Think the best deals are only online? Think again: Many old-fashioned ways to find deals still work today, from clipping coupons to following word-of-mouth.”There are plenty of great deals offline,” Brad Wilson, founder of Brad’s Deals, said in an email.
We rounded up nine unexpected ways to save that would make even your penny-pinching Grandma proud. See if they work for you.
Get on the coupon train.
“Using coupons is an easy way to cut 20-40% off your consumer purchases, saving you hundreds or thousands a year,” Wilson says.
But in addition to coupon clipping, you can ramp up your savings by joining a “Coupon Train,” or club that exchanges coupons a few times each month.
“The way it works is you get together five to 10 people who all coupon clip, and think of each person like a stop on a train,” says Julia Allison, founder of the deal-hunting site Bargain Babe. “Everyone clips coupons they’ll use then sends the rest they won’t to the others.”
Club rules may vary by frequency and item, so do your homework and find one that suits your interests and needs.
Another way to find coupons is to check in-store circulars, which also list weekly specials and allow you to compare prices from store-to-store.
Your mailbox, store announcements and fliers posted around town are also good sources, says Allison.
Time your shopping by sales cycles.
Allison recommends buying an item in bulk when it’s hot and on sale, like ketchup in summer, which lasts year-round.
“People have been doing this for hundreds of years. Just pay attention to the items that your family tends to eat, so you can really maximise your money,” she says.
Cozy up to your in-the-know friends and befriend store employees.
Being social can stretch your dollars. Tap your fashion-forward friend for tips on where to shop for fall sales, find sample sales or outlet stores.
And don’t be afraid to smile at the cashier and compliment the store.
“That’s [the store’s] job security, and often when somebody might say, ‘Hey, this item is going on sale tomorrow, you might want to come back,’ or whatever information they might have,” Allison says.
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