Photo: Staticjana / Flickr, CC
It’s no secret consumers have less cash to burn these days than ever before, but there are plenty of ways to save that don’t require diving headfirst into a sales bin.For some products, there’s just no point paying full-price when you can find the same quality in a second-hand or used product.
Like cars, new models of bicycles come out every season, which means you're likely to see older models pop up on sites for a fraction of the cost during colder seasons like fall and winter.
Think about commuting to work on your new ride and watch your savings grow even more.
Before you buy online, be sure to use due diligence. If an ad seems fishy or uses a stock image, the bike might have been stolen.
Textbooks can cost upwards of $200 for some science courses and for a pre-medical student with a full class schedule that could mean dropping up to a grand on reading material -- per semester.
When possible, renting, borrowing or buying books secondhand are the simplest ways to save.
We wouldn't recommend going the used route on important items like car seats or strollers, but when it comes to children's clothing ---- which is likely to get wrecked by smashed carrots anyway ---- there's no shame saving.
Try browsing reputable thrift shops in your neighbourhood or, of course, asking friends and family for handmedowns.
And if all else fails, try re-seller sites like Swapbabygoods.com.
Everyone loves that 'new car' smell but hear us out on this one.
The minute you drive a fresh car off the lot, its value drops by about 20 per cent. And after just five years, fuggedaboutit.
'A used car that's five years old can typically be about a third of the price of a new car, and the insurance is a lot less than it would be for a new car,' according to Investing Answers.
Buying used cars is an economical choice, but you'll want to be weary of hitting the used car lot before doing your research. Sites like Kelley Blue Book are great places to get an idea of how much a used car should be worth.
Before you cart off a few thousand dollars worth of kitchen appliances from Sears, think about buying big ticket items from friends and family or online.
Things like refrigerators and washing machines are plentiful on Craigslist, and smaller kitchen appliances like blenders, mixers, and microwaves are easiest to score.
You're in real luck if you have a pair of friends who recently moved in together. Chances are they won't want duplicate appliances cluttering their cabinets.
Do your budget a favour and skip Toys R Us for these more affordable used options: Craigslist, eBay, Swap.com, or your neighbourhood yard sales. Each is a gold mine when it comes to finding cheap, but still usable cast-off toys.
Chance are your five-year-old won't remember whether the Tonka truck you bought him for Christmas was used or not when he's pushing 30.
Re-seller sites like Craigslist are treasure troves for anyone looking for used furniture. And if you're not willing to put up with flaky sellers or bed bug threats, don't be afraid to ask family and friends to see if they're looking to get rid of any furniture.
Thrift shops like Goodwill and the Salvation Army both offer furniture, but be sure to call in advance. Not all shops carry larger items like bed frames and dressers.
Remember, no bridesmaid should pay full-price for a gown she'll only wear once. What you can't rent from sites like Renttherunway.com or Bagborrowsteal.com, check out consignment shops or thrifts stores for gently used formal wear.
For brides-to-be on a budget, check out the virtual racks on Recycledbride.com to score discount gowns and accessories that no one will ever guess were used.
Lucky fellas might score a tux for a fancy cocktail dinner and still be able to afford tailoring with the cash they saved by buying used. You can re-sell the garments you only wear once--just be kind to them so you'll get as much of their value back as possible.
Dropping hundreds of dollars for a new pet seems almost criminal when you get down to the cold, hard facts.
There are thousands of shelters in the U.S. and sadly, between 3 million and 4 million of the cuddly critters that wander into their doors each year are eventually euthanized, according to ASPCA.
While you're likely to encounter more mutts than anything, those of you who won't settle for less than purebreds are in luck. About a quarter of all shelter animals are purebred.
If you're on the prowl for fresh DVDs, Blu-Rays, video games or music, there's no reason to buy them full price.
Electronics like game consoles and laptops are another story. You can certainly find excellent bargains by purchasing them secondhand online, but you likely won't be able to get a warranty with them.
With the housing market still struggling, it might be a better idea to look for an older home rather than browsing new developments.
Bankrate.com says existing homes are usually less expensive per square foot because of rising land costs, so your money will go further.
There's still a massive backload of foreclosed properties on the market, which could be good news for buyers. Realtors, homeowners and banks are probably more likely to be in the mood to lower their asking price if they're desperate to get rid of a certain property.
Before you head to over to Tiffany's, do your bank account a solid and consider this slightly less whimsical option: the pawn shop.
Trust us, not all those shelves are filled with broken appliances and handguns of questionable origins. The fact is that jewelry -- especially diamonds -- has a terribly low resale value.
That's great news for the clever consumer who hits up estate sales or other resellers to find new bling.
If you're a girl in your 20s and you've never hosted or been to a clothing swap night with your friends, you are seriously missing out. Swaps are a great way to score designer gear you'd never be able to afford yourself.
If you're unimpressed by your buddies' fashion sense, then there are plenty of vintage or online swap sites like Bag, Borrow or Steal to quench your thirst for threads.
Scout shops first, either by checking out their reviews on Yelp or stopping by in person. If they seem unclean or have a reputation for crappy clothing, you're probably better off avoiding them.