As fall is quickly approaching, we all have to reconsider our finances and plan for all the new expenses that come with another school year and new season: new clothes, school supplies, school fees, sports fees, daycare costs, etc. To help start the new season with savings in mind, we called upon Andrea Woroch, money saving and consumer saving expert. Andrea Woroch is passionate about helping individuals discover financial freedom by cutting down on everyday costs and saving where saving is possible. She has worked with top media outlets, such as New York Times, NBC’s Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, AOL’s Daily Finance, and many more.
To help you save money on everyday expenses, follow these 11 money saving tips:
The key to saving money on any purchase or service is comparing prices with competitors. Compare prices online using sites like PriceGrabber.com or InkJetWilly.com. You can compare prices in-store using bar-code scanning apps like RedLaser which provide instant comparison with surrounding retailers and e-retailers.
2. Use coupons.
Coupons aren’t just for the grocery store anymore. You can find coupons for department stores, travel, restaurants, pet care, and much more. Always search online before heading to the store to see if any printable coupons are available. CouponSherpa.com offers printable, in-store coupons for various retailers. You can also find online coupons to redeem when shopping online. If you see a coupon code box, don’t skip over it. Run a Google search first to see if any discount is available.
3. Buy discount gift cards.
Sites like GiftCardGranny.com sell gift cards for less than face value and you can save up to 35% by using these for everyday purchases. You can find gift cards for department stores, discount retailers, drug stores, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, music downloads and much more.
4. Consider generic or store brand.
Generic and store brands can help consumers cut spending by 30 to 50%. Some of the best generic buys are over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen, cereal, sunscreen, and beauty products including lotion and face wash. There are exceptions however. For instance, paper products, trash bags, and baby diapers are recommended best made by brand names. So test out the generics yourself to determine quality over cost.
5. Get social.
Follow your favorite stores and brands on Facebook or Twitter to get exclusive coupons and learn of special promotions.
6. Use your smartphone.
You can access digital coupons on your smartphone while shopping in store. My phone has saved me multiple times when I forgot to check for coupons before heading out to the store. From 40% off at Michaels to $10 off $50 at Famous Footwear and an additional 25% off already reduced merchandise from Banana Republic’s Factory Outlet store. You can also access dining freebies and retailer discounts by “checking in” on Foursquare, a geo-based social media app that shares your current location with friends and family.
Consumer reports found that shoppers who negotiated on electronic purchases were able to save an average of $82. Though you can’t negotiate at every retailer, it doesn’t hurt to ask if a sales associate can offer a better deal.
More and more consumers are turning to swapping sites as a means of saving money. From baby clothes to sporting equipment and DVDs, books or CDs can be swapped for free online. Check out sites like Swap.com, BookMooch or ThredUp.com.
9. Hit up the dollar store.
Your local dollar store is a great place to score the lowest prices on gift cards, balloons, plastic serve ware, vases, party decorations and cleaning supplies. Review this list of the best dollar store buys: http://blog.couponsherpa.com/top-dollar-store-deals-and-duds/
10. Ask about price match.
Retailers are more competitive than ever and many will offer to price match the competition.
11. Hold onto receipts.
Many stores offer price adjustments for goods that go on sale within a certain period of time after you purchase the goods. Some stores like Target will also offer price adjustments for goods you found a coupon for, so hold on to your receipt.
For more information on Andrea Woroch or to find more money saving tips, click here.