coupons http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1146/all en-US My Budget Challenge 2016: How to Live Frugally When You Have No Time http://www.wisebread.com/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_retro_clock_69446673.jpg" alt="Woman learning to live frugally when she has no time" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This is the another episode in Max Wong's journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0"><em>here</em></a><em>.]</em></p> <p>One of the assumptions that my friends, who earn more money than me while still living paycheck to paycheck, make about my frugal habits is that they are too busy to actually make these lifestyle changes themselves.</p> <p>This total garbage assumption keeps so many people poor. Many of my friends insist that I have to be totally wasting my life scrimping all the time. This just isn't true. In fact, I have a lot more free time than any of my friends who argue that every financial tweak costs them too much of their precious time. With very few exceptions, I also have more savings. Here's how I keep a tight budget on a tight schedule.</p> <h2>I Don't Waste Time on Researching Things That Don't Matter</h2> <p>To quote Asiz Ansari: &quot;Every toothbrush I bought on a hunch has been fine. I've never been disappointed in a toothbrush. Why waste my time trying to find the best? Have you ever run into someone with no teeth and asked, 'What happened?' And they replied, 'Bought the wrong toothbrush. Should have done more research.'&quot;</p> <p>I spent an hour <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-job-creation">researching a car part</a> for my Volvo. If I bought this part refurbished locally, it would have cost me $765. I found a brand-new, aftermarket version for $45 online that had stellar reviews. I saved $720 by spending one hour of my life exploring my options. I would not spend this amount of my time researching the shovel I just bought at my local hardware store for $70. I bought the shovel based entirely on the fact that there was just one model to choose from.</p> <p>Part of saving money is stripping away the marketing message that you need to buy the best of everything or suffer dire consequences.</p> <h2>I Focus on Saving Money on the Things I Already Do</h2> <p>There are so many money-saving activities out there that it's easy for me to screw up my schedule by trying to do them all. While I am always trying to level up on my savings game, when I am crushed for time, I focus on making the things I must do more financially sustainable.</p> <p>For example I have to weed my garden or risk the wrath of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Since many of the weeds in my garden are edible, I am saving money and time on growing vegetables by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-finding-food">eating my weeds</a>. If this sounds disgusting, please note that Chef Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken Magasinet, one of the world's most acclaimed restaurants, serves an entire menu of foraged foods. In fact, Nilsson would probably be distraught by the fact that I am composting probably delicious moss and pine resin. As much as I hate weeding, eating my plant enemies provides a primal and peculiar satisfaction, which makes all the kneeling in the dirt worthwhile.</p> <h2>I Keep an Aspirational Calendar for the Future</h2> <p>As much as I wanted to harvest the green walnuts that grow on wild trees around my neighborhood, I missed my window of opportunity. The nuts are already too mature to make the pickled walnut recipe I wanted to make for holiday gifts this year. Alas, I just didn't have the free time last month to work on my new hobby of preparing wildcrafted food.</p> <p>So, I am adding &quot;pick walnuts&quot; to my 2017 calendar. By adding reminders to make money-saving moves to my schedule a year in advance, I set myself up for ever-improving financial habits for the future. While I can never do all the aspirational projects I schedule for myself, just creating a plan in advance ensures that I can add at least one new skill to my life each year. I think of it as a wish list with a deadline.</p> <h2>I Get High-End Retail Service at a Low Cost</h2> <p>It does not take me more time to buy a shirt at a thrift store than it does for me to buy a shirt for full price at the mall. In fact, buying used is often quick business because my local thrift stores have customer wish lists. For example, the workers at my neighborhood consignment store know that I am constantly on the hunt for a specific <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">style of discontinued jeans</a>. Whenever a pair in my size shows up, I get a phone call, letting me know they have a pair of jeans on hold for me.</p> <p>People assume that low cost means poor service. Unlike a lot of retail workers, thrift store clerks often revel in the thrill of the hunt. They love finding the perfect thing, even for other people, so they end up acting like personal shoppers for their favorite customers.</p> <h2>The Off Season Is My Friend</h2> <p>When I lived in Florence, my Italian neighbors told me to wait until November, between tourist seasons, to buy clothes. Everything gets cheaper in November. Hotel and restaurants drop their prices and stores put merchandise on sale. Let me just say that the offseason in Florence is fantastic. The museums emptied out, the lines to my favorite gelato stores got short, and I could walk across the Ponte Vecchio without being part of some tourist's upskirt panty video. I see no point in ever returning to Florence during the high season.</p> <p>Even if I lived in Podunk, America and never traveled, I would take advantage of the easier access and the discounts on merchandise, entertainment, and education during Podunk's offseason.</p> <h2>I Buy and Make Gifts All Year Long</h2> <p>I start <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas">planning for Christmas in January</a>, even though I personally don't celebrate a winter holiday. This extremely early jump on things gives me plenty of time to make handmade gifts and source inexpensive presents for every occasion for pennies.</p> <p>This last weekend I attended the baptism of a friend's baby. I used some of the $100 trade credit I got from a local consignment store to &quot;buy&quot; several sterling silver baby spoons. I gifted one of the spoons to the new kid, and stashed the rest in my silverware drawer where they quietly await future babies. I also bought a scrimshaw pin for my husband as a reward for his especially thrifty behavior this year. Total cost of these gifts: $0. (And I still have trade credit left over)!</p> <h2>Coupons Are for Crazy Cat Ladies</h2> <p>Okay, you know, I save enough on cat food and cat litter each year to buy a plane ticket to New York City. So all those people who don't want to see Hamilton on Broadway can just keep on buying Friskies at full price. Be my guest.</p> <p>Although there are some coupon queens who still get a thrill from dumpster diving for newspaper inserts, grocery stores make it so easy to get discounts now. Most big grocery chains even have phone apps that give a curated selection of coupons based on previous purchases. One of my store apps actually makes my phone beep when I pass a sale item on my list. Seriously, I just used a coupon to buy grass fed beef at Whole Foods for $5 a pound. Grass. Fed. Beef. Whole. Foods.</p> <p>One of my friends lives in DC where his favorite brand of Dennison's Chili is not available. I always send him a flat of cans for his birthday. It does not take me any additional time to buy that chili when it goes on sale, with a coupon, than it does when it's full price. And, even though my friend knows I always buy his chili at a discount, he doesn't enjoy his lunches any less.</p> <h2>I Batch Process My Errands</h2> <p>Mr. Spendypants is saving hundreds of dollars on gas this year by carpooling to work a few days a week. But I save money by carpooling even though I work from home! At least once a week, my awesome neighbor Patria picks me up in her car and we run errands together. Not only does this save me on gas, it turns trips to the post office, the bank, and the pharmacy into a nice afternoon with my friend. Patria started this good habit over a year ago when she realized that she's much more efficient with her errands when I'm in the car with her to keep her on schedule. She also saves money on gas because she's incentivized to batch process her errands.</p> <h2>I Work Less So I Have More Time</h2> <p>I have many friends who work insane hours so they can make enough money to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor">pay for the entourage</a>&hellip;that enables them to work insane hours. I have one friend who hates his job so much that I actually worry about him stroking out from stress. He and his wife both work full time to pay for the maid to clean their house, the gardener to do the yard work, and the full time nanny for their kid. Even though I ran the numbers for him, he still can't wrap his head around the idea that he could work fewer hours for less money at his dream job, and that would give him enough flexibility that he could take care of his own child, house, and yard, instead of paying outside help.</p> <p>The concept that working less can mean more money in the bank seems counterintuitive, but how much I spend is as important as how much I earn. If I spend all my money, it doesn't matter if I make $100 or $1,000,000. I will still have zero savings and possibly less free time.</p> <h2>Progress So Far</h2> <p>Alas, Mr. Spendypants threw a spanner into my already maxed-out schedule. He forgot to pay the yearly $30 bribe, ahem, fee to the fire department to avoid the brush clearance inspection. So we were inspected and given a warning. We have just a few days to trim every tree in our yard by 30%. Did I mention that we have 14 trees in our yard? If we miss the deadline for re-inspection, then we will be fined $356 and I will still have to trim every tree in our yard by 30%. So, instead of working for money, for the last two weeks I have been working a volunteer gig as an angry amateur arborist.</p> <p>If my blog posts stop abruptly, it means that I have fallen off a ladder to my death. Wish me luck.</p> <p>As my Mormon friend puts it, I did receive a few #tender mercies during the last pay period in the form of three tiny payments. I earned $9.45 from a book sale on half.com, I sold $51.99 in clothing at a consignment store, and I got a whopping $31.13 as the payout for some random, class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo that I don't remember joining. (I haven't been a Wells Fargo customer in five years, so thank God I wasn't waiting around for that check to arrive).</p> <p>Since Mr. Spendypants and I were out of town for the baptism, he hasn't balanced his books yet. His savings and expenses for last month will be chronicled as part of my next post.</p> <p><strong>Goal:</strong> $31,000</p> <p><strong>Amount Raised:</strong> $19,998.41</p> <p><strong>Amount Spent:</strong> $10,653.66</p> <p><strong>Amount Left to Go:</strong> $21,747.82</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you">Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/things-you-might-not-know-about-your-local-thrift-store">Things You Might Not Know About Your Local Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Does Taking a Regular Day Job Mean Giving Up?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-finding-food">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Finding Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living calendars consignment coupons Holidays max wongs budget product research shopping thrift stores wasting time Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Max Wong 1753339 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find the Best Back to School Sales http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_back_to_school_68821847.jpg" alt="Kids finding the best back to school sales" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems that just as you settle into your summer routine, the school supply signage and setups hit the stores. Every year the back-to-school supply lists seem to get longer, and that doesn't even include all of the new clothes and shoes you have to buy.</p> <p>Here are eight tips on how to find the best back-to-school sales. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school?ref=seealso">23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid's First Day at School</a>)</p> <h2>1. Let Other Sites Do the Work for You</h2> <p>You are only one person, so it will take you quite a while to track down the best deals from all local stores. Save yourself some time and sanity and rely on the expertise from other websites. Here are just a few to put on your radar.