The potential of looking like a total cheap-ass keeps many of us from saving money. Techniques like tapping into grocery coupons, haggling down a price, and even buying inferior products at a BIG discount are all things many of us just aren’t comfortable doing. Fortunately, there are other ways to save money that will help you avoid the “cheapskate” moniker and may even help you save more.
Enter Cameron Huddleston from Kiplinger.com. She recently broke down some brilliant “cheap workarounds” and here are some highlights:
- Don’t Clip Grocery Coupons, Use Loyalty Cards Instead: Instead of being the person holding up the checkout line with 67 grocery coupons, Huddleston suggests using supermarkets’ websites and smartphone apps to load coupons directly on your supermarket loyalty card. She goes on to say that, “some supermarket apps have personalized deals that can be claimed by linking your loyalty card to the app and clicking on the deals to add them to your card.” Then you just hand your loyalty card to the cashier and you get credit for all your coupons in seconds.
- Forget Haggling the Price and Start Timing Your Purchases: While I’m a big fan of learning to haggle the price at major retailers, I realize the practice is not for everyone. Instead of haggling, learn to time significant purchases to maximize your savings. For example, Huddleston suggests waiting until late August/early September to score a deal of 30% or more on a new laptop computer. Other examples include buying patio furniture in late fall, and a new HDTV in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
- Buy High-Quality Used Products Instead of New “Cheap” Stuff: The oft-trodden technique of sacrificing quality for price often comes with the negative side-effect of having to replace stuff often. Instead, consider buying quality used stuff instead of low-quality new stuff. A perfect example is quality used furniture that can often be bought for the same price, or less, than new “junky” furniture at consignment shops or estate sales.
I’ll throw in my favorite tip as well which has to do with the “quality over price” concept and suggests buying brands that have a lifetime warranty.
Companies like Lands’ End, L.L.Bean, Craftsman, Eddie Bauer, Kobalt Tools, and Tupperware stand behind their products for as long as you own them.
You pay for them once and never incur replacement costs in the future. Check out my article that talks about 30+ brands that over a lifetime warranty.
Photo by Joe Loong.