Smart Shopping: 4 Clever Ways to Save Money

Smart Shopping: 4 Clever Ways to Save Money
  • Opening Intro -

    Saving money. It's one of those things that most of us need to do, but when it comes to actually doing it, well, our plans often fall flat.

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Life is expensive, and it can seem like saving money without sacrificing the things you enjoy is downright impossible. While there probably isn’t a coupon that will lower your monthly rent or electric bill, there are all sorts of ways to save money on other things.

From food and household products to clothing and even nights out, with a little know-how, you can save big on a lot of your normal expenses. Keep reading to discover a few smart shopping tips and discover some clever ways to save money.

Clip Coupons

If you think clipping coupons is only for old people, think again. It’s one of the easiest ways to save money on the things that you buy, and it’s something that just about everyone can do.

And even if you have no desire to become an extreme couponer and build a huge stockpile filled with items you purchased for pennies, you can still lower your grocery bill a significant amount by using coupons.

You can find coupons in your local Sunday paper, at the grocery store, online and in your mailbox. You can even order the ones you need online (for a fee, of course). Save the coupons that you can use and hang on to them until a product goes on sale, if possible. This enables you to, essentially, double up on your savings and get the best possible deal.

Keep in mind that coupons don’t only exist for groceries and household products. By signing up for their mailing lists, you can score coupons for specialty retailers, clothing stores, restaurants, movie theaters and just about any other type of business you can think of.

Sign Up for Loyalty Programs

Having a million different membership cards or a bunch of tabs on your keyring may be a bit annoying, but these little pieces of plastic really can help you save big.

Many grocery stores, pharmacies and other retailers have loyalty programs that reward customers with great prices for signing up.

When you join, you’ll get a card that you can present each time you shop. When your card is scanned, you automatically receive sale prices. Without the card, though, you’ll pay full price.

Some stores have also gone “card free” with their loyalty programs. All you have to do is sign up using your phone number or email address and provide that information whenever you check out.

You’ll automatically get discounts, and the store will keep track of your purchases and any rewards you may accumulate during your shopping trip. Typically, in-store loyalty programs are free, so they are definitely worth signing up for.

Buy in Bulk

It costs more upfront, but buying in bulk can save you big in the long run. Stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are hugely popular for this exact reason.

When you buy in larger quantities, you can usually score a much better price per ounce/pound/piece/etc. The savings may not seem significant at first, but if you do a lot of shopping, they can really add up.

When you are shopping, just be sure to pay close attention to the breakdown of how much you are really paying. While buying in bulk is usually your best bet, you can sometimes get a better deal by buying a smaller package. This is especially true if you have a coupon to use.

Keep in mind that groceries, cleaning products and other household supplies aren’t the only things that you can purchase in bulk. You can also buy wholesale clothes, for example, which is much cheaper than buying from a retailer.

When purchased individually, something like a hooded sweatshirt can cost quite a bit of money. When you buy wholesale sweatshirts, though, you can get a few for the same amount as you would spend on one from your favorite retailer.

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Download Money-Saving Apps

If you are like most people, you probably have your smartphone with you pretty much all the time. If you aren’t already using it to save money when you go shopping, you could be seriously missing out! There are several apps out there that are really beneficial when you are trying to spend less.

Rebate apps, such as Ibotta, allow you to save offers on certain products and redeem them after you shop. All you need to do is save the offers you are interested in, purchase qualifying products and then submit proof of purchase in order to redeem the offer.

There are various ways to prove that you purchased the item depending on where you shop, but typically, it’s no more difficult or time-consuming than using a coupon at the grocery store.

And the great thing about apps like Ibotta is that you can use them along with in-store sales and coupons. Once your submission has been approved, you will receive a refund for the amount stated in the offer.

There are also apps that can help you score good deals when visiting various stores. RetailMeNot, for example, will let you know about in-store deals (and ways to save money online).

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Conclusion

Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult or extreme. By simply using money-saving apps, clipping coupons and joining store loyalty programs, you can save yourself more cash on the products that you buy every day than you probably realize.

While saving 50 cents here or $1 there may not seem like a big deal, if you do it frequently, the savings can really add up. Start being more mindful of your shopping habits today and start taking steps to reduce your spending. You’ll likely find that it’s easier than you think!

Image Credit: smart shopping by envato.com

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