As a self-employed mom of three, I have spent countless days (and nights) scouring the internet for ways to save my family money. And one thing I have learned is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a beautifully decorated home or a well dressed family.
I have compiled a collection of my top five mom-tested shopping tips that are guaranteed to help your family save money all year-long. From groceries to clothing to home decor these tips can be applied to your entire shopping list to maximize your household savings. Try out these tips and let me know how they work for you!
1. Be friendly – Remember the saying “you’ll catch more flies with honey, than you will with vinegar?” If there are stores that you visit on a regular basis, put your stellar networking skills to use and develop relationships with the management and staff of the store. They can inform you of upcoming promotions (hopefully before the general public) and they can also let you know when they may be receiving new inventory. Some will even help you scout those hard to find items that you’ve been in search of for months. For example, remember that Disney Frozen Elsa doll that no one has in stock?
2. Shop Consignment & Thrift Sales – Scared of shopping consignment or buying used items? Well get over it! No seriously! There are tons of bargains to be had at these sales. And since the economic downturn of 2008, there is now an abundance of consignment stores, thrift stores, and local consignment sales. Not to mention the convenience and ease of e-commerce sites like Ebay and Amazon. Simply perform a search on Google and you will return 1000s of options depending upon your keyword. Many times I have purchased brand new items with the tags still on or in the original packaging for as much as 80% off retail. In addition, you can choose to consign and use the commission towards new purchases. This is a great way to lessen the amount of money out-of-pocket or even replace your entire wardrobe for free! Check out online consignment directories such as http://howtoconsign.com/find.htm to find a consignment shop or sale near you.
3. Shop Local – Shopping at locally owned businesses helps support a thriving local economy. Your contribution to locally owned business helps to educate and put food on the table for many families. In addition, due to the age and history of many area, there are some great finds out there for those interested in collectible items.
4. Subscribe & Follow – If the particular stores that you visit have an email list or social media pages, I highly recommend that you subscribe and follow whenever possible. Businesses often send or post promotions and sales that are specific to their email lists or social media fans. I have used this tactic many times and received free coffee at Starbuck’s, free name brand name make-up, entertainment coupons, etc. If you are concerned with clogging up your inbox with tons of emails, create a free email address just for your shopping discount subscriptions. That way you can review the discount emails when you are ready to shop.
5. Plan Ahead – My most important tip for the savvy shopper would be to plan ahead. The three most important pieces to planning ahead are creating a budget (and sticking to it), creating a shopping list (and sticking to it, see a theme?), and knowing when to shop. Write a list of what is necessary and estimate how much you will spend. If necessary, only take the budgeted amount with you in cash and leave all other forms of payment at home (I know, crazy right?). If you are under budget, you can consider adding a few “extras” to the list or put the remaining funds into a rainy day account. And lastly, know when the items you are shopping for are “in season”. Just as fruits and vegetables have a growing season, everything else has a buying season. Knowing when that is can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. For more information on when to buy click here.
Would you add any other tips to this list?
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