1. Ask for a discount

Most people have no problem using coupons or shopping sales, but you can take that one step further.  Ask for a discount especially if you are buying more than one of an item.  My husband loves this particular brand of shoes (that never go on sale) so I asked for ask for a discount if we bought two pairs, letting the salesperson know I would only buy two pair if I received a discount.  We ended up receiving 25% off the second pair.


2.  Don’t buy what you can borrow or barter

When I was getting married,  I needed some glassware that was to be used the one time.  I borrowed various pieces from my bridesmaids. Before you buy it ask yourself, can I borrow this from someone?  I also bartered services with friends for free and discounted services.


3. Think before you buy

It is very easy to get into mindless shopping but ask yourself some questions before buying an item

Do I need this?

Do I have something I can make work?

How many ways can I use this?

Am I calculating the entire cost in getting this item (considering distance, any additional items needed, how soon will I need to replace this)


4. Cheaper is not always better

I am very hard on purses.  So I tend to buy very good 100% leather bags.  Yes, they are more money but long term savings.  I very easily could buy a $20 purse but I tend to destroy them after a few months.  I’ve never destroyed one of my good bags.


5.  Shop with a plan and a time limit.

Too often we will spend time in store “just browsing.”  There is no such thing; our “just browsing” often turns into “just buying.”  When we have a plan and a time limit, we are less likely to buy something off list.  I make it a game with myself to see if I can get out under time and under cost.


6.  It does not have to be perfect.

When I buy clothing, I will often look for clothing that is not perfect for example missing a button.  You can then get the item for less by asking for a discount.  I once bought a $100 trench coat for $2 this way (it was on sale then reduced 75% because it was considered damaged).   I have also bought damaged plastic shelving from a hardware store at a discount.  I was able to call the manufacturer and have the replacement parts sent to me at no charge.  Target will discount items by at least 10% if they are not perfect.


7. It does not have to be new.

During my last pregnancy, I wanted to buy a glider.  Instead of buying a new one at $145, I bought a used one in virtually perfect condition from my girlfriend for $40.