We all struggle to save money. It’s tough to spend less. There are ways to spend less and save more. The trick is to plan your spending and be flexible. Below we offer tips for both.
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To save money, you need to plan and think about the future. Not planning is a common mistake. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you need it. Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you need it.
When making a purchase, consider when and where you will use the product and how many you will need. It’s okay to take an educated guess. It takes some time to figure out your strategy and consuming habits.
Will you use it?
When shopping, think about if/when you will use whatever the “good deal” is. If it’s food, ask yourself if you have the space to store extras. Decide if you will be able to consume the product before it expires. If you are at a retail store and see a significant item on clearance, don’t just buy it because it is $1. If you don’t end up using it, it’s not a deal.
I get a ton of party favors at
Only cut coupons you will use
When cutting coupons, cut only the coupons you believe you will use. It’s a waste of time to cut everything. Unless you are a super couponer and plan to trade with others, just cut the ones you will use. Get a good coupon organizer to keep track of what you have. Read my Tips for Getting and Using Grocery Store Coupons for more information.
Cash Back Sites
Before shopping online, I either click through Ebates to get % back or look for coupon / promotional codes I can apply to my purchase. Read more on Cha Ching Queen about how to get % back at these places.
Plan your meals. Before going to the store, list the items you need. Unless you see an excellent deal, try to stick with your list. When I make a list, I may write down snacks. Then, when I get to the snack aisle, I compare prices with the coupons I have to get the best deal.
Online coupon searches
Before I leave the house, go grocery shopping, mall shopping, or go out to eat, I do a quick online printable coupon. For groceries, I like to use a coupon database. You can search all printable coupons or a specific search for a particular product. Searching for manufacturer, retail, and restaurant coupons is also a good idea.
Your family wants to save money at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Go to Google. Type “Dick’s Sporting printable coupon”
Try it here. Type in the product name and “coupon” or “printable coupon” See what comes up.
Use price comparison sites
Before you buy something, see if there’s a price comparison site where you can see how much it costs at various stores. Usually, you’ll find a better deal than the one you were going to use, and it only takes a few minutes to check, so it’s well worth your time.
Ask For coupons
Don’t be afraid to ask for coupons. If there are certain products you often use, go to the company’s website and request a voucher.
Okay, so I know many people don’t like asking for discounts. They’re too shy, or they think it’s rude, insulting, or impolite in some way to do so, but they’re dead wrong. Businesses want to make sales, and if they have to knock 10 percent of the ticket price to do so, it might just be worth it for them to do so, and you’ll save money. Just be polite, and you’ll see more success than you might think! You don’t lose anything by asking.
Use a Coupon Extension
Always looking for coupons can take up a lot of time. However, installing a coupon extension like Honey to your internet browser will automatically collect all of the best coupon and discount deals from around the web into one neat package.
Whether you’re looking to buy a new games control or a fabulous makeup palette, chances are you’ll be able to find an applicable coupon in a couple of clicks.
Sign up for rewards programs
If there’s a store that you shop at a lot, and they have a rewards program, sign up, and after your first few shops, you’ll never have to pay the total price again because you’ll receive offers and discounts. Plus, you’ll be able to use any points you’ve accrued to cut the cost of your bill a little.
To get the best deals, you need to be flexible. You may have to compromise and not contact the item you planned to purchase. Below are ideas where flexibility will save you money
Buy in bulk
Buy a few extra packages of beef and keep them in the freezer. Please, do not buy 15 boxes unless you have the room to freeze them and are sure you will eat them before they expire.
Offer to pay in cash
Since most card payments cost the retailer more to process, many physical stores will be receptive to knocking a few dollars off your bill if you offer to pay them in cash. This is particularly true of independent retailers, who are usually up for making deals as long as you don’t push it too far.
Shop in the offseason
Regarding food shopping, purchasing goods in season will usually save you a few dollars, but for everything else, shopping out of season will see you save big bucks. For instance, if you buy summer clothes in winter, there’s a good chance they will be heavily discounted, and the same goes for fans, coolers, and…well, anything with seasonal connotations.
Cancel subscriptions to save money
Canceling a subscription, or at least threatening to do so, can often pay off and make your bank balance grow each month. Most companies want to retain their loyal customers and are willing to put a deal or two on the table to do so.
Some websites will even offer you a discount as soon as you click on the cancel button, in a bit to make you change your mind on the spot. So, if there’s a service you love but you think it’s a bit too expensive, wield the cancel threat like a sword and fight your way to larger savings.
Check out Clearance
When shopping at a retail store, check out the clearance section. Usually, these are clothes that are out of season. It may not be what you had planned on buying. If it’s summer and there’s a leather coat on sale at a “you’d be stupid not to get it price.” Only buy it if you think you or someone you know would wear it. I guess this goes along with the planning section as well.
Point out issues
If you’re dress shopping and you notice that a pretty outfit has a couple of loose buttons or a poorly stitched seam, it might be worth pointing it out to the sales assistant. Ask if you could buy it at a reduced price. They’ll happily oblige you in many cases because the alternative would ultimately take it off the shop floor.
It may be uncomfortable to ask for a discount, but you’ll have a brand-new outfit at bargain prices.
Remember, plan and be flexible, and you can be on your way to saving a lot of money each month.
Don’t check out so quickly online.
Leave items in your cart. You’ve probably noticed that they’ll try to entice you back if you don’t finish the checkout process at several online stores. Sometimes it is with free delivery, money off, and buy one get one free offer. So, if you’re smart, delay your gratification for a day or two and see those savings roll in.
Greg is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 22+ years experience in Financial Services. He has held numerous FINRA Securities licenses (series 7, 63, 65, and 66), and is an expert on Investment Products and Financial Planning. Greg has 22+ years experience as a real estate investor and degrees in Psychology and Philosophy.
Greg has been quoted/interviewed in Yahoo Money, Yahoo Finance, USA Today, Authority Magazine, Realtor.com, Business Insider, and others.
Greg is an avid runner, and the father to identical twin girls and their awesome brother. His love of budgeting and his kids led him to join The Great Resignation in 2021.
Disclaimer: Any Financial Tips on ChaChingQueen are general and informational. Speak with a professional about your specific situation.