What can I do to save money when I shop?
A good way to save money is to compare prices. You compare prices by looking at the price of something at more than one store. Something might be “on sale” at one store. But another store might sell the same thing for less money.
When you are shopping, you can ask:
- What is the best price you can give me? The store might give you a lower price.
- Will this item go on sale soon? You might be able to wait for the sale and save money.
Sometimes, you might find a better price online. When you see a price online, find out if you will need to pay extra money to have it sent to you. This cost is called “shipping.” If you add the shipping cost to the price, is it still a good deal?
Do coupons really help me save money?
A coupon can help you save money on certain products or at certain stores. But coupons can help you save only if you are buying something you need. Do not buy things just because you have a coupon for them.
Here is an example of how a coupon works:
- The clothes you want cost $55 (plus tax)
- Your coupon is for $10 off a $50 purchase
- Your purchase is more than $50.
You pay $45.
You saved $10.
Where do I find coupons?
You can cut coupons out of the newspaper or a magazine. You also can find coupons online at:
- the website for the company that makes the product
- websites for stores that sell the product
- coupon websites that list coupons for lots of stores
To use a coupon online, you often need to type your “coupon code” or “promotional code” into a box. This happens while you are “checking out” and entering the information to pay for what you are buying.
What else should I know about coupons?
Some stores have “double coupon” days. On these days, you might get twice as much money off.
For example, if you have a coupon for 50 cents off of a certain brand of orange juice, you would get $1 off on double coupon days.
Look for double coupon days at grocery stores. Ask at the store whether they have double coupon days.
Many coupons have an “expiration date.” After that date, you cannot use the coupon.
Should I always wait for things to go on sale?
A “sale” is when a store sells something for a cheaper price. Sometimes you can wait for an item to go on sale. That way, you do not have to pay as much for it.
Before you buy an item that is “on sale,” ask yourself:
- Would I want to buy this if it were not on sale?
- Are there other products like this that I like better?
- Have I checked the price at other stores? Is the “sale” price the best one?
- Do I have the money to buy this, even at the lower sale price? Will buying this add to my debt?
- If I don’t buy this, what could I use the money for instead?
A sale price is not a good price if you do not need the item. A sale price does not help you save money if you cannot afford to buy the item.