Read these 12 Bargain Shopping Online Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Bargain Hunting tips and hundreds of other topics.
A great bargain hunter tip for discount shopping: comparison shopping is the key! Too many people get impatient in their buying needs and it can cause you to make impulse buys no matter the cost. This is the best way to waste money.
Retrain yourself into better shopping habits like comparison shopping, patience and research. Know what you need, what brands and types of said need are of the highest quality, what most people are paying and what you can spend. By being in control of your buying, you will save a ton of money and have a sense of well being after you buy, as opposed to buyers remorse.
Just as planning is important to any real bargain hunter, storage is hugely important. If you're a good planner and you're buying in bulk or ahead of time, you need to have a safe place to store everything to keep it safe.
Don't let yourself get cluttered and overwhelmed with stuff just so you can save a few bucks. Invest in a bargain storage system for your spare closet or garage and that will let you get your bargains without getting cluttered.
Whenever you're buying discount items or bargain shopping online, make sure the site you are using has an excellent return policy. You want the return policy to be simple and straightforward and all encompassing. Buying something sight unseen and without the possibility of refund is just not smart.
The return policy is especially important if you're buying refurbished, reconditioned or open box items. Protect yourself and your money - that is the best bargain finder rule of all.
Bargain shopping online is great, but you do need to watch out. For instance, try to find sites that offer good deals on shipping. You don't want to get a great bargain on a piece of furniture or wall art and then break your bank shipping the item to wherever it needs to go.
Some sites offer a blanket shipping cost, or after a certain dollar amount is spent, they waive the shipping fee altogether. Try to find a site that will charge low shipping costs - or if you can't avoid paying shipping charges, try to shop for more than one thing on that site to get to the no shipping cost limit. Of course, this doesn't mean you should buy thing you don't need. Shop smart and then you can enjoy your online bargains.
Online auction sites are great options for bargain shopping online. No matter which site you try, you should be educated on what the actual retail value is on the item for which you are bidding and that the seller, even if it's a Web site, has high feedback or is a reputable site. This ensures that if you buy an item from an auction, you are more likely to be satisfied with the item and you'll be able to send it back if it doesn't satisfy you.
One of the tricks of bargain hunting is understanding you may not get the exact item you have decided you want. This doesn't mean you can't find something equally satisfying, it just means you may not have the selection of items you might otherwise have if you were shopping at the mall.
For instance, when you shop on websites like Overstock.com you're buying items that are left over from being sold in other stores or websites. This means that if you are a smaller or larger size, you may have better shopping luck because there is a more obscure selection. If you're shopping for home decor, bargain electronics or other items, sizing won't matter, but brand names may be your sticking point. By being flexible, you can get better bargains hands down.
A great bargain hunter plans ahead for holidays, seasonal needs and their own wardrobe. Just like buying in bulk saves you money, planning ahead can offer amazing bargain shopping opportunities. For instance, if you're buying for kids - why not buy on clearance and ahead of their age group.
At the end of Christmas toy sale, buy a toy for their birthday six months ahead. If your best friend's favorite store is having a clearance sale, head in and buy her some great basics off the clearance rack and save them for the holidays. Planning ahead for your gift needs will allow you to get great bargains!
America seems to be all about spending these days. That's why if you're smart, you'll always have a budget before you go shopping. Using bargain finder websites and comparison shopping portals as well as educating yourself with services like Consumer Reports will help you establish a smart and feasible budget and will help you buy the right thing.
The most important think a bargain hunter needs to remember when budget shopping is that you don't buy for the sake of buying. If you're spending more and more money on things you don't need and won't use, you aren't saving money at all - you're just spending your hard earned cash on junk.
Some "convenience foods" don't save you enough time to be worth the extra money. Save money at the grocery store by avoiding these unnecessary purchases:
1. Dry polenta - This product is essentially cornmeal. Making polenta is as easy as making spaghetti. Buy the dry cornmeal instead.
2. Dried bread crumbs - Here's your opportunity to use the ends of loaves of bread that nobody wants to eat. Put them in the blender and process until coarse. Keep them frozen in an airtight container until you need to use them.
3. Bisquick - Think you can't live without it? Try a "from scratch" recipe for something you would normally make with Bisquick. You'll be surprised at how few extra steps are involved.
4. Fruit snacks - It's easy to become dependant on overly processed snack foods for kids because they seem so convenient. Replace fruit snacks with actual fruit. It's healthier and surprisingly portable.
5. Pre-sliced cheese - The extra price isn't worth the time you save or the waste created by the individual wrapping.
To get cheap meats you have to look below the surface at the meat counter. You can find great deals on meat by looking under the top layer of meats on display. Near the bottom, you'll commonly find meats that are discounted by half or more. The meats are cheaper because they are closer to expiration, but they are still perfectly good to use. Combine the discounted meat price with a special advertised in the weekly circular and you can save even more. Stock up on bargain meats when you can and freeze whatever you can't use right away in amounts that will work well for your recipes.
Generic or store brand items almost always beat out name brand items in terms of price. For the most part, generic brands also offer high quality products that taste as good as their more expensive counterparts. To get reluctant family members to accept a switch to generic brand foods, try one or all of the following tricks:
1. Buy both the generic brand and the name brand. Use a blend of the two when serving the food. Decrease the amount of name brand product in the blend each time you use the food.
2. Buy both products. Use the generic brand for recipes where other flavors will mask the taste and use the name brand for recipes that feature the food.
3. Buy the generic brand and put your foot down. Some generic brands have a different taste and texture that will turn some people off. Emphasize that different doesn't always mean worse and let your family members get used to the new flavor.
Don't count on a supermarket scanner to give you all of the grocery discounts you're entitled to. Some sales never make it into a grocery store's computer, causing you to be charged regular price for sale items. Furthermore, some grocery stores add up your total discount at the end of the purchase, making it difficult to monitor scanned prices during checkout. To make sure you're getting the grocery deals you came in for, pay attention to the price of items you put in your cart and check your receipt. If you are overcharged for an item (or several), complain to management. Some stores will give you the item for free or refund double your money if you uncover their computer errors.