We all want to save money, but lots of people wonder if it’s worth the work or say they just don’t have time. How much can you really save by clipping a few coupons or doing some basic price comparisons? In the age of the internet, you can save money on almost anything if you know what you’re doing and you’re willing to put in just a bit of work. Here are some simple ways to start saving money on almost anything today.
1) Use Shopping Apps on Your Smartphone
Having some trusty shopping apps on your smartphone is probably the easiest and most-effective way to save money on almost anything today. We covered some of the best shopping apps for your smartphone in a previous post and there’s many more to add to your download list.
The Google Shopping app should certainly be on your phone, if you hope to be a savvy shopper. This app has continued to improve with each major update and has tons of great features, like barcode scanning for price comparison and search by voice functionality. You can quickly find places near you that offer the same product or find it cheaper online before you purchase in store. This is a great shopping app to use in retailers that offer a price matching policy. You can quickly find the cheapest advertised price.
The Consumer Reports Mobile Shopper is a paid shopping app that can definitely save you money. If you will be doing some heavy-duty shopping for the holidays, and you’ll be buying a broad selection of products, we highly recommend adding this app to your phone and subscribing to at least a month ($6.95 per month or $35 per year). You’ll have the entire Consumer Reports catalog of customer reviews and ratings at your fingertips. You won’t have to guess if that computer is actually a deal or you’re buying a soon–to-be-brick. Buying the highest quality products in your price range represents a long term savings that is harder to quantify, but taking the time to check the reviews and ratings of a potential purchase will absolutely save you money on almost anything.
2) Abandon Your Shopping Cart and Wait for an Email
Most online retailers now have automated settings that will send out discounts, deals, and special offers to people that visit their website, put items in a shopping cart and leave the site. Shopify posted a blog on some of the most-effective abandoned cart emails and what you can learn from them. Their shopping cart, along with many other popular ones, make it easier than ever for online retailers to set up these enticing offers to specifically target people that abandon shopping carts. Well, don’t let those effective emails and special discounts go to waste. If you’re not in an extreme hurry to buy something you’ve been looking at online, try abandoning the shopping cart and wait to see if a special offer arrives in your inbox.
3) Improve Your Negotiation Skills
We admit this one takes a bit more work to see any kind of savings from it, but that’s far from the only reason to improve your negotiation skills. This can help you in every part of your life. From improving your enjoyment at work to getting a better salary to closing more deals and generally getting more of what you want out of life; the list of reasons to learn the art of negotiation is long.
If you are serious about improving your negotiating skills, there are many great free online classes that you can sign up for tonight. Coursera.org has a class that you can enroll in taught at the University of Michigan on negotiation that gets near perfect reviews from students. A simple Google search for improving negotiation skills will return thousands of other classes and videos that will start you down the path to saving lots of money with better negotiation.
4) Keep Asking for Discounts and Deals
You don’t need to be a master of negotiation in order to start getting better deals. You just have to start routinely asking the companies you frequently purchase from for discounts and deals. Many cultures around the world accept bartering and negotiation as part of most transactions. For some reason, many Americans accept that the sticker price is the absolute final deal and never bother to ask for a better price. Start simple on something you will be buying soon by asking if they have any discounts or deals coming up that you would be able to take advantage of if you bought sooner. You’ll be amazed how often they can do exactly that. They may even alert you to some other special deals they can offer if not.
5) Don’t Let Pride Keep You From Using Coupons
One of the reasons there are so many great coupons out there is because many people just don’t use them, but there are some people that won’t buy anything without them. Now, nobody likes clipping coupons, except for those special addicts that search far and wide for any deal possible. But there’s no excuse in this day and age. A variety of helpful coupon apps for your smartphone have made it easier than ever to get a coupon or a rebate on most purchases and we covered some of the best on a previous post.
Another coupon app for your smartphone that is definitely worth downloading is ibotta. They deliver one of the simplest ways to get a rebate on almost anything. Simply sign-up for an account on the app and search for the next item you will be purchasing. The app searches for any rebates on the product and even recommends places to buy it if it’s available online. Something about a smartphone rebate seems much cooler than clipping coupons.
6) Find It For Free
One of the oldest and best ways to save money is to find what you want for free. Sounds simple enough, but where would you start such a search for free items? Well, we highly recommend The Freecycle Network and Craigslist. Both have impressive and constantly updated lists of local items for free. You may not find exactly what you’re looking for, but beggars can’t be choosers now, or can they? In all seriousness, it is amazing what you can find on both websites listed for free. Since both communities depend on people offering things for free, you should consider what you can put up for free on the site if you are hoping to find great stuff for free yourself.