4 money-saving summer shopping tips
Published June 09, 2017
Sticking to a budget when shopping can help shoppers stay out of debt and avoid buying items they don't need. But staying within budget is a challenge for many shoppers, especially when they come upon items that are hard to resist.
Breaking the budget is imprudent, and savvy shoppers know it's oftentimes unnecessary. By employing a handful of money-saving strategies on their next shopping trip, shoppers can have their cake and eat it, too.
Embrace coupons. The days of clipping coupons from store circulars or catalogues may seem like a thing of the past, but shoppers can still use coupons to save substantial amounts of money. While national retailers may be unlikely to offer customers coupons, many small local businesses still utilize coupons to compel shoppers to visit their stores. Small businesses may not have the advertising budgets to promote their coupons as much as their larger competitors, but savvy shoppers willing to put in a little work may find their diligence rewarded with discounts. Scan local newspapers or peruse small businesses' websites for coupons.
Try negotiating. There was a time when negotiation was a big part of the shopping experience. While that time has long since passed, many retailers, particularly small, locally owned businesses, may be open to negotiation. Small business owners can often be found working in their stores, so budget-conscious shoppers should not hesitate to speak with business owners or managers in an effort to negotiate sale prices.
Shop at the right time. Retailers must make room for new products by unloading their existing inventory. Study industry trends to determine when retailers mark down items as they try to clear room for new products. For example, clothing retailers tend to discount summer clothing as autumn approaches, making late summer a great time to shop for swimsuits and other warm weather apparel.
Be flexible. If a certain item just won't fit into your budget, try to be flexible and find a similar item that's more affordable. When purchasing big-ticket items such as appliances, apply this approach by looking for last year's models instead of the newest models on the market. Last year's models might still be an upgrade over your existing items, and retailers tend to greatly reduce prices once new models are introduced to the market.
Savvy shoppers working within a budget can still find great deals without accruing debt or spending more money than they're comfortable spending.