer fits, think of who you know who might fit it or make a pile for your local donation place like Good Will or Salvation Army.  From the winter, take a look at the things you did not wear and see if you actually see yourself wearing it next winter.  If you don’t think you will give it away or donate it.  Not sure what you wore this past winter, no problem.  I read about a method you can use for next season to see what you wear and what you don’t wear.  When hanging clothes in the closet face the hook towards the back of the closet, this might be how you normally hang your clothes.  After you wear something and wash it, when you rehang it have it face the opposite way.  A few weeks into the season you will start to see what you wear and what you don’t.  I also found it to be a reminder to wear the clothes that have not been worn yet.

Here are some simple rules I apply when shopping for anything:

  1. ALWAYS SHOP WITH COUPONS! Regardless of if we’re going out to buy a pair of pants, or a TV, whatever store we’re going to buy something in, always see if there is a coupon first.  Some companies send coupons to you in the mail, email or in the Sunday paper.  I always google the company I’m looking for’s name followed by the word coupon.  Example, Ann Taylor Loft Coupons.  Another great way to get coupons via email is to visit the website of the company you’re looking to make a purchase at and sign yourself up for emails.  After you receive coupons for a while you know when to hold out for their good ones, some coupons are better than others.  Remember to always read the fine print on the coupon, sometimes there are exclusions or limits to how much you need to spend to use the coupon.
  2. DISCOUNT/REWARDS CARDS!  Many companies have rewards or discount cards for loyal customers and frequent shoppers.  Grocery stores, like Stop & Shop, save money on groceries.  Best Buy has a rewards card that accumulates points for every purchase you make.  Auto Zone and New York and Company has a rewards card that every 5 qualifying purchases gets you a gift certificate to use on your next purchase of a certain amount.  Some companies let you accumulate rewards points using their store credit card.  I am against store credit cards as the interest rate on them are always super high.  However for coupon usage or point accumulation, if you pay your balance off in full before or when you get your statement then you should be fine.  If you find yourself having a balance that carries forward for more than two months then consider not using the card for purchases.  As fees are added on each month if there is a balance,  you will pay more than what you initial thought you’d be paying for your purchases.
  3. HOLIDAY COMING UP?  Ask yourself first, is there a holiday coming up?  Mother’s day is around the corner and there are tons of sales on fine jewelry and woman’s clothing.  A few years ago I picked up a nice camera during the father’s day sales. So keep things like that in mind.  Sometimes waiting a week or two for the next holiday is worth the savings.
  4. CLEARANCE!  In almost every store I go into, I always head straight to the clearance section.  Especially in clothing stores, as most seasonal items come out before the season starts, you can find what is out now for a fraction of the price.  When I worked in retail, now many moons ago, I learned that retail marks up their merchandise by 300%.  So when it gets to clearance its probably closer to what the item is worth.  Here’s a tip: When browsing the clearance section, if you find a ton of what you want to get in your size, wait a few days longer to purchase it.  Some stores do mark downs more than once a week, so if you wait you might pay less for it.  If its not there when you get back, then you must face that fact that it was not meant to be…sigh.
  5. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR RECEIPT ON YOU!  Some stores give you seven days to come back to get price adjustments on merchandise.  If something goes on sale a few days after you’ve purchased it they will give you the difference.  All stores have different policies so check your receipt or the store postings to find out the days you have to come back for the price difference and if there are any exclusions.  Most times they can make the adjustment from your receipt alone. 
  6. OUTLETS/T J MAXX/MARSHALLS/HOME GOODS:  Shop at places that have discounted things you want.  These particular locations buy the surplus of orders and get it cheaper and sell it for less than what we would have paid for it in the store.  The clearance section in these stores is where steals are found!

The Sunday before last I found some ridiculous deals.  I won’t bore you with the details but combining any of the above mentioned will save you tons of money.  When the amount you save is double the price you paid then you’re in SHOPPING BLISS!

If you have to pay full price for something, see if that store has a price adjustment policy.  Stopping in a week later, could save you money!  It’s all about the Lincoln’s baby!

Hope you found this useful!  Feel free to share your shopping tips and secrets in the comments section below.

Until then