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.passionforsavings.com/download-the-passion-for-savings-iphone-app/">Passion for Savings</a>: This site puts a lot of effort into collecting and laying out all of the back to school deals each week. There is even a free app that will keep you up to date on the sales.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://slickdeals.net/">SlickDeals</a>: Just search &quot;back to school&quot; in the SlickDeals search bar for the best and latest deals.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://app.flipp.com/">Flipp App</a>: The Flipp app has all of your local ads in one place. Flipp will also match up any coupon offers available. If your local Walmart or Target allow price matching of digital ads, the Flipp app will make price matching simple.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.afullcup.com/">AFullCup</a>: This savings forum has many postings on deals, coupon matchups, clearance finds, and more for many popular stores.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Don't Do All of Your Shopping in One Place</h2> <p>Many parents will make the mistake of hitting up one store for a few loss leaders and then finish up their back-to-school shopping at that same store. School sales generally go on four to six weeks before most schools get back in session. This gives you multiple opportunities to shop just the loss leaders of most stores.</p> <h2>3. Max Out on Discounted Items</h2> <p>If one store has pencil boxes for a penny with a buy limit of four, then buy all four. Save supplies for the middle of the school year. Usually five months into the school year, school supplies could use a refresher. Replacing school items in December or January is a lot costlier, since there are no amazing sales.</p> <p>You can also donate extra school supplies to teachers, back-to-school drives, and even international charities. Inexpensive art supplies can be given as Christmas gifts or birthday gifts later in the year.</p> <h2>4. Price Match</h2> <p>Walmart and Target will price match most store competitors. Depending on your local Walmart or Target, you might need the store's physical ad to price match. Both stores will only price match items of the same name brand and the same quantity. For example, Walmart will not price match a deal on Target's Up &amp; Up glue nor will they price match a deal on a two pack of Sharpies if Walmart only carries Sharpies in a three pack. Walmart will also not price match rebates.</p> <p>Price matching at Walmart can help eliminate excessive trips to several stores. If you need a lot of a deal, you can also use Walmart to double or triple your deal. For example, if Staples has Kleenex on sale, and you want to stock up, you can get the maximum deal at Staples, and then price match the deal at Walmart to get even more. Since many cities have more than one Walmart nearby, you can even price match the same deal at a different Walmart.</p> <h2>5. Combine Coupons and Rebates</h2> <p>Check&nbsp;<a href="http://www.coupons.com/">Coupons.com</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://coupons.target.com/">Target's coupons</a> for coupons on school supplies. You might even be able to combine Target's printable coupons with a Cartwheel offer or gift card offer.</p> <p>Don't forget to check out rebate apps such as <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a> and <a href="https://www.checkout51.com/">Checkout 51</a>. When the back-to-school sales start, many bigger brands want to boost sales through rebates. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a>)</p> <h2>6. Back-to-School Sales Are Not Just for Students</h2> <p>Even if you don't have students to shop for, the back-to-school sales are a great time to score deals on household items. Usually printer paper is inexpensive or free after a rebate. Many household cleaners and products are also highly discounted.</p> <h2>7. Don't Forget eBay</h2> <p>While eBay shouldn't be your first stop for pencils and glue, it can be a great way to save on expensive calculators and laptops. A new graphing calculator can cost over $100 in the store, but you can find that same calculator used for $40&ndash;$50 on eBay.</p> <h2>8. Hold Out for Clearance</h2> <p>After the back-to-school buying rush is over, stores are quick to put merchandise on clearance to make room for holiday items. Now is your chance to score character items or higher end items at a greater discount. You might even be able to score your child's wardrobe on clearance, since many stores will want to make room for winter gear.</p> <p>When your child is begging for the Avengers backpack or the Dory lunch box, tell them to wait and hopefully their favorite characters will be discounted a few weeks into September.</p> <p><em>How do you save during the back-to-school sales?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price">Ask These 8 Questions to Get a Better Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps back-to-school coupons deals education kids price matching retail school supplies seasonal Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1757095 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/19250271.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">cutting coupons</a>? With the help of technology, you no longer have to spend hours looking over the Sunday paper and trying to creatively get around print limits. Several apps make saving money on groceries much simpler and all at your fingertips.</p> <p>These six apps will help you save money on your grocery bill, help you find the best money on certain items, and even earn you cash back</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></p> <h2>1. Your Favorite Store's App</h2> <p>Depending on what store you shop at, there is probably an app for it. I live in Southern California and shop frequently at Vons. All I did was attach my Vons loyalty card to the app, and I automatically had over 100 coupons available to use. Not only do they offer store coupons, like $5 off $20, but they also offer the manufacturer's coupons that are found in the Sunday newspaper.</p> <p>My Vons app also gives me coupons based off what I buy. So if I buy organic chicken one week, then it might have an organic chicken coupon on the app the next week. Also, since my Vons has a Starbucks, I receive special coupons and free drinks through the app, too.</p> <p>Whole Foods is another store that has coupons on its app. Usually, Whole Foods is on the expensive side. However, if I am in the area and there is a good price on a certain product, it is easy to just run in for one or two discounted groceries.</p> <h2>2. Flipp</h2> <p><a href="https://flipp.com/">Flipp</a> matches local circular deals with coupons, allowing consumers to see the best price matches for their area. You can also connect your loyalty card numbers with the app, so that your personalized store coupons will sync with the deals. Since you have all of the current circulars in one spot, you can easily price match our favorite deals at a store that price matches.</p> <p>For example, if your local Wal-Mart will price match with online circulars, then you can simply show them this app, rather than keeping track of several different papers. Some stores will require the physical ad for price matching purposes, so know your store's policy before you shop.</p> <h2>3. Checkout 51</h2> <p><a href="https://www.checkout51.com/">Checkout 51</a> is very similar to<a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a>. All you have to do is buy one of the special offers (right now any brand of milk will earn you $.50 and tomatoes will earn $.25), scan the product bar code, and upload the receipt. It is very simple and quick to use. I like that all of the offers are right on the front screen, and you do not need to shop at a certain store. This means that if you find a gallon of milk at the .99 Cent Store, you can redeem it, whereas Ibotta does not offer that store for cash back.</p> <p>The Ibotta app still offers more cash back offers, but you don't have to pick one or the other. You can use both to get the most cash back possible. For example, if there is a $1.00 cash back offer for Enjoy Life cookies on Ibotta and Checkout 51, you can get $2 back from scanning your bar code and receipt on both apps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?ref=seealso">The Best Cash Back Sites to Earn Thousands Per Year</a>)</p> <h2>4. BerryCart</h2> <p><a href="http://www.berrycart.com/">BerryCart</a> is another cash back offer app that features healthy foods offers. This app pairs well with the Whole Foods app, since many of the deals will overlap, allowing you to get organic and non-GMO groceries for free or very little.</p> <h2>5. RedLaser</h2> <p>Not sure if you are getting the best deal on an item? Simply open up your<a href="http://redlaser.com/application/">RedLaser</a> app and scan the bar code. Not only will RedLaser show you which online stores have a better price on an item, but it also uses GPS to show you the price of that item at stores close to you. For example, if you wanted a certain book and went into Barnes and Noble to buy it, you could scan the bar code and find that the Target next door has the same exact book for $2 cheaper.</p> <h2>6. Shrink</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shrinktheapp.com/">Shrink</a> is a fun app to use. You can earn points, as well as cash back. You can earn points for sharing an item on Facebook, referring friends, and doing other small tasks. These points can then be redeemed for coupons and free grocery products. When you buy certain items, you can then earn cash back for that product. The only drawback is that Shrink features a lot of harder to find, specialty health food items. You might be able to find the products at your local Whole Foods. For example, I was interested in trying a new product called Mother-in-law's Kimchee, but the nearest location I could find it at was a specialty store 150 miles away.</p> <p>To save even more money on your groceries and earn more cash back, look up price matches before you go. Simply Google &quot;(store name) + price match + (current week or month).&quot; Many websites will easily lay out the best deals for certain stores, as well as which app cash back rebates are available.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite app to use at the grocery store?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps berrycart cash back checkout 51 coupons deals groceries ibotta price matching Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1753205 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_70676425_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="saving on back to school supplies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I realize summer vacation is still in full swing in many parts of the country and most parents have yet to think for a single second about back-to-school supplies. But if you can start your planning now, you can save a lot of money on your purchases. Using time to your advantage gives you the ability to buy when the price is right, and you won't be tempted to buy things at full price simply to cross them off your list. Here are eight ways to save on everything from pencils to a new laptop. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal?ref=seealso">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a>)</p> <h2>1. Always Shop Your Child's Backpack First</h2> <p>Before you stock-up on any school supplies for the upcoming school year, always pull out your child's backpack and empty it out. You'll be happily surprised how many items you'll discover that still have plenty of life left. By doing so, you'll avoid the sickening feeling of buying things like erasers, staplers, glue sticks, and notebooks only to discover perfectly acceptable versions in their backpack.</p> <h2>2. Set Price Alerts on Expensive Items</h2> <p>If you have a new laptop, scientific calculator, or other expensive tech item on your wish list, use time to your advantage and set up price alerts now so you buy only when the price is at its lowest point. If you're an Amazon loyalist, I recommend&nbsp;<a href="http://camelcamelcamel.com/">CamelCamelCamel.com</a> as an easy way to track price fluctuations. You simply sign-up for free, create price alerts for any product, and receive an email when the price is right. They also have a free&nbsp;<a href="http://camelcamelcamel.com/camelizer">browser extension</a> available which gives you instant access to the price history of items sold by Amazon. This is worth examining before you set up your price alerts so you know what price point to aim for.</p> <h2>3. Don't Buy All Supplies From One Store</h2> <p>The best way to guarantee you'll pay more than you should on back-to-school supplies is to walk into a single store and buy every item on your shopping list. Even if you shop at Wal-Mart, you'll still end up buying many items at full price. Instead, check out the sales fliers from all stores and plan your shopping accordingly. By having ample time on your hands to find the best deals, you'll be able to pick up items as you find them on sale. For example, you can pick up paper and pencils from Wal-Mart, but then stock up on the binders and backpacks on sale from Target.