Some people look at a price tag in a store and think: That’s the best price I’m going to get. Well, I like to look at a price tag and ask myself: What do I have to do to get this for cheaper?
Writing about personal finance and bargain shopping, I’ve learned a few tricks over the years.
Here are eight hacks that I use to make sure that I never pay the sticker price when I’m shopping — either online or in stores. Trust me, even using a few of these will go a long way as far as saving money goes.
1. Hold On To Your Receipts And Exchange Them For Cash
Remembering to keep your receipts whenever you go shopping is habit that your wallet will always thank you for later. That’s because this awesome app called Ibotta gives you cash back when you upload photos of your receipts.
The app sweeps through receipts looking for deals and then instantly applies cash back to your account. Ibotta works with a huge number of retailers, so there will be no shortage of stores you can earn cash back at when you are shopping.
Use Ibotta at places like:
FYI: You’ll definitely want to use Ibotta for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. That’s when the deals kick into overdrive.
2. Give Your Piggy Bank A Boost Before You Go Shopping
Paid surveys are always a convenient and quick way to earn money, and it’s a great hack for coming up with extra cash when you want to buy something that you can’t afford.
Swagbucks happens to be one of the best survey apps out there, especially for busy people with little time to spare on a side hustle.
The app has hundreds of high-paying surveys. Earn SB (the app’s “currency”), taking surveys and fun daily polls any time, anywhere–from your lunch break to your daily commute.
Redeem your SB for cold hard cash or gift cards to stores like:
You should definitely take advantage of this app!
3. Put Your Gaming Skills To Use For Shopping Money
With the amount of money people spend on mobile games every year–which is billions, by the way–you would think they would at least be able to get some perks out of it. Unfortunately, all this spending is doing nothing but emptying people’s wallets, but Long Game can change that.
Play games through this app and you’ll be saving money and earning reward points that can help finance shopping for the stuff you really, really want. Want to know the best part? Win games and you’ll earn prizes like cold hard cash (up to $1,000,000)! That’s even more money for shopping.
To get started, download the app, link your bank account, and open your own Long Game savings account.
4. Wait A Little Longer Before Checking Out Your Shopping Cart
While using coupons and promo codes to save buck is something we highly recommend when your shopping online, searching for them on your own is annoying and extremely time-consuming. Your time is precious, so let e-tailers bring the deals to you. How, you ask? Just leave items you are thinking of buying in your shopping cart for a day or two. It’s highly likely that you will wake up to a coupon from that retailer in your email inbox. That or the price will drop on it’s own.
5. Earn Free Gift Cards, Use Them To Shop
If you’re not signed up for any shopping rewards programs, you should get on that, like right now. They’re a great way to save money without having to change your spending routine and Drop is a great one you should definitely use.
This app that automatically adds reward points to your account every time you make a purchase at one of its eligible retailers. The only thing you need to do is link a debit or credit card to app, then get to shopping.
Points can be redeemed for gift cards at place like:
- Best Buy
This is easily one of the most effortless money-saving options out there.
6. Be Smart About How You Bankroll Your Shopping
Too many times, people are putting things they can’t afford on a high interest credit card. This is a surefire way to get your self into some serious debt. If that’s what you were planning on doing, instead, you may want to consider getting a low-interest personal loan with Fiona.
This platform is basically a search engine for all your financial service needs. Use Fiona to compare loans from the top lenders to find the best one to cover your shopping expenses. Find an option you like and apply for the loan through the app.
Even better, Fiona is completely free to use. No gimmicks, no hidden fees and it won’t hurt your credit score.
The loans offered are between $1,000 and $100,000, lasting between 24 and 84 months. Interest rates start at 4.99% which is much lower than most credit cards. The better your credit score, (typically 660 or above), the better the rate offers.
7. Get Cash Back At All Of Your Favorite Stores
There is nothing like earning cash back for shopping in the exact same way you normally would. Here’s how: Simply sign-up for Rakuten, and continue shopping online at your favorite stores from Amazon to Nordstrom, all while earning cash back.
Of note: Every retailer available on Rakuten offers a different amount of cash back, usually between 2 to 3%. Make sure to check the “Flash Cash Back Stores” tab on the site to find the special cash back offers (we’ve seen up to 22.5%)!
Feature Image: Twenty20