We live in a world of deals and bargains, and finding the best deals is important. Due to the globalization of markets and industries, fierce competition has been driving down prices. Companies can now offer creative promotions to acquire new customers.
But there’s a flip side; the overload of information means that we have to invest our time (which also has certain quantifiable value) into finding the best deals. With most households now spending more than they earn, we must educate ourselves on how to become more budget conscious in the targeted-marketing-ridden environment we all operate in daily.
The Art of Finding the Best Deals for 5 Worthy Areas in Your Life
The following is a guest post written by our friend, Jennifer Hong. As a digital nomad residing in Australia, Jen found a way to stay scrappy and discover many hidden-gem deals to maintain a healthy yet adventurous lifestyle without breaking the bank. The deals that she mentions in the article below are active/current as of June 2019.
Let’s focus on 5 areas that normally require or deserve significant recurring investment.
1. Bed / Sleep Sanctuary
Finding the best deals on a bed is important. The bed is probably the most expensive furniture (besides a couch or TV) we own. It’s certainly worth it since we spend ⅓ of our day in it. Normally we are supposed to replace our mattress once every 7 years or so depending on its quality.
Having the right mattress impacts our:
- daily sleep,
- long-term health,
- productivity, and
The days of insisting on the benefits of a firm mattress are long gone. Now brands, such as Ecosa, are offering a memory foam mattress that’s water and dust mite resistant to ensure that you sleep at the ideal temperature, 18C. It lasts longer by adjusting to your body type and sleep patterns. The memory foam mattress was first developed by NASA for shock absorption in airplane seats.
It’s hard to gauge the value of each mattress out there let alone compare against others. Pay attention to not just features but other services such as shipping, return policy, and, most importantly, the warranty period. See this Ecosa vs. Sealy overview for an example of what you should be evaluating when looking for the best deal on a mattress.
In addition, if you ever travel to places such as China, sign up for mattress/bedding factory tours (seriously). You can get amazing sheets, pillows, and mattresses at wholesale prices.
2. Go Bargain Shopping for Groceries/Food
With Australians spending more on food than utilities or anything else, our spending habit changes sometimes cannot include food spending. Finding the best deals on food is great! However, the idea of getting ‘deals’ on food may make us a bit uneasy as we still care about both the quality and taste of what we put into our bodies.
But the deals we are talking about are not dollar-store burritos; we are talking about better leveraging corporate partnerships and direct dealings with wholesalers.
There are now apps, such as EatClub, that help you find restaurants near you that offer a great discount each day on both sit-down and takeaway meals, often ranging from 15-40% off. Many credit card companies often partner with restaurants and supermarkets to attract and retain customers. They offer cash back bonuses or access to discounts when shopping for food or enjoying a meal with your friends and family. So be sure to do your due diligence on the best credit cards which have long-standing partnerships with the food industry.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but start stocking on healthy snacks such as:
- protein bars,
- eggs, etc.
It is also a great idea so you don’t overeat during your meals, wasting food and money. Getting in the habit of having many yet small-portioned food throughout the day is key to a skinnier body and fatter wallet!
3. Check Deals on Clothing/Online Shopping
Nowadays, stores will offer discounts to customers purchasing their products online instead of in the stores to minimize inventory management costs. So make sure you check online before running to the store.
For large, global brands, make sure to check for coupon codes on the internet or use a Google extension, such as Honey, which scans through the relevant sites to automatically apply available coupon codes.
Thanks to the global supply chain infrastructure, finding the best deals on clothing has been made easy. Retail manufacturing has drastically reduced the costs for apparel. If you are not a stickler for brand names, explore online brands such as Asos. They offer a wide range of styles with free deliveries and returns.
If you want bargains on name brand clothing, follow sites that provide access to or notify you of any sample sales. These are normally limited in quantity, styles, and time so only the early bird gets the worm!
You can also check out sites, such as Overstock.com, which stocks unsold designer items like:
- Gucci bags,
- Versace dresses, etc.
The items are from earlier seasons directly from the brands or their manufacturers and pass the benefit of enormous markdown on the items to the consumers. It now delivers to Australia as well as the wider network of global destinations.
This is a difficult one. This space is over-saturated and disjointed with an abundance of players flooding the market with ad-hoc deals and promotions. Australian (and as a matter of fact, global) spending on overseas holiday is one of the few industries that have seen consistent and steady growth over the last two decades.
It is a known fact that flight prices often move drastically based on seemingly random factors such as day of the week, destinations, etc. From personal observation, we believe the prices are frequently lower on Tuesdays and Fridays, but it’s hard to say exactly what affects these prices. So leveraging apps, such as Skyscanner and Hopper, is a good idea. It can help you track the changes so you don’t miss it when the price dips.
Save Money on Travel
One thing for sure though is that these travel sites use the location the user is logging in from or even the user’s browser history to dynamically change pricing.
- You can use a VPN to change your ‘location’ to see how it impacts the prices.
- When booking tours or excursions, always check discount sites in the country if possible.
- Sites like Groupon or Gilt City in the US or aggregator sites offer deals.
- If you see deals for similar activities from one vendor but you want to go with another, give the vendor of your choice a call and ask if they could offer you a discount since their competitor is offering better deals on the same services. The worst they could say is no or you might end up getting a few bucks off your costs – more money for more travel!
5. Find the Best Deals on Entertainment
What’s life without some fun? Just because you are saving up to buy a home or low on budget, you shouldn’t try to eliminate all expenditure on entertainment. It could easily backfire since you might overindulge on the rare occasions where you go out (otherwise, we’d fall into depression).
You can look for different shows and events on Eventbrite or Meetup (they are often free). Groupon has plenty of deals on entertainment as well. Australia, fortunately, has many free city or community events and exhibits sponsored by the government. Just be sure to follow their event calendars.
Less conventionally, you can become an Airbnb Experience host. You can do fun things you normally like to do and also earn some side income as well. This path requires some thinking and effort so keep that in mind.
Finding the best deals is essential nowadays. There’s so much that we need but no one wants to pay much money, especially when there are so many deals being offered. These are just 5 major areas where most of our money is spent, but that is all the more reason why we need to find the best bargain.
How are you finding the best deals? What are your hacks?
AUTHOR LaTia Longuemire
My name is LaTia Longuemire. I enjoy writing, singing, and cooking in my spare time. My passion is helping others. At this stage in my lifetime, I'm primarily focused on my children. They are everything that keeps my world spinning.