</p> <h2>4. Don't Neglect Office Supply Stores</h2> <p>Last year, some of the absolute best deals on back-to-school items were not found at the usual suspects like Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart. Instead they were found at office supply stores like Staples, OfficeMax, and Office Depot. There were some amazing deals, like one-cent pencils, five-cent glue sticks, 10-cent folders, and five-cent erasers. The caveat is that many office supply stores carry a very limited supply, so keep a keen eye on sales fliers and pounce when the deals become available.</p> <h2>5. Always Price-Match Sold Out Items</h2> <p>When you visit a store like Staples and they've sold all of their one-cent pencils or 10-cent folders, don't despair. Instead, take their sales flyer into your lock&nbsp;<a href="http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/31/~/walmarts-price-matching-policy">Wal-Mart</a> or&nbsp;<a href="https://corporate.target.com/about/shopping-experience/shop-with-confidence">Target</a> and they'll match the price as long as they carry the same brand. Or better yet, simply start your shopping at Wal-Mart or Target and bring along the office supply store ads with you and just match their prices. Keep in mind that when getting your price match, it doesn't matter if the office supply store has actually sold out of the item. This is a terrific way to be able to shop at a single store and get the best price in town on school supplies.</p> <h2>6. Avoid Cartoon Characters</h2> <p>A great way to overpay during back-to-school shopping is to fall for the cute cartoon characters that adorn items like pencils, backpacks, lunch bags, binders, and notepads. They're typically 20%-30% more expensive than items with no characters on them. If your child absolutely has to have Dory on her new lunch bag or backpack, buy some stickers and let them decorate it themselves.</p> <h2>7. Consider Shopping Solo</h2> <p>An easy way to avoid the temptation of buying pricey Disney items is to leave the kids at home altogether. Not only will it allow you to easily stick to your shopping list, but by shopping alone, the kids won't be able to throw you off your mission of finding and buying the best values. I love the idea of getting kids involved in back-to-school shopping, as it often increases their excitement about the upcoming year. I have found that a great way to do this is when you get home from your shopping trip, not during. Once you return, get them involved in the sorting and organizing of all the stuff you bought, and they will typically get all fired up about school.</p> <h2>8. Find Great Tech Deals Online</h2> <p>When it comes to finding online tech deals for items like laptops, desktops, and tablets, there are three sources you should definitely have bookmarked.</p> <p><a href="http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/6099/campaigns/welcome-to-dell-university"><strong>Dell University</strong></a><strong>:</strong> When shopping online for a PC, Dell University has some excellent discounts exclusively for students. To take advantage, all you need to do is register for the free&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dell.com/en-us/member/learn/finance-and-rewards/rewards-details">Dell Advantage program</a> and provide the name of your school.</p> <p><a href="http://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop"><strong>Apple Education Pricing</strong></a><strong>:</strong> If an Apple computer is in your future, you'd be wise to check out their Educational Pricing page and save up to 25% off a new MacBook or iMac.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global/College-Student-Deals/pcmcat276200050000.c?id=pcmcat276200050000"><strong>Best Buy College Student Deals</strong></a><strong>:</strong> Once you've created a Best Buy account, you can sign-up for exclusive college student deals for computers, small appliances, and accessories like external hard drives and software. Current examples include $100 off a MacBook or iMac, $30 off a Keurig Brewer, and 20% off Samsung and LG microwave ovens.</p> <p>By using these three little-known programs, you'll be able to get all of your tech needs at prices far below retail in many cases.</p> <p><em>How do you save money when buying back-to-school supplies for yourself or your kids? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stock-up-on-school-and-office-supplies-with-back-to-school-sales">Stock up on school (and office) supplies with back-to-school sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping back-to-school back-to-school shopping coupons office supplies saving money school supplies shopping Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:30:40 +0000 Kyle James 1748327 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_shopping_71503441.jpg" alt="Woman making shopping mistakes keeping her from a great deal" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In today's digital retail world, there are plenty of clever ways to save money while shopping, including traditional coupons, price protection policies, or cash back apps. But unfortunately, many shoppers still make some big mistakes along the way &mdash; mistakes that result in them paying way more than they should, either online or in-store. Here are some of the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them in the future.</p> <h2>1. Failing to Compare Prices</h2> <p>If you're blindly making purchases without investigating price, you're clearly spending more than you should. With the advent of smart shopping apps like&nbsp;<a href="http://shopsavvy.com/">ShopSavvy</a> and <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quick-scan-barcode-scanner/id446067710" target="_blank">Quick Scan</a>, there's no reason not to compare prices on significant purchases. These apps work by simply scanning the item's bar code, and within seconds, you'll know if the product is sold cheaper down the street or online. Get in the habit of using one of these apps regularly and you'll never overpay again.</p> <h2>2. Never Considering Price-Protection Policies</h2> <p>While Amazon recently axed their seven-day price protection policy, many popular retailers still offer it. This is important to know, as retailers are always trying to anticipate demand and thus are constantly changing their prices, especially online. Take advantage of the following retailers' price-protection policies.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Best Buy (15 days):</strong> For an in-store purchase, simply return with your receipt and head straight to customer service. For an online purchase, call them at 1-888-BESTBUY to request your price adjustment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Costco (30 days):</strong> Hang onto your receipt and if you notice a lower price within 30 days, simply visit the customer relations desk and receive the difference. If for some reason you lose your receipt, you can always return the item (no receipt required) and rebuy at the lower price.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Dick's Sporting Goods (14 days):</strong> For in-store purchases, you must return to the store of original purchase, with receipt, to get your price adjustment. For online purchases, call them at 1-877-846-9997 to request a price adjustment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Home Depot (14 days):</strong> Bring the item and receipt back to the store within 14 days if the price has been lowered. For online purchases, you can call customer service at 1-800-430-3376.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Kohl's (14 days):</strong> You'll need the original receipt to get a Kohl's price adjustment within 14 days or purchase. Items that don't qualify include clearance, BOGO, and Kohl's Cares merchandise.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Macy's (14 days):</strong> Simply bring back your receipt within 14 days for in-store purchases. For online orders, <a href="https://www.customerservice-macys.com/app/help/price_adjust#formstart">use this form</a> to get your price adjustment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Staples (14 days):</strong> Take your original receipt back to Staples within 14 days and get the lower price. For an online purchase, call them at 1-800-333-3330 to get your price adjustment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Target (7 days):</strong> Bring your receipt in, within seven days, if the item you bought goes down in price. Clearance items are not eligible for price protection. Also, keep an eye out on competitor's pricing as Target will also price match the following retailers within seven days of your purchase: Amazon, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, and BabiesRUs.com.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Wal-Mart (7 days):</strong> Wal-Mart will refund the difference if the price drops within seven days of your purchase. Exclusions include clearance, special buys, and value of the day products.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Buying the Wrong Items in Bulk</h2> <p>When it comes to buying items in bulk from warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's, some items don't make the grade and should stay out of your shopping cart completely. Here are some to be aware of.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Brown rice:</strong> Due to the oil content in brown rice, it only lasts for three to six months on average, compared to an indefinite shelf life for white rice. Only buy what you can consume in a few months.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Condiments:</strong> Unless you eat hot dogs and hamburgers on a daily basis, you'll hardly ever use up all of the ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise before they go bad.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Cooking oils:</strong> They just don't have a very long shelf life, so only buy if you know you'll use them before their expiration date.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Nuts:</strong> Because they are loaded with oil, they tend to go rancid fairly quickly. Even when stored in an ideal temperature and humidity, they only last a couple of months.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Bleach:</strong> This one was a surprise to learn. Apparently bleach is only usable for three to six months; after that it starts to lose its effectiveness.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Baking powder:</strong> A big box of baking powder is often a bad buy, as you typically don't need much, and it only lasts for six to 12 months, depending on how you store it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Beer:</strong> Many shoppers will stock up on beer for an upcoming party and overbuy, leaving them with a lot leftover. If you're not a beer drinker, be warned that most beers only have a shelf life of three to five months.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Assuming the Final Price Is What You Have to Pay</h2> <p>If you assume the price on the tag is what you're stuck paying, you're clearly doing it all wrong. You've failed to consider money-saving tools like coupons, cash back, and the idea of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">negotiating a lower price</a>. Here is how to take advantage of each:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Coupons:</strong> When shopping in-store, arm your smartphone with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/mobile-coupons/">CouponSherpa</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/mobile/">RetailMeNot</a> apps. The combination of both will provide you with a plethora of coupons to thousands of stores which the cashier can simply scan when you're checking out.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Cash back:</strong> Use free apps like&nbsp;<a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://checkout51.com/">Checkout51</a> gather rebates at the grocery store on items you'll be buying anyway. You will be amazed how quickly your cash back rebates add up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Earn Thousands Per Year with These Cash Back Sites</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Negotiate:</strong> Always look for damaged packaging, floor models, and imperfect items and negotiate a deal. Often times they will already be marked down, but managers want them out of the store quickly. To accomplish this, they will often sweeten the deal for you by 10% &mdash; 20% if you politely ask.