Couponing, haggling, comparison-shopping: Really, who has the time?
These tried-and-true tricks for saving money are great strategies, but they take time – a lot of it.
So, how can you save money without spending hours clipping, arguing or comparing? Read on for nine clever hacks.
Use apps and other digital tools: Your smartphone is a goldmine of money-saving tools, though it’s tough to know which ones actually work and which ones just spam you until you change email addresses.
In addition to apps, there are a host of digital tools that help you save money seamlessly.
Create lists for every shopping trip: Lists aren’t just for groceries. They can be for apparel, home decor, storage solutions and other items. By recording exactly what you need for every shopping trip, you’re less likely to pick up items on impulse and focus more intently on what you actually need.
What’s more, an app like Google Keep makes it easy for family members to make updates to lists while shopping, so they don’t have to make multiple trips for items they forgot.
Receive price matches effortlessly: Competition among retailers is fierce, and consumers can come out on top using store apps. The Amazon PriceCheck app for iPhone users is useful in showing store associates better pricing to receive a price match.
Just ask: One of the easiest ways to get a discount is to simply ask. This may seem daunting but most salespeople are happy to help. In fact, most will tell you exactly what sales and savings are available after you cross the store threshold.
This works for online shopping, too. Open a live chat with a representative and ask about available deals, or share a screenshot of the same item priced better elsewhere. Your efforts will likely be rewarded with a discount code, free shipping or price match.
Get fraud protection: The more you swipe your credit card, the more vulnerable you are to credit card theft and identity theft. While complete avoidance is impossible, you can set up alerts, so you learn exactly when your account has been compromised.
Most credit cards give you the option to enable alerts, which notify you when any transaction, or charge over a certain amount, is made to your account.
Shop with discount gift cards: For built-in savings, shop with discount gift cards. This may seem like a too-good-to-be-true scam, but the secondary gift card market has been around for more than a decade.
Track prices without the work: With prices fluctuating as often as they do, it’s tough to know when to make your purchase for the most value. Enter MyAlerts, an online tool that does all the tracking for you. Simply save products you’re looking at and receive an email notification when that product drops in price.
Get cash back while shopping: Whether you’re shopping online or making your weekly trip to the grocery store, there are ways to actually earn cash while spending money. There are various cash-back portals through which you shop at your favorite stores and earn anywhere from 2 percent to over 10 percent cash back on your purchases.
Take advantage of complimentary services: Select retail stores offer free hemming and personal stylist services to ensure that what you buy is actually the best fit. There’s no sense in paying for these perks if your purchase includes them for free.