With inflation, the cost of almost everything we can think of keeps rising. We need to be really creative and use smart saving ideas to get great deals on the stuff we need to buy.
Previously I’ve talked about 6 other super frugal tips to save more money. It pays to read it as well. You can read it here later.
This is part 2 of the frugal ways I’ve used to save $$$ when shopping, and some lessons I’ve learned too. If you take even just one tip to apply and make savings in your daily life, it IS a fantastic start. And once you begin to experience success, I guarantee that you’ll surely want to continue.
Let’s dive in.
7. Use Mobile Services
If you need things like new car tires, why not consider mobile operators? They offer great deals as they don’t pay shop rent to operate their businesses.
What do I mean?
Let me give you a real-life example. In the past, we would have driven to a tire shop and get charged $85 to replace a new tire each. However, my spouse recently engaged a mobile tire service to replace our old car tires.
This owner-operator came around to our place and only charged us $56 for a new tire, labor included. He took just about an hour to change all four tires and we were able to do our own things in the comfort of our own house.
Talk about Super convenience!
In all, we saved a total of $116!
Of course, we did do our homework and checked out his references.
So, look for mobile car tire operators or mobile mechanics who can come round to your place, and often give you a better deal as well 🙂 Check the mobile operators’ online reviews or go with recommendations from folks you trust.
8. Always Check Your Receipts
Many shoppers don’t bother to check their receipts as it may seem a hassle. After all, folks are glad to be on their way after they’ve done their shopping. It’s logical to think that the bill should be correct, anyway.
But many times I found that I’ve been overcharged by different retailers, especially supermarkets.
Therefore it really PAYS to check your receipts!
I get my son to round up the individual items to estimate the total bill. Ask your children to do the same. It’s excellent Maths practice! They get to see how Maths is applied in daily life.
If I get overcharged, I usually get the difference returned to me. Some supermarkets not only refunded me the total cost of that item, but also make that item free, as an apology!
So, make sure that you:
-Check that you are charged correctly for each item, especially if the item is on sale. Sometimes retailers forget to update their barcodes.
-Total up the bill. A quick way is to just round up the cost of each item, and estimate the total bill.
I learned this lesson on a recent purchase. The special offer was 5 cans of tuna for $3.60. The usual price was $1.30 per can.
I chose 5 cans from the crate stacked up with different flavors of tuna. But on checking my receipt I found that I had been charged $1.30 per can. Apparently, one of the cans I had taken was not a sale item – it was a ‘lite’ tuna. Because of that, I was charged the full price of $1.30 per can.
I told the staff, exchanged that wrong can, and received a refund. Phew! I was so glad I did.
9. Use Coupons Regularly
There are so many great online coupons you can use. It’s just mind-boggling. Take advantage of them!
Some examples are:
Daily Deals, Groupon, Newegg, Overstock, Buydig, Tigerdirect, Livingsocial and Isate.
I’m merely scratching the surface here.
I used coupons for dining out. I bought them online.
They came with conditions such as being valid for certain days of the week, and being restricted to either lunch or dinner. I had to use them by a certain date as well.
I didn’t mind as the savings were so good.
For example, I bought a $15 dining coupon valued at $30. Yes, it was half price. The food tasted extra delicious because it was way cheaper than usual!
So, check out discount coupons online. It’s fun and you can really save lots!! BUT that’s provided you buy what you need – never buy unnecessarily because it’s false economy to save on something that’s not needed in the first place.
Update: My family and I hardly ever dine out now, except when we choose to give ourselves the occasional treat. We’ve gotten used to home-cooked meals. 🙂
10. Check Out Online Retailers
Online retailers like Amazon.com and Aliexpress.com offer great prices for non-urgent purchases.
If you don’t mind buying from overseas retailers and waiting slightly longer for your purchases, you can grab great savings!
Furthermore, many sellers offer FREE shipping. Now that’s what I call service!
(This post contains affiliate links which means I may be compensated when you make a purchase through the links at no extra cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more information.)
My spouse has bought at Aliexpress multiple items like car parts and car repair tools over the course of 2 years and has been pleased with the items. Aliexpress is part of the Alibaba corporation led by Jack Ma. There is a huge range of items from the lowest priced at under a dollar. Most of the things come with free worldwide shipping.