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Always Buying Brand New</h2> <p>If you have the mindset that &quot;new is always better,&quot; you're making a big shopping blunder. If you can&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">consider buying used</a> when making big purchases like a new car, to small purchases like textbooks, furniture, tools, and exercise equipment, you'll save significant money. After all, it makes smart financial sense to let someone else take the depreciation hit. While Craigslist is the obvious place to start your search, don't forget about&nbsp;<a href="http://gsalr.com/">GSALR.com</a> which helps you find garage sales in your local area. The site even offers a Google map to each garage sale and allows you to filter your search by specific keywords like &quot;furniture,&quot; &quot;baby clothes,&quot; or &quot;golf clubs.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Stocking Up Because It's a &quot;Deal&quot;</h2> <p>Do you ever fight the temptation to stock up when you find a good deal, even if in the back of your mind you know you don't need more than one? It's an easy trap to fall into and it often leads to overspending. An easy way to remedy this problem is to stick to your shopping list, and budget, and know that buying excess &quot;deals&quot; often leads to excess waste.</p> <p><em>What shopping mistakes have led you to overspend in the past?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-the-best-deals-on-groupon">7 Ways to Get the Best Deals on Groupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping cash back coupons deals discounts negotiation price comparisons price protection sales saving money Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Kyle James 1738706 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_bag_83996573.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to convince store clerk to give her a deal" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The time and effort required to &quot;extreme coupon&quot; is something that many of us&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass">would rather pass on</a>. Instead, learn the right questions to ask store employees to score the best deal possible. Sometimes they'll pass along an exclusive coupon, and sometimes they'll drop clues on the best day of the week to shop, or the products they can mark down for you. By knowing the right questions to ask, you can easily maximize your savings on your next shopping trip. Here's what you need to know.</p> <h2>1. Ask About Markdown Days</h2> <p>Most retailers, both small and large, have specific days of the week when they do their internal store markdowns. Whether it's adding new items to the clearance section, or reducing the price on already reduced clearance products, if you know the &quot;markdown&quot; day, you can shop when the selection is the greatest and actually save some money. Alternatively, if you shop on the day before they do their markdowns, you'll find the clearance section picked over and will offer little of value. Avoid that day if you can by asking when the store does their markdowns.</p> <p>For example, a Macy's employee told me to shop on a Tuesday as they have all their markdowns done by then. Also, if you're a Kohl's shopper, I was told to shop on the 2nd and 4th Saturday every month. The bottom-line is to have the conversation at your favorite store as the information can really help you shop when the clearance section is stacked with fresh deals. I have found that most employees are very open to share this information if you have a friendly chat with them.</p> <h2>2. Ask About Floor Models and Imperfect Items</h2> <p>When I worked at The Home Depot, floor employees were given the authority to markdown imperfect items, scratch and dents, and floor models in order to clear them out of the store quickly. This included marking down damaged packaging that did not affect the quality of the actual product.</p> <p>I can remember having regular customers who would ask me specifically if we had any such items that they could get a deal on. I'd then happily point to them the products I could mark down for them and they often got stuff for 25%&ndash;30% off the original retail price. Start asking employees at stores like The Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, and Walmart about deals on floor items and imperfect stuff. If you can't find any specific items to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">ask for a discount</a>, then just ask an employee, &quot;Do you have any screaming deals on floor models or scratch and dents?&quot; Then just follow them to the real deals in the store.</p> <h2>3. Ask for a Coupon</h2> <p>Many retailers arm their employees with special coupons and discounts to freely hand out to customers in an effort to build store loyalty and goodwill. So if you're shopping in-store, and you can't find a coupon via your smartphone, start a polite conversation with an employee and ask if they might have a coupon to use. You have absolutely nothing to lose and significant savings to gain. JCPenney, Macy's, Old Navy, Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, and Cost Plus are a few of the stores where this has been known to work effectively.</p> <h2>4. Expired Coupon? Use It Anyway</h2> <p>Have you ever been on a shopping trip and pulled a coupon out of your purse or wallet only to realize it expired last week? For a frugal shopper, it can be a sickening feeling. Next time this happens, still try to use the expired coupon as often the cashier will say, &quot;Oh sorry, this one is expired. But I have one here by the register that you can use.&quot; They'll then scan it for you and you'll save some cash. Stores where I have used this strategy successfully include Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabric, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Harbor Freight Tools.</p> <h2>5. Find Out Which Items You Can Negotiate</h2> <p>It's no secret that retailers have certain products that offer a larger profit margin than others. I recently had a Best Buy employee tell me that products with a bigger profit margin are the items they can negotiate a lower price on. He went on to say that high-end TVs often have more wiggle room in price than those in the $250&ndash;$500 range.</p> <p>Use this information to your advantage and try to politely negotiate a lower price on higher end electronics. If you're worried about looking cheap, try the &quot;bundling&quot; technique. This is when you bundle a TV with a Blu-ray player and ask for a 15% discount if you buy both on the spot. This will also often work at big-box home improvement stores. Think things like a lawn mower purchased with a weed eater, or chain saw with a carrying case and new chain.</p> <h2>6. Ask About Upcoming Sales</h2> <p>When I worked retail, I always had some insider knowledge on upcoming sales events or exclusive coupons and rebates. Most floor employees at big-box retailers have an idea of when prices will probably get better. So ask them when they recommend you should buy to maximize your savings. They'll often tell you to come back on a specific day or weekend as everything will be on sale or when there will be a great coupon available. In either case, just by asking, you can easily get some insider knowledge that'll save you some money.</p> <p><em>What outside-the-box tricks do you use to score a great deal?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-save-on-cyber-monday">6 Genius Ways to Save on Cyber Monday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains buying coupons discounts negotiating retail saving money strategy Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:30:20 +0000 Kyle James 1732053 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions to Always Ask Yourself Before Making a Big Purchase http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_Card_000077386097.jpg" alt="Woman asking questions before making big purchase" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I say &quot;big&quot; purchase, I mean anything that shows up on your credit card statement and the dollar amount catches your attention. That number will be different for everyone &mdash; could be $50, or it could be triple digits. In any case, if you get in the habit of asking yourself a few of the following questions before making a &quot;big&quot; purchase, you can easily remove some spending on items that don't add to your long term happiness and financial goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <h2>1. Will I Need the Item in the Future?</h2> <p>When making a significant purchase, get in the habit of talking to yourself a little bit. Ask if this item is something you'll need in a week? In a month? Six months from now? Once you have your answers, then make the decision. By asking yourself the question, you can often quickly determine if it's an impulse purchase, which you'll never use regularly, or something you actually need and has long-term value.</p> <h2>2. Does Amazon Really Have the Best Price?</h2> <p>The biggest problem with Amazon is they make it so darn easy to make purchases and overspend. This is especially true if you have a Prime membership and with a single click you can have an item sitting on your doorstep in two days. It often turns consumers into impulse shoppers who rarely do price comparisons and rely on the convenience factor that Amazon provides. But in the long-run, there's no doubt you're going to overpay on many items, and at the end of the year, that money will be significant, especially if you shop at Amazon on a weekly basis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-stop-online-impulse-spending?ref=seealso">This Is How You Stop Online Impulse Spending</a>)</p> <p>I recommend disabling the &quot;1-click&quot; feature and disconnecting your credit card from your account, which makes it harder to complete an order. You'll be much less likely to shop, click, buy, and overspend. Also, before completing your next significant Amazon purchase, I encourage you to pull up a separate browser tab and do a quick price comparison on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/shopping">Google Shopping</a>. See if the price you're about to pay really is a good deal, and then proceed accordingly.</p> <h2>3. What Is the Return Policy?</h2> <p>How familiar are you with any given store's return policy? If you're like most, unless it's a store you frequent often, you probably have no idea what the policy details are. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the policy, especially if you're on the fence about the purchase to begin with, or don't know if it's the right size, color, or variation. Will you be able to return it? What about if you open the box? How long do you have to bring it back? These are all things you need to know, so be sure to ask before you make the purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable?ref=seealso">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a>)</p> <p>Also, be aware of the return policy of &quot;liquidation&quot; or &quot;going out of business&quot; sales. Often these type of sales have a <em>no </em>return policy and all sales are considered final. With the recent news of Sports Authority going out of business, and selling their merchandise to a group of liquidators, it has many shoppers anticipating a plethora of sporting good deals. Be aware that more than likely, whatever you buy you won't be able to return. So be sure that ping-pong table will fit on your patio before handing them your credit card.</p> <h2>4. Is a Coupon Available?</h2> <p>Despite a plethora of coupon apps and coupon websites available, it still amazes me how many shoppers I see pay full-price in front of me in line, while I pull out my smartphone to access a discount. Get in the habit of always asking yourself if a coupon might be available, and then go find one. Then if you can't find one, politely ask the cashier if they have one you can use. Stores like Michaels, Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, Pier 1 Imports, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Joann Fabrics are notorious for handing them out to those who simply ask. After all, the worst they can say is, &quot;No, sorry, we don't have any coupons right now.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a>)</p> <h2>5. Can I Find a Cheaper Alternative?</h2> <p>Some items have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheaper-versions-of-your-favorite-products">cheaper alternatives</a> that do the job just as well, and the only difference is the price tag. Things like a KitchenAid mixer, Dyson vacuum, and Beats headphones immediately come to mind. To figure out if the &quot;big&quot; purchase I'm about to make has a cheaper alternative, I love using the Amazon product carousels found on the individual product page. The two Amazon carousels worth scouring for deals are titled &quot;Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought&quot; and &quot;Sponsored Products Related to This Item.