How to Never Pay Full Price for Anything

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My mom raised me to be a deal shopper. Growing up, the family would buy one drink at a restaurant to share, we always used coupons, we snuck our own treats into the movie theater, packed a lunch rather than buying, and never purchased clothes that required dry-cleaning. These are habits that are ingrained in me, although I will splurge occasionally on my own soda or an adorable sweater labeled “dry clean only”. Over time, I’ve become a pro at never paying full price. It pains me now to know I didn’t get some kind of deal on something because there was probably some way for me to save money if I would have taken the time to look. Below I am sharing my favorite ways to knock some dollars off of your purchase and back into your purse during the holiday season.

 

1. Shop at deal stores such as TJMaxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, or your local outlet mall. These stores require more of a hunt when shopping, but often have hidden gems for reduced prices. These places are also starting to offer online stores, which makes it even more convenient to shop in your free time.

2. Examine clothes for tiny rips, missing buttons, deodorant stains, or a loose thread. Often times if you point this out to a salesperson, they’ll offer you a discount of 10-20% off for the damage. Most of the time it’s an easy repair that will be well worth the money saved! One time I mentioned to the clerk that some boots I was buying had some scratches on them. They offered me 15% off due to the damage. Then I expressed that I was still unsure because since they weren’t real leather, I probably could not rub them off. The clerk then offered me an additional 10% off using her manager discount! This was an awesome situation that doesn’t always happen, but you’ll never know if you don’t try!

With the dress in the photo, I bought it during Anthropologie’s Black Friday sale. It was normally around $120, but was on clearance for $70. The Black Friday sale gave me an additional 20% off. When I noticed an easily repairable unsewn hem, I was able to get an additional $21 off. I ended up paying $39! Deals on deals, and it never hurts to mention the flaws!

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3. Always search online for a coupon code, especially when online shopping. I swear, 80% of the time there is a coupon code that I can use when I’m shopping online. I google search something like “old navy coupon codes” and can usually find something, even if it’s just free shipping. A great site to use is RetailMeNot, which is a site made solely for providing coupons! It will save you money if you take time to look them up.

4. Sign up for retailer’s emails and you’ll often get coupons in your inbox. They usually send you an initial thank you discount, and will inform you of sales in the future. If you start to get too many emails, you can always unsubscribe and just use the initial coupon. If you decide you re-subscribe later, you’ll get another welcome coupon!

5. About one month before your birthday, google search all the places that will give you free stuff for your birthday. There are hundreds of restaurants and stores that will give you a special discount or free food for your big day! You just have to join their eclub or sign up for emails. Some places require you to be enrolled for at least a month or two in order to get the birthday gift, so think ahead. You can always unsubscribe after your birthday.

6. If you’re shopping in a store and you fell in love with an item that is out of stock, ask the sales person if they can order it for you from the store. Sometimes they are able to do this and will give you free shipping! I’ve done this before at Victoria’s Secret and Aerie, and they’re always willing to purchase what they don’t have in store.

7. I don’t usually recommend this because it can be dangerous, but if you don’t already have a credit card and are looking to build some credit, apply for a store credit card. Most of the time you will get a discount on your first purchase, and sometimes you get special coupons sent to you for using their card. Make sure when you apply, you’re buying something big so your discount goes far!

8. Check store websites before you shop in-store because sometimes there will be deals online that you won’t find in store, or the opposite. For example, often times Old Navy has sales that are only online or only in-store. If I’m in the dressing room about to buy something, I always check online for the item first to see which place has it cheaper.

 

-Kristyn

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