- Always save receipts. Some stores will offer you a one time price adjustment if the price goes down within 7 -14 days.
- Take advantage of price match policies. Some stores are so confident they have the lowest prices, they will match a competitor’s price and give you an additional discount.
- Plan shopping around tax holidays, especially for back to school. During August, some states offer tax holidays on clothing and school supplies. Policies vary by state.
- Use a subscription service like Amazon Subscribe & Save to save up to 15% on the essential items you need to stay stocked up on.
- Before making an online purchase, always check to see if there is a coupon code you can apply towards your order.
- A website’s “live chat” function is not just for technical support. They are there to provide customer service. So feel free to ask for a discount or free shipping. It never hurts to ask!
- Occasionally, online stores will send discounts when you load up your shopping cart and abandon it till later. The idea is it gives you more incentive to click “purchase.” The key is creating an account with the retailer so your cart is saved and they have your email on file to send the deal to.
- Trade in old electronics for store credit towards a new purchase. Just about any store that sells electronics has a trade in program including Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, and Target.
- Incorporate frozen fruits and veggies into your meals. Not only can it save money, but often they are more nutritious than fresh because they are frozen at their peak, which preserves nutrients.
- See if there is a wholesale produce market in your area. That is where the restaurants shop so you’re going to get the same wholesale prices as them and the freshest fruit and veggies you can buy. The catch – you have to buy in bulk and you usually have to shop very early in the morning.
- Ask your butcher what time of day they typically mark down meat, it’s usually in the early morning or evening. This is generally overstock or meat approaching its sell by date, but it is still possible to stock up if you freeze it immediately.
- Usually a large cut of meat will be cheaper than the same amount cut into smaller pieces. And you can always ask the butcher if he will cut it into smaller pieces for free. You can also save even more when you buy bone-in cuts of meat.
- Look for sale cycles. A lot of stores rotate staples like paper goods, cereal and bread at rock bottom prices to draw you into the store. Follow the store circular and you may start to see patterns – purchase accordingly.
- Ask for a rain check if an item is on sale but out of stock. It will guarantee you the sale price when the item is back on shelves.
- Set aside 30 minutes each week to plan your menu around what’s on sale and what you have coupons for.
- Or, clip coupons directly to your grocery store loyalty card.
- Brown bag your lunch. A turkey sandwich with all the fixings, chips, a cookie, and iced tea can cost nearly $10 more per day when you buy it at a deli as opposed to clipping coupons, shopping sales and making your lunch at home.
- Find some of the best prices on wine and liquor at warehouse stores. In many states it is against the law to charge a membership fee for alcohol purchases, so score a deal even if you’re not a member.
- Compare not only the price between generics and brand name medications, but between generics. You’ll find some of the most inexpensive medications at warehouse clubs, another item you can buy without a membership in most states.
- Rent DVDs from the library. It’s 100% free (as long as you don’t pay late fees!).
- Next time you want to treat your family to a dinner out, go midweek and take advantage of a restaurant with a kids eat free night. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most popular nights for these offers.
- Buy discount restaurant gift cards from a site like restaurant.com. Check coupon codes to see if you can find a deal on dinner and show.
- Participate in a museum’s reciprocal program. Buy a membership to one museum and you can get free or discount membership to hundreds of other museums, zoos, aquariums and science centers.
- Buy amusement park tickets in advance. Online prices are usually better than gate prices
- Check your local movie theater’s website for family discount days, where admission can be as low as $1.
- Performing art theaters often sell discounted tickets for standing room or partial view seats. Great for symphony where you still get 100% of the sound even if it’s a partial view. Broadway shows also often sell same-day tickets at a huge discount.
- Some credit card companies offer special event ticket discounts or perks to their cardholders. For example, American Express members can get presale and preferred seating through TicketMaster and Citi cardmembers through Live Nation.
- Look for family night discounts to sporting events. For an even greater discount, check out minor league teams like an MiLB game where a family of four can get tickets and concessions for less than $10 each.
- Tool lending libraries work just like book libraries. Borrow tools like a leaf blower or a sledgehammer for free, renew as needed, and expect to pay fines if they are overdue. Search the Internet to see if your city offers this service.
- Don’t go overboard with the mower, keep grass about 3-inches high and save on water. Shorter grass actually uses more water and reduces nutrient production.
- Some paint centers sell recycled paint for a huge discount. Better yet, certain recycling centers give away paint for free! The catch, make sure you get enough for your project the first time around, because you may never be able to get the same color again.
- Eliminate energy vampires by plugging electronics into a power strip. When TVs, computers and gaming system are on standby mode, they’re still using energy. Flick of the power strip to save on your electric bill.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs, which save about $6 a year ($40 – $135 over its lifetime) per bulb, according to EnergyStar.gov. They also produce 75% less heat, which means they can also cut costs related to cooling your home.
- Turn your thermostat down 10° to 15° while you sleep and those 8 hours a night will save 5-15% a year on your heating bill.
- Before buying travel insurance always check to see if your credit card companies, homeowners or renter policies, or auto club already include travel insurance coverage.
- Airfare deals start on Tuesday mornings and end Thursday evenings. The best time to book is at 4pm EST on Tuesday. This allows the fares to post and airlines will adjust their prices to compete as the low price leader.
- Typically you will find the best deals on airfare when you travel Tuesday or Wednesday. Saturday is the runner-up for cheapest airfare.
- Some airlines offer free or low cost upgrades within 24 hours of your flight.
- If you want to take a cruise, you may actually benefit from last minute travel. Travelers usually have 60 to 90 days before departure to cancel and get a full refund. After that ships have a good estimate of capacity and they start to slash prices.
- Stay at recently opened hotels, which usually offer rock bottom rates and perks to get people in the door.
- Request a corner hotel room to get more space for the same price.
- Shop at a grocery store with a gas discount program. Typically they will give you around 10 – 20¢ off per gallon every time you spend a certain amount on groceries.
- Use a gas price comparison app like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas in your neighborhood.
- Pay with cash at the pump and get around a 5¢ discount per gallon at some stations.
- Stop spending spare change, stash it, and cash it in at the end of the year at a coin-sorting machine like CoinStar.
- Have a portion of each paycheck deposited directly into your savings. If you already do that, increase is by 1%. It’s little enough that you probably won’t notice it, but big enough to make a difference. If you make $50,000 a year, that’s an extra $500!
- Go paperless whenever you can. Stamps cost 49¢ each, a little expense that quickly adds up. If you mail in 10 bills a month, that’s $58.80 a year on postage.
- Cancel magazine subscriptions. They will generally refund your remaining balance when you cancel. So if you’re only halfway through your subscription, you get half your money back.
- When a copyright expires, a book becomes public domain, that means you can find all the classics for free and download them to your ebook reader. Visit sites like Project Gutenberg to see what’s available.
- Save on ink when you adjust your printer quality setting to low and choose a font that uses less ink like Times New Roman, Calibri or Century Gothic.
What is your best savings tip?