&quot;</p> <p>For example, the Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones currently sell for&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1XWINFQ">$199.99&ndash;$299.99 on Amazon</a>, but if you scroll down the product page you'll find some hidden gems in the above mentioned product carousels. In particular, the $44&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1XWsXLm">Status Audio HD One Headphones</a> caught my eye with their 526 reviews and an average review of 4.5 out of 5 stars, the exact same rating as the Beats variety. Then when you scroll down to the Status Audio reviews, the first review,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/review/R3BYS6LWBH0TNW/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&amp;ASIN=B00SWDHUXW&amp;channel=detail-glance&amp;nodeID=172282&amp;store=electronics">by Michael M</a> nails my point:</p> <p>&quot;It's interesting that the Beats headphones are such sellers and that they are making a ton of money on those because they are horrible headphones with cheap parts and are selling you on their name and as a fashion accessory. If that's your thing then that's fine. But if it's music you want to listen to clearly and accurately then buy these.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Is This a Replacement Item or Something New?</h2> <p>Ask yourself if the significant purchase you're about to make is for an item that's replacing something you own, or simply something new and shiny that you figured you couldn't live without. If it's the latter, do you really need to buy it right now? Odds are if you tell yourself &quot;No,&quot; the must-have feeling will go away shortly as your brain moves on to more pressing things. If the item is replacing something you own that broke, are you sure you can't do a YouTube search and figure out how to fix it? Or maybe it's being sold used on eBay for a fraction of the price.</p> <h2>7. Should I Buy a Higher Quality Item?</h2> <p>Sometimes it's just plain smart to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quality-over-price-15-items-to-spend-more-on">spend more money on a quality product</a> that will last and not accrue quick replacement costs. The problem is knowing when spending more for quality makes the most sense so you don't overspend unnecessarily. A good rule of thumb is to consider how often the item will be used. If it will be used daily, or several times per day, and you plan on keeping it for years to come, then you'll want to consider the quality of the item along with the price and determine if spending more makes sense. Things like tools, mattresses, shoes, kitchen knives, cold-weather jackets, and baby gear are all items worth spending more for higher quality.</p> <h2>8. Have I Considered the Long Term Costs?</h2> <p>Stores like Petco and PetSmart make a killing on the long-term costs of their products. As a matter of fact, they wouldn't exist without them. While that cute hamster seems like a bargain at only $10, the real cost is actually in the hundreds when you consider a cage, food, bedding, and accessories. I recently ran into this issue with my 11-year-old daughter who saved up to buy her own hamster and supplies only to lose interest in the cute furball a couple months later.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the long term costs of the hamster remain the same even though nobody pays attention to it. While we will be giving it away to a friend, I would have been much better off doing a test run with an animal with lower long term costs in the beginning. Perhaps if she could have cared for a goldfish for several months, she could have moved up to the hamster. Lesson learned.</p> <p><em>How do you noodle through big purchases and whether they're smart buys or not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-the-best-deals-on-groupon">7 Ways to Get the Best Deals on Groupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon coupons deals google shopping online shopping price comparisons quality Mon, 06 Jun 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Kyle James 1723973 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_work_from_home_000092732035.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways social media saves her money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While using popular social media platforms is a fun way to stay connected with family and friends, perhaps the most useful benefit is tapping into a new way to save money. Whether it be through negotiating a lower monthly bill, scoring a coupon, or finding the best local deals, with just a little bit of effort you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money" target="_blank">use social media</a> to save hundreds of dollars every year. Here are some easy to implement tips to get you started in the right direction.</p> <h2>1. Learn to Negotiate a Lower Bill Via Twitter</h2> <p>Most large companies these days have employees who do nothing but monitor their social media feeds and respond directly to customer inquiries and complaints. Because of this, when it comes to negotiating a lower monthly bill, Twitter has become an excellent way to start the conversation. For example, I was recently able to do this with the folks at Verizon by accident when I responded to a friend's Tweet discussing cheaper cell phone services. Within minutes of my Twitter response, I had a Verizon representative send me a message via Twitter asking if they could help lower my bill. With their proactive help, I was able to lower my bill by $10 a month.</p> <p>This experience led me to investigate other companies that respond quickly via Twitter, and sure enough I found many that did &mdash; namely Dish Network, DirecTV, AT&amp;T, and Sprint. Simply send a direct Tweet to the company, or respond to someone else talking about the company, and drop the hint that you're seriously considering leaving the company for a cheaper alternative. In many cases, you'll quickly get a response with actionable ways to lower your bill. Could be a phone number to call, or even better, the company representative will personally help you lower your bill.</p> <h2>2. Use Facebook Messenger to Ask for a Coupon</h2> <p>Facebook Messenger has also become a great tool to score a deal or coupon. Simply visit the retailer's Facebook page, click on the &quot;Message&quot; button, and send them a polite message asking if they have a coupon code for free shipping or perhaps 15% or 20% off your purchase. Most big-name retailers have staffers standing by to respond to your message, often within minutes. The best part is they are armed with exclusive coupons and are ready to hand them out. After all, they know you're very close to completing your purchase and will often throw you a bone to do just that. So when you can't find a coupon in the more traditional ways, be sure to use Facebook Messenger to avoid paying full price.</p> <p>Also, if the retailer does not have a current coupon to hand out, I've had some let me know via Messenger when a new coupon was going to be released. I'd then wait and make my purchase with the money saving coupon in-hand.</p> <h2>3. Instagram Descriptions Often Have Coupons</h2> <p>Using Instagram to save money with coupons is not something that immediately comes to mind for most shoppers. But the fact of the matter is many retailers and restaurants are starting to use their Instagram profile pages to drop new coupons and deals. For example, I just recently used a coupon on the Dunkin' Donuts profile page to get a free cup of coffee with my doughnut purchase. The key to making this work is to follow your favorite shops and restaurants and get in the habit of checking their Instagram page before you complete your purchase.</p> <h2>4. Search Pinterest Boards for Deals</h2> <p>When it comes to saving money, Pinterest is a great tool but requires a different approach. Because Pinterest is a very static platform, searching for deals/coupons with hashtags is going to leave you frustrated with the lack of results. Instead, you'll want to search &quot;boards&quot; for deals and coupons to particular retailers that users have pinned. Boards are essentially a collection of saved pins and are often kept up-to-date by users. To make this happen, you'll type in your search in the search box, hit the filters button to include boards in your search, then hit enter. By doing it this way, you'll typically get the newest pins which includes a majority of coupons and deals that have yet to expire.</p> <h2>5. Become a Hashtag Superhero</h2> <p>By becoming proficient at using the underrated Twitter hashtag (#), you can quickly find where the best deals are located for specific items. For example, let's say you're in the market for a new mountain bike. A fantastic way to search the entire Internet for a great deal is go on Twitter and search #MountainBike #Deal (or #Sale), or #MountainBike #Coupon. Often Twitter users will combine hashtags when searching, like #MountainBikeCoupon and get frustrated with the results. But if you make it a habit of breaking-up the hashtags, you'll end up with a large list of discounts and coupons that you can use to quickly find the best deals.</p> <p>Also, a great way to localize your search, especially for larger items that are expensive to ship, is to add your hometown to your search query. So sticking with the mountain bike example, do a Twitter search like this: #Sacramento #MountainBike #Sale. You'll end up with search results that can easily lead you to the best current deals and sales in your area.</p> <h2>6. Use Live Chat the Right Way</h2> <p>Most online shoppers are familiar with the live chat feature that many websites operate. Have a question about the product, or want to know more about sizing? The live chat operator typically has the answers. But have you ever started a live chat session for the sole purpose of saving money? If not, you should try it as it often works. I like to start the chat sessions with a question about the product as I don't want it to seem like a gratuitous discount hunter.</p> <p>Once I chat them up a little bit, I'll politely ask if they have a coupon code I can use on my order. Maybe shipping is a little costly, or perhaps a competitor has a slightly cheaper price &mdash; both solid reasons to ask for a coupon. In many cases, the operator has a few coupon codes they can hand out at their discretion. So the bottom line is to be polite, have a real conversation, and you stand a great chance of getting a coupon code you can use to save money.</p> <p><em>How do you use social media to save money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology coupons customer service deals discounts Facebook hashtags instagram social media twitter Tue, 17 May 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Kyle James 1708162 at http://www.wisebread.com Can You Really Save With Amazon Prime Pantry? http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_food_computer_000081803795.jpg" alt="Man learning if he can really save with amazon prime pantry" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Amazon is the go-to website for many looking to save money. I am a huge fan of using Amazon to price-match Target and Walmart merchandise, and I take full advantage of the <a href="http://amzn.to/1RUayN8">Subscribe &amp; Save</a> program. However, one newer program, Prime Pantry, has a lot of shoppers confused.</p> <p>At first look, Prime Pantry does not seem to be that great of a deal. Many of the prices are the same as your local retail store, but what's with the $5.99 shipping? And do you have to fill your box to 100%? Prime Pantry can score you great deals on essential pantry items, but you need to know how to take full advantage of the program. Use these tips to get the best deal on Prime Pantry items.</p> <h2>Earn Pantry Credit</h2> <p>First things first, you do need to be an <a href="http://amzn.to/1S6Vnge">Amazon Prime</a> member. You can easily get a free trial or a discounted membership if you are a student. As a Prime member, every time you order a Prime item, you can choose &quot;Free No-Rush Shipping.&quot; In exchange for choosing a slower shipping speed, Amazon rewards you with either a $1 credit for eBooks and digital videos, or a $5.99 Pantry credit.</p> <p>I try to make it a habit of choosing the no-rush shipping option when I can wait a few extra days to receive my purchase. I will also separate orders to get the most credits possible. Once you have the $5.99 credit, do not use it until you can pair it with a free shipping promo.</p> <h2>Wait for Free Shipping</h2> <p>Usually once a month, Amazon offers free shipping on their Prime Pantry box if you buy five selected items. This will automatically save you $5.99 on your order. The free shipping code can be stacked with other coupons and your no-rush shipping credit.</p> <h2>Buy Items With Clippable Coupons</h2> <p>I used to be really good at using coupons and getting things like toothpaste and deodorant for free. I honestly just do not have time for that anymore. That is why I love that many of the Prime Pantry items come with clippable coupons. Sometimes the coupons are minimal, and other times they can dramatically reduce the cost of your purchase. I try to find items I need that have a clippable coupon and that also qualify for the free shipping promotion.