Getting a Discount on Every Dollar You Spend
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a discount on every single dollar you spend? You might not be able to achieve quite that goal, but you should certainly be able to come close. Using a variety of methods, you can make discounted purchases the norm. Here are a few of the methods I use.
Always Compare Prices
Price comparison sites like Google Product Search (formerly Froogle), Shopzilla, and even Amazon.com are among the greatest innovations of the Internet. I rarely buy anything, other than groceries and recurring household supplies, without checking prices online first. Occasionally the best price is available at a local retailer, but usually I find the best price through an online supplier.
Use Coupons and Advertised Discounts
It should be obvious that using coupons and advertised discounts is a great way to spend less money, but it’s worth a reminder. A simple change in your habits (such as eating out on nights when restaurants offer 2-for-1 specials) can have a significant impact on your budget.
Check Company Websites
Before going out to eat, dropping clothes off at the dry cleaner, or getting a haircut, I always visit the website of the company providing the service. It’s amazing how much money you can save with online coupons from these sites. Even fast food restaurants and coffee shops have discounts worth taking advantage of.
Use Your Rewards Card
To get a pseudo-discount on any full-price purchases, I pay with my rewards credit card and then pay off the balance in full each month. While the discount only amounts to 1%-5% (in the form of a cash back reward) it’s still better than nothing.
Other Forms of Discounts
One final method I use is to take advantage of deals offered as a result of other purchases. For every $50 I spend at my grocery store, I can get a 10-cent per gallon discount on a gas fill-up. With my 15-gallon tank, that’s $1.50 off each full tank of gas.
Other than a few bills that charge a convenience fee if a credit card is used, virtually all of my spending includes some form of discount. Many purchases incorporate several of the above strategies, such as finding the best price online, then applying a manufacturer’s coupon, and paying with my rewards card. To see how much of your own spending can be reduced through discounts, try this simple experiment: For the next week, consciously try to get a discount on everything you buy. You may find a few items that must still be purchased at full price, but you’ll be surprised to find how often some form of discount will apply – and remember to check into discounts for seniors, students, AAA members, etc.
What kinds of discounts have you been able to find?
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 at 6:56 am