6 Next-Level Shopping Secrets to Make the Most of Your Budget

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It’s satisfying when something you have been thinking about purchasing goes on sale and you're able to buy it while staying within your budget. If you can wait, most stores will normally put their items on sale. Here are a few strategies I use to spend the financial resources God entrusts to my family wisely and not pay full price:

1. Sign up for store emails.

No one likes getting tons of emails, but in this case it’s a necessity. You will probably have to make an online account for most online stores.

2. Build your wish lists online.

I always have my shopping cart loaded with all my dream items. Having items in my cart makes it easy to check periodically to see if any prices have dropped. When they do, I jump on it and buy the item, usually at a considerable discount. One time I watched a $130 garment for a few months, and just as the seasons started to change, it went down in price to $40. I felt like I had won the Lottery! It always feels good to get a deal.

3. Follow your favorite stores on all social media accounts and online groups.

This is key. Sometimes merchants have special discount codes or provide early access to a sale for their followers. Or you may find out that there will be a warehouse sale in your area. Warehouse sales are a great way to stock up on favorite items, and often a company having a warehouse sale will extend the discount to online purchases for people who don’t live nearby.

4. Abandon your shopping cart.

This one is my favorite strategy. If you leave lots of items in your online shopping cart for your favorite stores, you might start seeing adds pop up all over the Internet for some of them. You might also start getting emails for discount codes for that particular store, and even emails letting you know that the price for something in your cart has dropped (click here for more specifics on this strategy from the Penny Hoarder).

5. Always shop sale on top of sale.

Many stores will give an additional 25 to 30 percent off  already discounted items. That’s when you check your online cart to see what is on sale and if you can get extra discounts.

6. Try on items in the store.

I always visit stores and try on items I’m watching online, so I know exactly what size I need. Often it will be a final sale when ordering online, so it’s good to know your perfect fit. If you possibly can, be sure to give the brick-and-mortar store the opportunity to match the online price; after all, you are trying on their clothes, and they deserve first shot at your business. Don’t be too tightfisted. If they get close to the online price, consider giving them the sale even if it’s a little higher in price.

The relationships you build with local salespeople have multiple advantages: The salesperson can keep you updated on promotions—even sometimes getting you an extra discount—and give personal attention you will never receive in an online transaction. You can also make some lovely friends!

These are just a few things I do when I’m looking to make a purchase. There are exceptions to the rule, though: if there is something I especially need or want, I will just save for it. If I end up paying full price for something, I will also never look at it again online, so I don’t have to see if the item got marked down after I purchased it. Happy shopping, friends!

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