</p> <h2>Wait for Additional Savings</h2> <p>Often Amazon will also offer their Pantry boxes for an additional 20%&ndash;30% off. Last month, I was able to get $60 worth of razor refills, cleaning products, and personal products for about $20 after stacking a 30% coupon, free shipping coupon, clippable coupons, and no-rush credit.</p> <h2>Slickdeals Is Invaluable</h2> <p>It can be time consuming searching through all of the Prime Pantry items to get the best possible deal. Thankfully, there are usually posters on Slickdeals.net that put together scenarios. As long as you need the Pantry items they post, using their scenarios minimizes a lot of the time and guesswork.</p> <h2>Don't Be Afraid to Contact Customer Support</h2> <p>When I was able to buy $60 worth of Pantry items for about $20, my 30% off code would not go through, even though I was doing everything correctly. I simply contacted customer service. All I had to do was give the representative screenshots of my order and tell them the page the code was on (which was Amazon's Prime Pantry's homepage). The customer service person told me to submit my order and then issued me a refund for the 30% once my order shipped.</p> <p>If the coupon codes are not working for you, don't get discouraged. Just reach out nicely to customer service via chat, and usually they are more than accommodating.</p> <h2>Submit More Than One Order</h2> <p>Unfortunately, you cannot use multiple no-rush credits on one order. You can take advantage of the free shipping and percentage off coupon more than once, though. If I have more than one no-rush credit, I will typically order the bare minimum to meet the coupon requirements, and then order another five items separately. This allows me to use both of my Prime Pantry credits.</p> <h2>Your Box Does Not Have to Be 100%</h2> <p>Every time you add something to your Pantry box, it tells you what percent of the box you have filled up. A common misconception is that you need to get your box total to 100%. This is not true and will cost you more than you need to spend. There is no minimum percentage that you need to fill your box.</p> <p>I really like Amazon's Prime Pantry, but I would not use it if I did not have coupons to stack. The more coupons you have to stack, the lower your price will be.</p> <p><em>What do you think about Amazon's Prime Pantry?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered">12 Surprising Things You Can Have Delivered</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-cut-your-food-bill-without-clipping-a-single-coupon">7 Ways to Cut Your Food Bill Without Clipping a Single Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-get-coupons-for-healthy-foods-too-heres-where">You Can Get Coupons for Healthy Foods Too — Here&#039;s Where</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping amazon prime coupons food delivery grocery service prime pantry shipping stacking Tue, 03 May 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1698664 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Spot and Avoid a Fake Sale http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spot-and-avoid-a-fake-sale <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-spot-and-avoid-a-fake-sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_clothes_000084963291.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to spot a fake sale and keep more money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Retailers these days have gotten very good at tricking you into thinking you're getting a great deal, even when you aren't. Whether it's through words they use to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending" target="_blank">trick your brain</a> into thinking an item is a screaming deal, or the promotional techniques they employ to get you to open your wallets, it's important to be on the lookout. Here are some of the most used techniques along with some ways to fight back.</p> <h2>1. Words, Words, Everywhere Words</h2> <p>As consumers, it's important to realize that retailers hire psychologists to choose the words they place on signs in their stores. It could be as simple as &quot;Limited Time Offer&quot; or &quot;Expiring Soon&quot; to the more subtle &quot;New Low Price.&quot; All of these words and phrases are chosen to trick your brain into opening your wallet. In many cases, the price of a &quot;Limited Time Offer&quot; is the same price the item has been for months, and the &quot;New Low Price&quot; is simply the introductory price of a product.</p> <p>To avoid this trick, totally ignore the words you see in stores and instead let the numbers tell the story. By numbers, I mean the actual price of the item. If it's a store you shop at regularly, you'll probably be able to easily tell if the price is actually a sale price. But for the majority of us, we have no idea if the price is a good deal. Use a smartphone app like&nbsp;<a href="http://shopsavvy.com/">ShopSavvy</a> to quickly scan the item's barcode and check the price at online stores as well as brick and mortar stores in your local area. By doing a quick price check, you let the facts steer your buying decision and not the words retailers use to separate you from your hard-earned money.</p> <h2>2. Avoid &quot;Open the Wallet&quot; Pricing</h2> <p>The next time you walk into a big-box retailer, take a second to notice the elaborate displays found near the front of the store. Often the products are highly-discounted and very appealing to the eye and tend to draw shoppers in. These displays are perfect examples of &quot;Open the Wallet&quot; pricing, which is a trick to get shoppers excited about saving money in the hopes they buy a bunch stuff they don't need and had no intention of buying in the first place. After all, since you saved a bunch of money on these strategically priced items, you now have more money to spend on other stuff, right? Wrong.</p> <p>Walmart, Target, Old Navy, and Macy's are a few of the retailers famous for employing this strategy. By being aware of what stores are trying to do, you can shop with blinders on and walk past these &quot;Open the Wallet&quot; displays and stay focused on the reason you walked into the store in the first place.</p> <h2>3. When a Coupon Won't Save You Money</h2> <p>Often retailers will raise the price of their products to full-retail right before releasing a coupon to the general public. This trick essentially makes the coupon worthless. For example, a storewide sale they had last weekend will often give you the same savings as using the coupon when prices are high. Eddie Bauer, Ann Taylor, Gap, American Eagle, and Lands' End are a few of the more popular retailers known to employ this trick. The one thing to avoid is failing to use a coupon when prices are at regular-price, as you'll end up spending way more than you should.</p> <p>Another aspect of this trick is &quot;High-Low&quot; pricing, which is when retailers have relatively high everyday prices, then regularly lower their prices via coupons and sales events. In actuality, they know they'll sell very little at full-retail, and at the same time, they give consumers the perception that they're scoring a great deal by issuing coupons and limited time discounts. So in essence, the sale price becomes the everyday price and shoppers need to keep this in mind when price comparing. JCPenney, Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, and Kohl's are some of the stores who use this trick to make you think you're saving money.</p> <h2>4. Be Aware of Decoy Pricing Schemes</h2> <p>Have you ever shopped for running shoes and noticed the uber expensive models that stores often place in the front displays? I'm talking about running shoes in the $125 to $175 range. This is not by accident, as these expensive models make the more reasonably-priced athletic shoes look like a real bargain. This is known as &quot;decoy pricing&quot; and is also done at jewelry stores, with Apple products on display in the Apple Store, and HDTVs at Best Buy.</p> <p>For example, the $3,000 4K HDTV in the front display at Best Buy makes the $750 no-frills, but still high-quality, Samsung model look like a steal. In actuality, Best Buy knows they won't sell many of the $3,000 models, and they're cool with it because it makes all the other models look like a better deal. After all, the more reasonably-priced models are their bread-and-butter and what they depend on selling in droves to stay profitable. By knowing what retailers are trying to do, you can focus solely on the products in your price range and find the best value that fits your budget. In other words, ignore the bright and shiny objects that you can't afford and focus only on what you can.</p> <p><em>How do you avoid falling for the tricks stores use to separate you from your money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spot-and-avoid-a-fake-sale">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping">6 Easy Ways to Use Technology to Save on Christmas Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bad deals coupons decoy pricing discounts fake sales retail tricks Thu, 21 Apr 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Kyle James 1691581 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shop_owner_000048396518.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to score a last-minute coupon" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As any frugal shopper can attest, there's nothing worse than paying full-price when all your attempts to find a coupon come up empty. Fortunately, with a little outside-the-box thinking, there is almost always a way to score an online or in-store coupon and save significant money in the process. Here are six such ways that'll keep you from paying full-price on darn near anything. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break?ref=seealso">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use Live Chat and Ask</h2> <p>If you're shopping online and all of your attempts to find a coupon code for a particular retailer fail, try starting a live chat session and ask for one. Most large retail websites these days employ live chat operators that are standing by to help you with your purchase or answer any questions you might have. They also often have a list of coupon codes at their disposal that they can hand out at their discretion.</p> <p>Politely start a conversation, chat them up a little bit, then ask if they might have a coupon code for 20% off or perhaps free shipping. Make this a healthy frugal habit and you can save significant money over the course of a year. Retailers where this really works includes Lands' End, Home Depot, Old Navy, Office Depot, Shutterfly, and LL Bean.</p> <h2>2. Use a Competitor's Coupon</h2> <p>If you're shopping at Michaels and you can't find a printable in-store coupon, just look for a JoAnn, AC Moore, or Hobby Lobby coupon instead as they'll happily accept competitor coupons. Other popular stores that will accept competitor coupons include Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, JoAnn, Office Depot, Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Walmart.</p> <p>When shopping in-store, the best way to gain quick access to these coupons is to arm your smartphone with a free coupon app from RetailMeNot or CouponSherpa. Then simply do a quick search for competitor coupons and save some easy money.</p> <h2>3. Abandon Your Virtual Cart</h2> <p>This tip is by far the most passive aggressive way to score an online coupon when you seem destined to pay full-price. It also takes a little patience, so it might not work if you need the item tomorrow. Many online retailers will try to entice you back by sending you a coupon via email if you leave, or abandon, items in your virtual shopping cart.</p> <p>For this to work you need to have an account with the retailer so they have your email address in their system. Then simply add the item(s) you want to buy to your online cart, then logout and wait for your coupon. If you're going to get a coupon to come back and finish your purchase, you'll typically get it within 24 hours. Retailers that have been known to send out coupons this way include Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, JCPenney, Best Buy, Williams-Sonoma, Office Max, and Land of Nod.</p> <h2>4. The Stores That Hand Them Out</h2> <p>Are you aware that some store employees are armed with coupons that they'll happily scan for you when checking out at the register? For example, if you forget to bring in your &quot;20% off any 1 item&quot; coupon at Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, just politely explain the situation to the checkout employee, and more often than not, they'll pull one out from behind the counter and scan it for you.