Never Pay Full Price

This is a guest post by Penny from The Saved Quarter. It is part of the second Yakezie blog swap. Check out my guest post at Penny’s blog!

Maybe I was born with an over-developed bargain hunting gene, or perhaps my aversion to paying full price was cultivated through years of living on a low income in a high cost of living area. Either way, the big ticket items bought at a fraction of their regular price, like my wedding dress purchased new-with-tags on eBay for 1/10th of its original price, may have the most frugal cred, but it’s the day-to-day savings that allowed me to save a quarter of my family’s income last year.

The best tip that I have for saving in the day-to-day is easy: the Internet. My first step to any purchase, large or small, in store or online, is always on the internet to find the best deal. Without it, I couldn’t have had a $100 holiday last year (and I’m doing it again this year!) and I wouldn’t be able to live comfortably within my means while meeting my financial goals now.

Let's-Go-Shoppingphoto © James Vaughan (via: Wylio)
Pantry looking a little bare? I check out a coupon and sale match-up site to see what the bargains are this week and save the time it would take to match deals myself. My favorite is because it features stores local to me (Northern California), but there are tons of them on the web. A good place to start if you live in other parts of the country is for store-specific weekly round-ups.

Do I need to get gas today? First stop, to see which station near me has the lowest price of the day.

How about dinner out with the family? routinely has 80% off sales on their gift certificates, so I buy certificates and leave them in my queue until we’re ready to go out.

Baby needs diapers? I don’t run to the store to pick up a pack without consulting, which outlines the week’s best diaper (and formula) deals at all of the major drugstore chains, grocery stores, and online, and pairs them with current coupons for the best per-diaper price.

Time for textbooks for my college classes? Using these 10 tips to save on textbooks I bought three textbooks that retailed for over $350 at the campus bookstore for under $60 online (and paid with Swagbucks – free money for searching the web!)

Need a few new clothes? I’ll buy a gift card at less than face value, searching through to find the best discount. Then I’ll wait for a clearance sale and stock up, preferably with a coupon code for a percentage off or free shipping or both, and first logging in through a rebate site like Ebates. It’s typical for me to save at least 75% off the original price, and not unusual to see 85-90% savings with these methods. My daughter’s full fall and winter wardrobe for next year cost under $100 at Gymboree and I’ll likely be able to sell the lot for at least that amount when she outgrows it.

I watch deal of the day sites like Groupon, Living Social, and others to see if there are deals that will stretch my dollars even further. Groupon recently had a deal for a dental exam, X-ray, and cleaning for $49 at a dentist that gets good reviews on Yelp! The price is well below that of even the local dental school; I stocked up for the year for my husband and myself both. Don’t forget to use Ebates to get to Groupon for cashback on your purchases!

A quick Google search can often produce printable coupons, coupon codes for online purchases, sales, and other bloggers who’ve found out how to get what you’re looking for at the best price, and logging in through rebate sites give you cash back for the few seconds of clicking before shopping online. Don’t walk into the store (in the real or virtual world) without doing your homework and you’ll never pay full price, either.

27 thoughts on “Never Pay Full Price

  1. There are some great sites in this post that I wasn’t aware of! I need to bookmark!

  2. Great links! I have an affinity for textbooks the way most women have an affinity for shoes. Now I have ten great tips to work as a checklist before I plunge into another purchase. :)

  3. These are great tips, and I absolutely LOVE the idea of a $100 holiday! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Someday, I really need to start couponing… This post has some great links to coupon sites

  5. Interesting stuff. I’ve always been a price insensitive customer, but this big discount type shopping might be worth a deeper look.

  6. My parents stressed this to me early in life. I remember when I would want something in the store my father would make me go haggle the price. I could only get the item if I could get it for less than face value.

  7. Good post. In the Centavos household, we’re big fans on online retailing.

  8. There are two shops I never enter without a coupon – Kohls and Bed, Bath and Beyond! You can always find coupons for these two retailers.

    At BBB, you can even ask at the checkout counter for the coupon, they’ll happily hand one to you for 10 or 20% off!

  9. Excellent post MC. When shopping I am always armed with my smartphone that I use to verify prices on the internet. Store rebates do not guarantee the best price out there on an item especially when it comes to electronics.

    • That is one thing I sorely lack! Any time I see an item with an unbelievable price at a store, I have this urge to check Amazon if it is cheaper there! Smartphone users outsmart me!

  10. The internet is great for saving money. How did we ever live without Amazon and other great sites?

    I don’t like Groupon though. We don’t eat out that much so we don’t want to stock up on coupons that we probably won’t use.

  11. Great article! I’ve tweeted and shared it via Facebook. I do have to admit, though, I just like to minimize shopping altogether. :)

  12. Wow terrific tips! Have to visit some of those sites you mentioned. An additional tip on gift cards from your credit card points, some stores give the same dollar value vs other cards, but eats up less points, one in particular is TJMAXX. :)

  13. These are all great ideas! I started going online for coupons before I went grocery shopping but for some reason I didn’t keep it up. I bet if you combined all of your suggestions, you would save a ton of money.

  14. I linked to this in my “weekly reading”. I really like this (and the counterpart post by Moneycone) as well. What an awesome blog swap result.

  15. (Fast fingers! lol)
    These are all great ideas! I started going online for coupons before I went grocery shopping but for some reason I didn’t keep it up. I bet if you combined all of your suggestions, you would save a ton of money. I do a Google search every year at tax time for discounts on TurboTax. This year I got 10% off.

  16. Thanks for sharing these money saving sites. I didn’t think to check to see which station is the cheapest in my area. I’ll be using some of these this week!

  17. These are great tips! You do get a SOARING high five for getting your wedding dress on eBay!

  18. Sometimes I want things right this moment and then of course I end up paying full price. It is always smarter to wait. Any price eventually goes down or some deals emerge. Too bad for my wallet that I am impatient. Great post!

  19. Fantastic post, this is the kind of stuff I write about every day with a particular focus on the Canadian shopper because our resources are a lot fewer here than in the USA.

  20. Wow, lots of good sites!

    The great thing about the internet now is the ability to bargain shop and compare. Love the internet!

    Never pay full price again :)

  21. A bit late to this one… but I never ever tire of “savings tips.” And savings inspiration! This was a useful post!

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