12 tips and tricks that you can use to save money when shopping
By Amanda Owusu
Posted on February 22, 2021
Whether you’re shopping online or in person, there is most likely something you can do to save money. There are many resources that you can access online to help you cut costs. There are also other ways to save money, like using credit cards and choosing the right time to shop. This article will give you 12 tips and tricks that you can use to save money when shopping.
First things first; it’s important to research the product that you are trying to buy. You should look at different retailers and compare the price that they are selling the item for. This can help you save money or even find other deals for things you were hoping to purchase. Thanks to technology, there are many great websites that you can use that will help you do this. Canadian websites like ShopBot and PriceGrabber let you compare the price of the item you’re looking for. ShopBot is especially good for electronics and can be great to use when you’re looking for a phone or computer. PriceGrabber is helpful when you are looking for furniture. You can also use these sites to help you price match. You can do this by going into the store and presenting proof that one of their products is sold at a lower price by one of their competitors, and if they offer price-matching, they’ll sell you the item for the same price. Double-check with the places you’re looking to shop in to find out if they do price matching.
Another site you can use to research great deals and savings is GroupOn. This site offers thousands of coupons and special deals for various categories. When making a purchase, visit these sites and search for what you’re looking to buy. This small action could save you money, making it more than worth your while.
Another way to cut costs when you want to buy something is to use coupons. You can find a coupon for almost anything online. A quick google search can give you access to hundreds of coupons that could save you money when you shop online or in person. Websites and apps that you can use to find coupons include: RetailMeNot, Coupon Follow, GroupOn, Save.ca, Honey, and Smart Source. If you’re shopping online, you may have to try two or three different codes to find one that works.
3. Take advantage of holidays such as Black Friday and Boxing Day
In Canada, there are special holidays that are dedicated to shopping and sales, including Black Friday and Boxing Day.
- Black Friday in Canada is in November. In 2021, it will take place on Friday, Nov. 26. During this holiday, many retailers have exclusive sales and deals that they don’t usually offer. Stores to pay attention to on Black Friday include Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon. These stores usually have big sales on high-priced items, making it the perfect time to purchase them.
- Boxing Day is on Dec. 26 and is also known for its big sales. The day after Christmas almost every retailer has a sale, which could be a great time to stock up on products and buy what you’ve been looking for.
Save some money, so that when these days arrive, you can purchase what you need at discounted amounts.
4. Sign up for email newsletters
A big tip that is often overlooked when trying to save money while shopping is signing up for email newsletters. When online shopping, little pop-ups may appear on your screen asking you to enter your email and sign up for their newsletter in return for a special coupon code. Simply entering your email could earn you 10 or 20 per cent off your purchase! When you shop in person, retailers usually ask you for your email, so they can send you newsletters. Take the extra 30 seconds and sign up, so you can take advantage of their deals the next time you are there.
5. Follow the brands on social media
If you like to shop at a certain place, it’s wise to follow their social media accounts. Many brands promote their sales through social media and sometimes even offer special discount codes for their followers to use. This is a free and easy trick that you can use to save money.
6. Sign up for rewards programs
Signing up for rewards programs can help you save money at shops that you frequent. Stores usually offer membership programs or clubs which you can join. Once you join, you typically receive a card or ID number that you can use when shopping. Some stores also offer special membership programs that provide further opportunities for savings. Sometimes, you have to pay for these programs. If you visit these stores often, that up-front cost could end up saving you more in the long-run. Many times, these programs are free! For example, some gas stations offer membership rewards programs, which allow you to earn points and later redeem them for other items.
There are also programs like PC Optimum and Air Miles that are popular in Canada. These programs allow shoppers to save money when shopping at hundreds of different retailers. A PC Optimum membership allows you to earn points on every purchase you make at popular Canadian stores like Shoppers Drug Mart, Fortinos, Loblaws, NoFrills, The Real Canadian Superstore, and some gas stations. Likewise, Air Miles also helps you earn points on purchases you make, which could then be exchanged for cash. These programs might require a small investment at the start, but that investment will be worth it if you’re a frequent shopper at these places.
7. Use a cash-back credit card
Another simple way you can save money when shopping is by getting a cash-back credit card. Almost all Canadian banks have a cash-back credit card option. These special cards allow you to earn a percentage of your purchase back in cash. This percentage might be a small figure, but it adds up after a while. Typically, these cards allow you to earn money back on a few categories of your choice—such as food or gas—at one fixed rate. They then offer you a lower fixed rate for the rest of your purchases.
Some cards have a fee, but others, like the Tangerine Money-Back Card, are cost-free. Getting one of these cards is one of the best things you can do to help you save money when you shop.
8. Add items to your cart online
An overlooked tip that could help you buy cheaper products online involves adding items to your online cart and then leaving the website. A lot of websites have an automated service that they use to recover abandoned carts by emailing the person. These emails often provide a special discount code that the retailer uses to lure the customer in. Being aware of this marketing strategy can help you save money next time you shop somewhere online.
9. When online shopping, clear your browser history and cache
Sometimes, websites will charge you a higher price for an item that they know you have been researching. For instance, when you’re looking to purchase flights, it’s best to clear your browser history or even use a private browsing mode to search for your tickets. Websites may overcharge you if they can access your browser history and see that they have something you need.
10. Timing is everything
Timing is everything when it comes to shopping. Specific times or dates are particularly better for purchasing certain items than others. Some people say that it’s better to shop for flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Whatever you’re looking to get, it pays to find out the ideal time to make the purchase. When looking for clothes, it’s usually cheaper to buy summer clothes in the winter and winter clothes in the summer. Because the demand for these products is low during these times, you can usually get them at a better price. If you’re hoping to purchase food, many restaurants offer items at a discounted amount around closing time to help them sell the remaining food. Even buying fruits and vegetables while they’re in season can help you cut down some costs. Find out when things are sold for a lower price and take advantage of this to save more money.
11. Take advantage of smartphone apps
Apps and websites can also help you save money when you shop. Apps like Paribus notify you when the price of an item drops. Sites like Rakuten allow you to earn cash back on products you buy by shopping through their platform. Other apps like Flipp let you access flyers for stores, which is helpful for research and price matching purposes.
12. Don’t be afraid of used items
When shopping, don’t be afraid to buy used items. Sometimes, you can get items in good condition. Sites like Kijiji, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace allow you to purchase used products such as cars, appliances, furniture, and almost anything else you can think of. Poshmark and ThredUP are websites and apps that you can use to find used clothing. You can also go to thrift stores and consignment shops to find used items for a lower amount than you would in stores. When purchasing used products, make sure to inspect them thoroughly before you buy them, especially for more expensive purchases, like a car.
These are just some of the many ways that could help you save money while shopping. Don’t break the bank when making your routine purchases. If you’re looking for more information on how to cut costs while grocery shopping, The Newcomer provides tips for doing so.
If there’s one thing you should always do when shopping, it’s to make sure to research whatever you’re looking to buy. Putting everything else aside, this is the most important way to save money as a shopper.