You’re bargain-hunting, coupon-clipping, and sale aisle-shopping, but did you know you can save money all the way up to the cash register?
Here are Credit Karma’s favorite money tips to use before you ring up; your savings will add up after just a few shopping trips!
1) Check if it’s Cheaper Online. Before you buy, consider if its cheaper online. Many products, especially electronics and bulk items, are sold at big discounts online. NewEgg sells electronics at a fraction of the cost, and you can score free shipping and save on sales tax on Amazon. Soap.com sells everyday drugstore purchases at a lower price and offers next day shipping. Not only will you score savings on your planned purchases, but you’ll save money not wandering the store aisles and impulse buying.
2) Do the “Last Aisle” Check. Before you hit the cash register, take just five minutes to do the “Last Aisle” check. Check out everything in your shopping cart, and take out anything that is unnecessary, not on your shopping list, or out of budget. It takes five minutes, but you can save dozens of dollars by re-evaluating your shopping cart before you ring it up.
3) Bring Your Smartphone! Dozens of apps turn your smartphone into the most convenient tool to make shopping easier and cost-effective. Some of our favorites: ShopSavvy helps you comparison shop on-the-go, Grocery IQ keeps your shopping list under control, and Coupons.com app lets you search any online coupons available for a certain product.
4) Ask For A Discount. Yes, it works, even at retail stores. For big ticket items or specialty items, try asking at the register, “I noticed a defect on this item; can I get a discount since its damaged?”; “Is that the best price you can do?”; “Do you have a sale scheduled soon? If so, can I get that price now?”; and my favorite, “I’ve seen this product cheaper at Store B. Can you beat that price?” A closed mouth doesn’t get fed, so just ask!
5) Swipe With Credit Instead of Debit. In general, credit cards, like the ones recommended at Credit Karma, have more money-saving features than debit cards. Most credit cards have purchase protection, which requires the issuer to refund you for damaged or undelivered products. Cards have return guarantees, in which your issuer refunds you under certain conditions if the store won’t accept your returned purchase. Some cards even have price protection, where your issuer refunds the price difference of a recent purchase if you find it cheaper elsewhere. Read the terms of your card and take advantage of these perks.
These money strategies apply to EVERY shopping trip and it doesn’t cost anything to try out. All you can stand to lose is… the feeling of paying too much when you shop. So give these a shot and let us know if it worked for you!
Justine Rivero is the Credit Advisor and resident Credit Rockstar for Credit Karma, the pro-consumer credit advocate that helps more than 2.6 million consumers realize the everyday cost savings of having great credit health.