</p> <p>A good way to judge whether the store you're shopping at might have a coupon ready to hand out is the frequency of their coupon offerings. If they always seem to have a coupon except for the day you happen to be shopping, there's a great chance an employee can get you one if you ask. Besides Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, stores where you should definitely ask include Kohl's, Harbor Freight, Macy's, and Michaels.</p> <h2>5. Hit Up Facebook for a Coupon</h2> <p>Another great way to find a coupon for a specific retailer is to hit up their Facebook page. All you have to do is send them a message politely asking for a coupon for some extra savings. Most large retailers have employees monitoring their Facebook presence and responding quickly to message requests. By quickly, I mean often within 30 minutes. You can either search Facebook directly to find the stores page or look for the Facebook icon on the retailer's homepage and click directly on it.</p> <h2>6. Tweet for a Coupon</h2> <p>Twitter is another excellent way to communicate directly with a retailer in an attempt to score a coupon. This is due to the fact that most Twitter feeds are constantly being monitored and a quick response is almost guaranteed. From the specific retailer's Twitter page, click on &quot;Message&quot; and type your coupon request. Be sure your request is polite and conversational and not demanding in tone.</p> <p>Your chances of success rise substantially if you've had a previous bad customer service experience with the retailer. Briefly explain what happened in your Twitter message and often times the retailer will give you a coupon to make up for your bad experience.</p> <p><em>How do you avoid paying full-price when a discount seems completely unavailable?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spot-and-avoid-a-fake-sale">4 Ways to Spot and Avoid a Fake Sale</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupons customer service discounts expired Facebook live chat twitter Wed, 13 Apr 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Kyle James 1687437 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clipping_coupons_000046465166.jpg" alt="Stores letting you break common coupon rules" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Coupons are awesome tools for saving money when they work exactly as advertised. But what happens when the coupon burning a hole in your pocket turns out to be expired, chock full of exclusions, or beset with a quantity discount? Fortunately, if you know the couponing rules you can bend, you still have excellent opportunities to save money with coupons that many uninformed shoppers would deem worthless. Here is what you need to know to make it happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coupon Expiration Dates</h2> <p>There is nothing more frustrating than pulling out your coupon when checking out, only to notice it expired last week. But, depending on the store you're in, many will still happily accept that expired coupon. Also, just because your favorite store might not be mentioned here, always try to use the expired coupon &mdash; many stores will have a coupon behind the counter that you can use. After all, you have nothing to lose and a few bucks (or maybe much more) to gain.</p> <h3>Bed Bath &amp; Beyond</h3> <p>Did you know that your 20% off any one item coupon at Bed Bath &amp; Beyond will often still work when expired? So don't throw them away when you find an old one buried in your desk drawer. Worst case scenario, the BBB employee will pull out a non-expired version of the same coupon from behind the counter and scan it for you.</p> <h3>Burger King</h3> <p>Most Burger King locations will still accept your expired coupon. As a matter of fact, because the unofficial policy is to take all coupons, many employees won't even glance at the expiration date when giving you your discount.</p> <h3>Buy Buy Baby</h3> <p>Don't throw away your expired Buy Buy Baby coupons, because they'll typically still accept them. Can't find a coupon? Just use your Bed Bath &amp; Beyond coupon, as they've been known to accept those, too.</p> <h3>Dick's Sporting Goods</h3> <p>I recently discovered that Dick's will often honor expired coupons. If they don't accept it, the cashier usually has a very similar non-expired coupon they can scan for you.</p> <h3>Kohl's</h3> <p>While Kohl's might not take an expired coupon <em>per se</em>, they will indeed take your expired Kohl's cash. So don't throw it away!</p> <h3>Petco</h3> <p>If you have an expired Petco branded coupon, be sure to not discard it. Petco stores will typically still take their own coupons &mdash; but not expired manufacturer coupons.</p> <h2>2. Quantity Limit Workaround</h2> <p>Many in-store grocery coupons come with a stingy quantity limit of a single item. This can really curb your savings if you're trying to stock up on something when the price is right. An obvious workaround is to politely ask the cashier to break up your purchase into separate transactions so you can use the coupon on each. However, some stores also limit the coupon to one use per visit &mdash; which would shoot that workaround in the foot.</p> <p>A better way to get around the quantity limit is to learn how to stack coupons to your advantage. This is when you use a store-issued coupon in conjunction with a manufacturer coupon, and in essence, double your savings. Then if you want to stock up and buy more than a single item, you can use the store-issued coupon on one item, and the manufacturer coupon on another. By doing it this way, you still get similar savings and avoid the dirty looks. Popular retailers that let you do this include Whole Foods, Publix, CVS, Safeway, Rite Aid, Target, and Walgreens.</p> <h2>3. Grace Period on Manufacturer Coupons</h2> <p>The couponing world has seen some pretty cool technological advances in recent years. For example, did you know that many manufacturer coupons now have data encrypted into them that can often extend their expiration dates via a grace period? So a coupon that has a printed expiration of 2/29 might not actually expire until 3/15, or later. The most obvious way to determine this &quot;grace period&quot; is to have the cashier scan them individually and see if they're accepted or rejected. To avoid holding up the line and wasting a bunch of your time, instead consider downloading an app like&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dustywallet.qseer">QSeer Coupon Reader</a> so you can scan the coupon at home and see if it has a grace period attached to it.</p> <h2>4. Coupon Exclusions and Restrictions</h2> <p>Have you ever tried to use a retailer's coupon only to discover the brand you're trying to purchase is excluded from the coupon? These coupon exclusions often come directly from the brand's headquarters, as they don't want to be considered a &quot;discount&quot; brand by consumers.</p> <p>The good news is that many retailers will often overlook certain brand exclusion and give you the coupon discount anyways, or offer another solution to help you score a deal. Stores where I have had the cashier give me the discount anyways includes Dick's Sporting Goods, JCPenney, Sports Authority, and Guitar Center. The key takeaway here is to try and use the coupon anyways. Many employees are trained to always keep the customer happy and will either give you the discount, or have a different coupon you can use to score similar savings.</p> <p><em>How you ever been able to bend the rules of couponing to your advantage?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupons discounts exclusions expired negotiating saving money Fri, 26 Feb 2016 10:30:28 +0000 Kyle James 1661855 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Shopping Apps That'll Actually Save You Money in 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_phone_000083052285.jpg" alt="Woman using shopping apps that will save her money in 2016" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mobile technology is an amazing thing, especially when used to save us money. Here are eight free shopping apps, for both iOS and Android, that will help save you big in 2016. Play around with a few of these to find what works best for you and your busy life.</p> <h2>1. Ibotta</h2> <p><a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a> lets you earn cash back via &quot;secret rebates&quot; on grocery items. Before you go shopping, simply unlock cash rewards on the app by completing small tasks. Tasks include reading a fun fact about a product, taking a quick poll, or writing a short comment about a specific item. After completing the task, the product is added to your &quot;Checklist&quot; and you earn a cash reward when you buy it on your next trip to the store.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?ref=seealso">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></p> <p>Cash rewards include things like $1 back on CoffeeMate creamers, or 50 cents back on a box of Triscuits. To verify your purchase, you simply scan your receipt via the app and get paid via PayPal or gift card when your account reaches at least $5.</p> <h2>2. Coupon Sherpa</h2> <p><a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/">Coupon Sherpa</a> is a must download if you hate paying full-price at retail establishments and restaurants alike. Simply search the app for a coupon when you're in-store, show it to the cashier when checking out, and collect your savings without ever yielding a pair of scissors.</p> <p>The app stands apart from the competition because it's stocked with online coupons, in-store coupons, and location-based coupons that inform you of the best money-saving offers in your area. Shoppers can also select their favorite stores ahead of time and quickly pull up the coupon while standing in the checkout line. Coupon Sherpa founder, Luke Knowles, told me this is easily one of the feature that users love the most. When asked how much money the app can save the typical family of four, Knowles figured a loyal user could easily save $300&ndash;$500 a year.</p> <h2>3. Krazy Coupon Lady</h2> <p>The team at <a href="http://thekrazycouponlady.com/">Krazy Coupon Lady</a> prides themselves on having an app that's a true consumer tool, especially when combined with other shopping apps like Ibotta, Target Cartwheel, and Amazon mobile. Co-founder Joanie Demer puts it best: &quot;Our team of expert shoppers scours store ads, online coupons, and digital rebates, and hand selects the best deals we know our users will love. Instead of competing, our app actually enhances the effectiveness of other shopping apps.&quot;</p> <p>This app is perfect for new couponers &mdash; there's actually a section dedicated to learning how to stack coupons and save strategically. It's also great for those who don't have the time to sort through all of the coupons and store ads one-by-one, as they hand-select the best deals for you. How much money can the app save you? According to Demer, &quot;A typical family of four can save $80 per month by using this app just once per week. But, thousands of diligent couponers who use the app near daily save over $200 per month.&quot;</p> <h2>4. SavingStar</h2> <p><a href="https://savingstar.com/how_it_works">SavingStar</a> helps you save on your next trip to the grocery store. Simply browse their current offers, tap the ones you want to use, and they'll automatically be activated. Unlike iBotta, there are no small tasks to be completed. Offers include things like $1 off when you purchase five or more Yoplait yogurts, or 20% off fresh tomatoes. Then shop as you normally would and scan your receipt to collect your savings.</p> <p>You can also link the app directly to a grocery store or drugstore loyalty card and avoid having to scan your receipt. They let you link with over 75 popular grocery and drugstore chains across the United States. Once your account reaches $5, you'll be eligible to get paid via PayPal, direct deposit, or you can donate to your favorite charity.</p> <h2>5. Checkout 51</h2> <p>&quot;Buy groceries, earn cash back.&quot; In a sentence, that is what <a href="https://www.checkout51.com/">Checkout 51</a> is all about. Every Thursday morning, they add new cash back offers to their shopping app. Once downloaded to your mobile device, all you have to do is pick the grocery offers that you're likely to use.</p> <p>After you purchase those items at your local grocery store, simply upload a picture of your receipt via the app. After your purchase is verified, your cash is added to your account &mdash; and once your balance reaches $20, they mail you a check. A few current offers on their app that caught my eye include $1 cash back on Life cereal, $1 back on Glade Plugins, and $1.50 back on CleanSmart Disinfectant Spray.</p> <h2>6. Shopmium</h2> <p>Brought to you by Coupons.com, <a href="https://www.shopmium.com/us/">Shopmium</a> offers exclusive product rebates on many grocery items that you'll probably be buying anyways. Along with rebates on everyday products like bread, dairy items, and beverages, the app also displays &quot;new to market&quot; items with rebates that allow you to try them for free.