For many Americans, and people around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has created hardships, both financially and personally. However there have been some positives to come out of it. In particular, some products and services have actually become more affordable and have dropped in price. Here are 13 things that have gotten cheaper during the pandemic.
It’s no coincidence that we get great new coupons on a daily basis for stores like Lands’ End, American Eagle, Old Navy, and GAP…they’re all suffering right now and trying to entice shoppers with money-saving offers.
I’m talking GOOD coupons too, some will actually save you 60% off your entire order.
They’re not the only clothing sellers that are struggling as many Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Zara locations are closing their doors for good.
Take advantage of the terrific clothing sales right now and stock up for next year if you have room in your closet.
Despite solid auto manufacturer deals during Q2, sales still fell 34% compared to last year.
While some of the great incentives have gone away the past couple months, there are still many to be had.
For example, Hyundai is offering 0% financing for 6 years until September 8, 2020.
Also, Honda is offering $1,000 savings to first responders on top of already strong promotions.
In recent weeks gas prices have started to rise above their rock bottom prices in March and April, but they are still 53 cents less nationally than they were a year ago.
Great time to head out on a road trip, especially to go camping where social distancing is as easy as a walk in the woods.
4. Sales Tax
Despite the Coronavirus, 16 states are still offering No Sales Tax Weekends to encourage back-to-school shopping.
Many are in mid to late August so be sure to check them out and save a few bucks.
5. Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates recently hit a new all-time low making it a GREAT time to refinance your home or shop for a first home.
As of this writing, with good credit you can score a 30-year fixed for 2.90%, or a 15% year fixed for an astounding 2.375%.
Also, if you have a lot of credit card debt it could be a great time to pull out some equity and pay them off.
6. Tech Products for Back-To-School
As students (and parents) prepare for virtual classrooms in many parts of the country this fall, I have some good news.
Technology deals are pretty outstanding right now and you can save some significant money.
Here are some examples of the deals:
- Amazon Fire Tablet: You can score the Fire HD 8 tablet for $59.99 (Reg. $89.99) or the HD 10 version for just $99.99 (Reg. $149.99).
- Laptops: Deals include 25% off from Dell, a Lenovo touchscreen laptop for under $380, and free AirPods with your Apple MacBook Air purchase. Check out this updated List from TechRadar which lists all of these laptop deals and a bunch more.
- Headphones: These are need more than ever if you live in a “loud” household. Deals include $50 off Powerbeats Pro, $70 off Beats Solo Pro Noise Cancelling headphones, and a cool $20 off Apple AirPods.
7. Shipping Costs
To encourage consumers to open their wallets and buy stuff from the comfort of their couches, many online retailers started offering some great free shopping offers.
Here are a few that caught my eye…
- Walgreens: As of March 12, 2020, Walgreens started offering free shipping on $35+ purchases moving forward.
- COACH Bags: Not only do they have a 50% off sale going on, but they have a very rare coupon code for free shipping. Use code: FREESHIP to get free delivery.
- Staples: Similarly, Staples started offering free shopping on all orders.
- Sephora: Back in April, Sephora started offering free shipping too.
Let me know in the comments of any other stores that have done the same.
This is simple supply and demand.
When you can’t travel due to the pandemic, it inevitably created some great deals once the country started to reopen.
Your best bet is to book travel and vacation plans for later in the Fall and early next Spring and take advantage of the deals.
According to Forbes, “Be creative and flexible with your destination, too. You never know what destinations will be cheapest, so keep an open mind and consider visiting a new spot on the map.”
9. Student Loan Payments
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act put a freeze on on student loan payments until September 30th.
The CARES act also dropped interest to 0% until September 30th.
Unfortunately this only applies to federally owned student loans, those with private loans are still on the hook.
10. Various Free Stuff
Many companies have stepped up and offered a bunch of WAY cool freebies in recent months.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Circle K – They are offering a free drink or cup of coffee to all first responders and health care workers.
- McDonald’s – Use their app to place an order on a Friday and you’ll score a free Medium French Fries with your $1 purchase.
- Audiobooks – Amazon owned Audible recently launched Audible Stories which features 1,000’s of free audio books and stories for kids which come in 8 different languages.
Let me know of any freebies that you’ve discovered and I’ll add them to the article, thanks.
11. Credit Reports
During these uncertain financial times the “Big 3” credit unions are offering free weekly online credit reports all the way through April of 2021.
The Big 3 of course being Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Be sure to take advantage and monitor your credit.
12. Required Minimum Distributions
The CARES act also waived required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020.
This means you’re not required to take money out of your retirement accounts if you don’t want/need to.
The benefit being a possible lower tax bracket for the year and the tax savings that goes along with that.
13. Home Workouts
The evolution of the “Home Workout” has been an interesting phenomenon during the pandemic and the number of free workouts available is kinda awesome.
Drop the expensive gym membership and use these free alternatives to help you stay in shape.
Bonus Tip: Music Concerts
Save money on concerts cuz you can’t go to a concert? Hmmm…this one is a bit of a stretch I’ll admit.
But the number of at-home concerts, and the quality of many of them, has created a whole new form of entertainment.
Here is a nice list of upcoming concerts provided by Billboard.
Ask the Reader: What (if anything) in your life has gotten cheaper during the COVID-19 pandemic?
By Kyle James
Photo credit to dmbosstone.