We live in a society where instant gratification and having the newest anything is considered cool. Some people spend money they really don’t have, overspend on items they don’t need, and even get into debt just to be able to say that they got the latest “it” item. But if you want to save some serious money and are trying to be frugal, the biggest wins happen when you can avoid paying full price for anything.
This is not to say that you can’t have new items or “it” items, but this list will help you avoid paying full price for them and even help you save money in your day to day transactions. Here are ten ways to do it!
10 Ways to Avoid Paying Full Price
This post has been written by our staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.
1) Comparison Shop
It’s easier than ever to comparison shop these days! If there is an item that you’ve had your eye on, or if you’re just looking to save money on groceries every week, you can comparison shop to avoid paying full price for the items you buy.
One of my favorite ways to do this is by going to Google Shopping and just typing in whatever it is I’m looking for. Google Shopping will then pull up all of the retailers that offer that item, and what the costs are. That way, I’m getting the best bang for my buck, and I can avoid paying full price!
2) Subscribe For Deals
This will only work if you’re diligent and aren’t easily persuaded to buy items just because you see them. But subscribing to newsletters online for the places you shop at frequently can save you some serious cash.
As a subscriber, you’ll typically see deals before anyone else and also be alerted when there is a major sale or clear out. If you plan accordingly, you can avoid paying full price for items that you need anyway.
As an example, for my daughter’s clothes, I shop at specific stores that I know will fit her properly and will last a really long time. Now that she’s older, she can wear clothes for around six months at a time, which means her options need to last her. My favorite stores for her are Target and The Children’s Place, so I’ve signed up for their newsletters.
When they have huge sales (which is often), I can look in her closet and see if there is anything that I need to stock up on, or if I can buy ahead and get her something that may not be in season but will fit her later on down the road. Just by signing up for the store newsletters, I’ve been able to avoid paying full price for clothes!
3) Look For Refurbished
If you love technology, you can save some serious cash just by going refurbished. Many stores (like Apple) have their own refurbished options in store and on their website, but you could also check out stores like:
- Best Buy,
- Micro Center,
- and even stores like Walmart.
Also, don’t forget to look online to see if anyone is offering a refurbished item.
4) Wait A Few Months
I know, I know, this goes against the “you can get the latest item!” gratification that you may be looking for. However, waiting just a few months can help you avoid paying full price, and even better, keep you from feeling guilt over buying an item that you didn’t really need or want in the first place.
Think about it this way. In such a fast-paced society, many companies are having to release a new item every few months. This could mean significant savings for you if you’re in need (or just want) a specific item.
For example, we all know Apple releases a new phone every single year. We also know those car manufacturers have their next year cars lined up by November. If you’re looking for a new phone or car, just wait a few months until those items are considered “old” by the creators, and you’ll avoid paying full price.
This is how I got my (almost) brand new car half off!
In 2016, I bought a 2015 Chevrelot Cruze for only $13,000, all because it was considered old and had over 10,000 miles on it, so they couldn’t sell it as a “newer” car. My car came with everything and was the top of the line option, and I STILL saved over $15,000 on it. Plus, since I paid in cash, I got even bigger savings.
Just by waiting a few months until the right time, I was able to:
- avoid paying full price,
- get the exact car I wanted, and
- get a car that was safe for my family for a great deal!
Did you know you can sign up to buy a product and then abandon your cart online?
If you online shop frequently, abandoning your cart can help put some cash back in your pocket. Dead serious. Here’s how it works.
When a retailer notices that you didn’t check out the items you put in your cart, they will typically send you a coupon to entice you to buy. This could be anywhere from free shipping to 30% off the cart. Can you imagine how much you could save just by leaving your cart open for a little bit?
6) Subscribe & Save
Do you have items that you buy frequently? If you do, it’s time to subscribe and save.
This is great for those most used items like paper towels or cleaning products. They’ll get delivered right to your door (or be ready for pick up) at the time that you designated, and you’ll be able to save 5-20% just for having them on regular order.
7) Use Apps
You can use apps on your phone to save money on just about everything. For example, I have an app on my phone to find the cheapest gas prices in my area. I keep it to about a five-mile radius, so I don’t have to drive around forever just to fill up. But just seeing who offers the cheapest gas has saved me hundreds over the last two years. If I drove more often, I’d most likely see an even bigger difference.
And you don’t have to use apps just to save on gas.
Many apps like…
- the Target Cartwheel app,
- and even apps like ibotta offer some kind of cash back or coupons at your disposal.
Plus, almost every single major grocery and retail chain has their own app too, so if you shop somewhere frequently enough, check to see if they offer an app with deals or savings.
8) Use Cash
This is one of my favorite ways to avoid paying full price! I try to use cash for everything, especially big purchases. I’ve been able to save hundreds (and even thousands) just by waving a wad of cash around.
Using cash is even better if you’re purchasing from someone who makes a commission because they love getting their money up front!
9) Use Loyalty Programs
If you prefer shopping in a store, taking advantage of a loyalty program can help you save more money.
Many grocery stores and retailers like…
- Price Chopper,
- and even Whole Foods have some type of loyalty option.
This can either save you a percentage of your items, give you cash back, or even money off your gas purchases. It’s worth a shot if you love a specific store!
10) Take Advantage Of The Holidays
Ah, the holidays. A time of stress and running around for most people. But not you… From now on, you’ll be strategic about shopping during the holidays!
For example, you know that the best time to shop for Christmas decor is AFTER Christmas. Not only do you avoid paying full price, but the store will be glad you took their inventory so they don’t have to give it away.
The same thing goes for shopping after other holidays too, like the 4th of July (cheap fireworks anyone?), Labor Day, and even New Year’s Eve.
Will You Avoid Paying Full Price??
See? It’s possible to never pay full price for anything ever again! These tips have worked well for me (and many others) for years, and they can work for you too!
If you’re tired of wasting money and are ready to take advantage of savings, use these tips the next time you go shopping. You’ll be surprised at how much you save!
Are you ready to avoid paying full price?
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a strategy consultant and course launching expert. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or crying over This Is Us, you'll find her teaching other mompreneurs how to scale their business without scaling their workload.