</p> <p>Unlike Ibotta, you don't have to perform a task to be eligible for your rebate. You simply buy the item at any store, scan your receipt into the app, and your rebate is automatically sent to your PayPal or bank account, typically within 24 hours. The app is an excellent companion download to Ibotta as the combination of both opens up a large number of product rebates available to you.</p> <h2>7. Walmart Savings Catcher</h2> <p>The beauty of <a href="https://savingscatcher.walmart.com/">Walmart's Savings Catcher</a> app is that it doesn't require any extra work to collect your money. All you have to do is scan your Walmart receipt into the app, and they'll search for a better price on the items you bought at local competitors. If Walmart finds a lower price, they'll credit you the difference.</p> <p>I personally have been using the app for the past six months and my balance is already over $20. You only have seven days after your Walmart purchase to scan your receipt, so I've gotten into the habit of scanning it as I walk out of the store so I don't forget. Redeem your balance whenever you want via a Walmart gift card.</p> <h2>8. ShopSavvy</h2> <p>When it comes to taking advantage of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores">retailer's price-match policies</a>, and making sure you get the lowest price possible, <a href="http://shopsavvy.com/">ShopSavvy</a> is a must-have. The app allows you to scan the barcode of an item and instantly tells you if it's sold cheaper online or at another retailer located in your area.</p> <p>The best feature of the app, and what makes it stand out from the competition, is the &quot;Price-Match&quot; feature. After scanning an item's barcode, the app will actually inform you if the store you are shopping at will offer a price-match. But more than that, the app will also display a special &quot;Price-Match&quot; screen that you can show to the store's employee which allows for a quick and painless comparison. No more thumbing through store ads to try and find a lower price, as the app does all of the hard work for you.</p> <p><em>What smartphone apps do you use to score the best deal possible when shopping?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-the-best-deals-on-groupon">7 Ways to Get the Best Deals on Groupon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps coupons deals groceries price comparisons price matching Tue, 26 Jan 2016 10:00:03 +0000 Kyle James 1645272 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Things Every Frugal Person Should Have In Their Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_purse_000078780735.jpg" alt="Woman learning things every frugal person should have in their wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I use my wallet not only for spending money, but for <em>saving </em>money as well. Having the right resources in your wallet makes it much more likely that you'll take advantage of money-saving opportunities that come along every day.</p> <p>What should you have in your wallet to help you be a savvy saver?</p> <h2>1. Cash</h2> <p>Carrying cash has several advantages. If you keep a supply of cash on hand, you'll never pay ATM fees. Also, cash is psychologically more painful to spend than using credit cards, so you're likely to be more frugal when having to part with paper.</p> <p>I get even more benefit from carrying cash by using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">money envelope system</a> to control spending. In my household, we pay for all food expenses using cash from our envelope, so if I have cash in my wallet, I know I can buy food and still be within budget.</p> <h2>2. Coupons</h2> <p>You can save a lot of money with coupons, but you need to have them with you when you are buying something. I put the best coupons for my favorite stores in my wallet. That way, I am always prepared to take advantage of savings.</p> <h2>3. Store Loyalty Cards</h2> <p>Some grocery stores offer cash discounts and points toward free items if you swipe your loyalty card at checkout. On a recent shopping trip, I was able to get a couple bags of food items for free by cashing in my points. The people in line behind me were amazed!</p> <h2>4. Credit Cards With Rewards and Discounts</h2> <p>If you pay off your credit card balance every month, you might as well take advantage of the rewards. I get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-store-credit-card-target-redcard">5% off every purchase</a> at some of my favorite stores. I use the rewards points I get from other purchases to score free items on Amazon. The credit card companies are betting that you will carry a balance and end up generating profit for them. Pay off your balance every month, and you'll get the rewards for free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Another reason to carry at least one credit card is to handle emergency situations. If your vehicle breaks down, you may need to pay for towing and repairs at the shop. If you have a medical emergency, you may need to pay at the time of treatment.</p> <h2>5. Health Savings Account Card</h2> <p>I signed up for a program that allows me to contribute on a pre-tax basis to a health savings account (HSA). With the health savings credit card I carry in my wallet, I can use pre-tax dollars to pay for prescription medicine and cover the co-pay for medical services. I save about 35% every time I use my HSA card since I am using money that was not subject to taxes.</p> <p>Your employer may offer an HSA program, but if not, you can start your own account at your bank or credit union and take advantage of big savings on healthcare expenses.</p> <h2>6. Consignment Store Account Numbers</h2> <p>I carry my consignment store account numbers in my wallet to make it as easy as possible to drop things off. You'll also need your account number to pick up your money after your items sell.</p> <h2>7. Insurance Cards</h2> <p>I carry cards in my wallet for medical insurance, prescription medicine insurance, and auto insurance. Make it as easy as possible to quickly access your coverage information.</p> <p><em>What do you carry in your wallet to help you save money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-things-every-frugal-person-should-have-in-their-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-switching-to-the-cash-only-lifestyle">Everything You Need to Know About Switching to the Cash Only Lifestyle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget">6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system">A Comprehensive Guide to the Envelope System</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Organization carrying a wallet cash coupons Envelope system HSA insurance Mon, 11 Jan 2016 10:00:03 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1634857 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things to Wait Until After Christmas to Buy http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-to-wait-until-after-christmas-to-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-to-wait-until-after-christmas-to-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_binoculars_000076051407.jpg" alt="Woman waiting until after Christmas to buy these things" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While the media tends to focus on shopping events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Free Shipping Day, the sales and clearance deals you'll find right after Christmas just might trump them all. The key to maximizing your savings is to know which items tend to be marked down the most, as well considering events in early 2016 where you may need a gift. Buy it now, store it, and save a bunch of money. Here are the eight best post-Christmas deals worth considering.</p> <h2>1. Clothing and Outerwear</h2> <p>Aside from Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day, perhaps the best time to stock up on clothing are the days right after Christmas. Last year, for instance, Nordstrom Rack sold clearance items for an additional 25% off through January 4th. On December 26th, Victoria's Secret had an in-store promotion for buy one bra, get one 50% off, while Macy's marked down all sweaters by 65%. Also last year, Banana Republic had a coupon code good for 50% off your entire online order. Look for more of the same deals this year.</p> <p>Also, due to the incredibly warm weather right now in the eastern U.S., winter apparel is not exactly flying off the shelves. The good news is that many stores are trying to unload excess inventory of jackets, sweaters, boots, and scarves and offering deals up to 60% off. Look for these sales from retailers like Macy's, TJ Maxx, Gap, and Lands' End to continue right through the New Year. This really is a great time to stock up for next year's winter.</p> <h2>2. Christmas Decor and Wrapping Paper</h2> <p>I'm always surprised by the number of shoppers I see walking around before Christmas with a cart full of wrapping paper and decorations. Apparently, they haven't received the memo that the absolute best time to stock up on that stuff is right <em>after</em> Christmas. No joke, you'll find wrapping paper, decorations, bows, ornaments, and the like, at 40%&ndash;75% off. Retailers have no place to store their extra inventory and will practically give it away. The stores that typically have the best deals include Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, Walmart, and even Pottery Barn. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-clever-and-attractive-ways-to-save-on-gift-wrapping-paper">15 Cheap, Clever, and Attractive Ways to Save on Gift Wrapping Paper</a>)</p> <h2>3. Wedding Gifts</h2> <p>While the wedding season won't roll around for another five months, it's still a great time to save money on a potential gift. If you know you'll be attending a matrimonial ceremony in the near future, take advantage of after-Christmas sales on small appliances, home decor, dishware, and housewares. Retailers that typically have their best sales of the year include JCPenney, Macy's, Crate &amp; Barrel, and Cost Plus World Market.</p> <h2>4. Fitness Equipment</h2> <p>One of the most popular New Year's resolutions is to get in shape. To entice consumers to make a fitness equipment purchase, retailers like Sears, Sports Authority, and Dick's Sporting Goods start offering some pretty attractive incentives and coupons starting December 26th and going right through the New Year. Last year, we saw Sports Authority offer $50 off your order of $250 or more, and Sears was selling elliptical machines and treadmills from NordicTrack, ProForm, and AFG for 50% off the original price tag.</p> <h2>5. Teacher Gifts</h2> <p>With three elementary-aged kids, this is a tip my wife and I use. We routinely pick up a few teacher gifts that are on sale right after Christmas. We then store them until the end of May, when our kids give them to their teachers. If your kids give Christmas gifts to their teacher every December, stock up when ornaments and decorations are being sold for 75%&ndash;90% off the original price right after the holidays. This way, you won't be scrambling for last-minute teacher gifts next year.</p> <h2>6. HDTVs</h2> <p>Last year, starting on December 26th, we saw retailers like Best Buy, Sears, and Walmart slash the prices on overstocked HDTVs. Look for more of the same this year and be prepared to arrive when the doors open to secure a deal. While there will be some name brand models on sale, look for the best deals from third tier manufacturers like Westinghouse, Element, Insignia, RCA, and Ultra. Last year many of the prices were very similar to what we saw on Black Friday, making it a great day to save.</p> <h2>7. Baby Gear</h2> <p>This is another one of those out-of-the box ways to think about your spending. If you have a friend or family member expecting a baby in the next few months, right after Christmas is a terrific time to look for a baby shower or newborn gift on the cheap. Historically, retailers like Gymboree, Babies R Us, Hanna Andersson, and Children's Place have some amazing sales after the holidays as they start to clear out older merchandise.</p> <h2>8. Future Holiday Gifts</h2> <p>In particular, consider gifts for upcoming holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Father's Day. After-Christmas sales can often be a great time to save money on jewelry, tools, personalized gifts, and small kitchen appliances. Retailers to consider, both online and in-store, include Home Depot, Zales, Shutterfly, and Macy's, as they're famous for slashing prices right after Christmas through January 1st.</p> <p><em>Do you take advantage of post-Christmas deals? If so, what's the best deal you've gotten in recent years?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-to-wait-until-after-christmas-to-buy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">50 Best Deals and Coupon Sites</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping after christmas bogo clearance coupons deals post holidays sales Mon, 21 Dec 2015 16:00:05 +0000 Kyle James 1623404 at http://www.wisebread.com