My son purchased a $230.33 Leagoo S8 Pro smartphone through Aliexpress. He’s a most discerning and demanding user. But he’s more than satisfied with his phone’s specifications and high performance, which supersedes the speed and memory of iPhone X.
His college mates were amazed by its superior quality and value – several are planning to replace their $1,000 iPhones with his model of phone. A friend wasted no time in ordering one for himself. Convinced, Mr MMT also placed his order and so far, he’s delighted with his purchase. It works well and costs only a quarter of a well-known brand. ( I’ll keep you posted on how the phones are doing.)
Retailers in Aliexpress are given customer feedback and ratings, so you can check out your retailers and buy with greater peace of mind. Moreover, the Aliexpress Refund Guarantee says that “if you didn’t receive your product or it is significantly different to the description, we guarantee to refund your payment”.
We have been delighted with our purchases and of course, our savings!
Amazon offers a huge variety of things, including hair cutting scissors and electric hair trimmers. These are great tools for you to save lots of money when you do haircuts for yourself or family members. My family does just that. You’ll save substantially on each haircut – on average US men save $28, while US women save $44 (according to mobile payments company Square, 2014). So, a couple can be $360 richer a year if they choose to cut each other’s hair 5 times a year. Clearly, knowing how to cut hair well makes a huge difference too. This instructional DVD can help you get the desired looks.
Amazon Prime offers free Two-Day shipping on many items which will save you additional money apart from the savings you get from finding the best priced products. You can also get a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime.
11. Savvy Supermarket Shopping
TIP: Know where to look in a supermarket
Besides arming ourselves with shopping lists, and sticking to just what’s on the list, I use this simple reminder when I shop at supermarkets: Up and down and all around.
What do I mean? Let me explain.
More costly items are often displayed at eye level, but if you look higher up or lower down the shelves, that’s where you find the items that cost less.
Say you are looking to buy a bottle of shampoo.
Look higher up or lower down the shelves, and you’ll usually see a generic brand or a supermarket brand. It’s still a bottle of shampoo but the main difference is the lower price.
Give it a try. You stand to gain good savings.
Ok, the next trick is scout along the perimeter of the supermarket – that’s the ‘all around’ bit I mentioned earlier.
I’ve found clearance items like bread when hunting along the walls of a supermarket. The price was marked down A LOT. In such a situation, always buy more to save more, and stock up the discounted stuff for later.
Another nifty trick is to note the use by dates or best before dates for fresh food like whole chickens or seafood. Then time your next visit for a day or two before the use by or best before date. You may find the price marked down. Look at the 50% off I got for fresh shrimp! Since the perishable food items you need are at bargain prices, buy more and keep them in the freezer. Defrost and use when needed. You’ll save heaps 🙂
Talking about freezing fresh food, note that frozen meat is often much cheaper than fresh meat. Red meats and chicken freeze well and keep their taste. So why not switch to frozen meat to save regularly?
There is one thing though, that I find is a bit of a dilemma. Some supermarkets love to offer ‘buy three for $10’ deals. What do you think?
For myself, I would only buy if I need such items. Otherwise, I may think I’m saving, but the truth is I’m actually spending more.
If an item that you usually use has been heavily marked down, buy more of it. Take a bag of 12 toilet rolls. I bought 3 more bags, that should last my family for quite some time. I actually save in the long run because I’ll need it sooner or later.
My favorite supermarket has special sale days when many items are heavily discounted! I subscribed to their email list and receive emails that say, ‘Tomorrow is Thrifty Thursday’ or ‘Frugal Fridays’! It pays for you to pop over and grab good deals especially if you use lots of certain items.
12. Small shops can offer better deals
When we needed to buy natural health products, I rang round and discovered a small health shop located just out of town that sells the product I needed for only $12 instead of $17.15.
As we use these daily, we bought 2 of the same item and saved $10.30.
Small retailers can be pretty flexible. If you buy more, negotiate for even better prices. The shopkeeper may give you more discounts to encourage your continued patronage.
You can read 12 Surprising Frugal Tips that Thrifty People Love (Part 1) here.
Phew . . . that’s quite a long discussion.
All the above tactics may or may not sound familiar to you, but I’ve personally used these super duper saving tips to save thousands!
They will do the same for you.
Share this blog with others so they can shop smarter and save more. They’ll thank you for it.
Have you used some of these tips to save money too?