Everyone wants to save where they can. I mean, when is the last time you went out of your way to pay more than necessary for something? Never, right? But making a small effort to get a discount is something that appeals to almost everyone. It’s fun to make simple adjustments and see how much you can save.
Whether you are a casually thrifty spender or an over-the-top couponer, there’s a wide range of ways to save, while also following good safety practices.
Take a look at these hacks that can help pad your wallet and give you the satisfaction of saving.
Try new meals with samples
If you’re trying to reduce your food budget, of course you want to limit your meals at restaurants or carry-out deliveries. If you go to a store like Costco around lunch time, you can try new samples in each aisle, while stocking up on essentials. After some time browsing and nibbling, you’ll have a better idea of new meals to make at home!
The best way to curb expensive impulse purchases is to make a list and stick to it. . When you shop, buy only the things you intended to buy, without grabbing additional snacks and drinks near the checkout.
Take it one step further by writing down the things you want to buy. Instead of jumping in your car or clicking on Amazon, let that list sit for a week or so. If the time goes by and you still need the item, go ahead and get it. But if you decide that it wasn’t important after all, then delete it from your list and give yourself a pat on the back for the money you just saved.
Use reward apps
There’s an app for that.
Seriously, the simplest way to save is through an app or website that saves the cash for you each time you shop. For instance, Ibotta or Rakuten offer returns on every purchase, as well as exclusive discounts for users. Install the apps for access to savings everywhere you shop, maximizing both your online and in-store purchases. No extra effort from you, but a lot of cash back from things you were already going to buy: seems like a win-win.
Join a membership warehouse
Membership warehouses offer numerous ways to save. Not only will you find great deals on high-quality merchandise, but a membership can help you save on travel, tires, vehicle maintenance, gas, and more. Joining a membership warehouse like Costco means your savings will add up every month. Sign up and pay an annual fee, then save each time you book a trip or schedule a tire change. Then the rest of the year you can just enjoy the savings! Also, a multipurpose store like Costco lets you get all your errands done in one trip.
Shop in between paydays
If you’re in a military town, the local economy is tuned to the military pay schedule. That’s why the lines are so long at the commissary on payday. But if you spread out your trips to the off weeks, you’ll notice that many stores are more likely to offer discounts in between paychecks, when they have fewer customers.
Another trick: Shop on Wednesdays. Most grocery stores offer midweek sales, meaning Wednesday has more sales than days prior. It'll also give you first dibs on freshly discounted goods. Adjust your shopping days to the middle of the week or the middle of the pay period for another way to save.
Use your military discount
Ask if your favorite stores and restaurants have a military discount. This is a benefit you have earned! Many stores will give 10% off to service members, even if it isn’t posted anywhere. If you don’t feel comfortable asking, just hand them your military ID card along with your credit card at checkout. They’ll know what to do with it.
Shop in bulk
Buy more, save more: It's a simple concept that can lead to long-term savings. The price per pound is much lower on bulk items, meaning you are saving more. To make this easier, look at the per-weight pricing listed on price tags. Shopping in bulk also means you save on gas with fewer trips to the store each month. Shop in bulk so you don’t have to go back as often.
Be sure to use this tactic with items that have longer expiration dates. Sure, many items can be bagged and frozen, but realistically your household needs to use all of your purchases to get the best savings. You can find great savings on bulk items at Costco.
Whether you use apps, join a membership warehouse, change your shopping days, ask for discounts, or shop in bulk, remember these smart and savvy ways to save every time you shop!
This post was sponsored by Costco.