I had no idea what discount shopping was growing up. The phrase “shop ’til you drop” was my mantra. As a little girl, I enjoyed going to the mall more than a trip to the park. But as I matured, I quickly learned another saying: “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” It was a tough wake-up call, but I discovered clever ways to indulge in shopping without shattering my budget. In fact, these hacks have saved me hundreds of dollars. And by following these simple steps, you can save major cash, too.
1. Sign up for rewards programs. There are several brands that reward customers for consistent purchases. Sign up for the T.J. Maxx membership, and you’ll be entered into sweepstakes and giveaway contests every time you buy. The DSW program sent me several $ 10 off coupons just for signing up. And there are a bunch of retailers that give birthday deals to loyal customers.
2. Buy off season. When temperatures start to change, retailers need to clear last season’s items to make room for new pieces. This is the perfect time to take advantage of discounted styles. So, buy swimsuits at the beginning of fall, and shop for coats as the weather starts to heat up.
3. Search Google for discount codes. I will never (ever) complete an online purchase before doing a Google search for coupon codes. For example, I’ll type “ASOS promo codes” into the Google search bar to see if there are any special discounts before I check out. Websites like Retail Me Not and Coupon Flow keep an index of offers to help you save big.
4. Create a separate email for deals. Promotional newsletters can easily crowd your inbox. If you’re hoping to save big, you’ll need a designated email account to collect as many coupons as possible. Then when you’re ready to do some discount shopping, you can filter your inbox to find the retailer savings that are relevant.
5. Use your student ID. If you’re a student, your ID can help you score discounts at places like Topshop. Banana Republic also has a deal that cuts prices for teachers and senior citizens.
6. Purchase gift cards at a lower price than face value. Gift Card Granny is one of my best-kept secrets. The website let’s you buy gift cards for less than the actual value, and you can sell the cards you were gifted that you don’t want.
7. Abandon shopping carts. Whenever I’m browsing on the internet, I always put my favorite items into the shopping cart—even if I’m not planning to purchase them. Some companies will encourage customers to complete the checkout process by sending an email with a discount.
8. Take advantage of price-drop alerts. I also like to bookmark items on my wish list on platforms like Pinterest, Polyvore, and Shopstyle. Each site has an alert feature that notifies me when prices are marked down.
9. Earn cash back with Ebates. You can actually make money from shopping with Ebates. It’s really simple. Companies pay Ebates commission for sending you to their websites, and Ebates shares a portion of the payout with you. Then, you can get a check in the mail or a deposit to your PayPal account. There are more than 2,000 stores on the site, so finding something you love isn’t a problem.
10. Open an incognito window to get introductory deals. Several companies lure in new customers with a percentage off of their first purchase. Try shopping some of your favorite retailers after clearing your browsing history or opening an incognito window.
11. Shop sample sales. Each season designers get rid of excess inventory by hosting sample sales. Sometimes pieces are slightly damaged, but they’re certainly worth the steep discounts. Once I purchased a $ 1,000 vest for $ 20—a very proud moment. Visit Racked and Mizhattan to stay up-to-date on upcoming sales. And if you can’t stand crowds, brands like Tibi host sample sales online.
12. And don’t miss friends and family sales. These discounted events may seem exclusive, but most stores will honor price cuts for everyone. All you have to do is text the word ‘JOIN’ to 73277 to become a part of Sears’ family. And Bloomingdales’ online event is open to anyone who uses the promo code “FRIENDS” at checkout.
SELF – Fashion