With the economy in its current state, everyone is looking to save a few dollars here and there. Since the price of just about everything from gas to groceries is on the rise, people are looking for bargains. But finding the right bargains can be a real challenge. You may not know the best places to find a bargain. You also need to put in an amount of sweat equity. Being a bargain finder is not difficult but it does require some searching and a little dedication. Sure, it is easier to walk in and just buy the first thing you see but that is not the way to save money. Everyone could benefit from learning how to be a bargain finder. Once you get into the habit of bargain shopping, you will find that you have more money in your pocket.
Where To Look For Bargains
The first step in learning how to be a bargain finder is knowing where to look. A good place to start is to check out the local newspaper ads. There are always businesses, such as grocery stores, that run weekly ads on discounted items. Plus, there are always the classifieds which list all manner of items for sale. Whether you are looking for appliances or clothing, you are liable to find it in the newspaper.
Thrift stores have become more popular in the recent years. That popularity got its start when shopping at thrift stores became the trendy thing to do. But as the economy has changed, so has the clientele. You can now find a variety of people looking for bargains in thrift stores because of the wide range of products that those types of stores carry.
Like thrift stores, discount stores have also risen in popularity. Although they might have been stereotyped as the place to shop for lower income families, discount stores have seen a boom in business since regular retail prices have soared through the roof. Discount stores have the benefit of carrying everything from household goods to simple food products, all at a cheaper price than a regular store.
If you are looking for bargains on name brand items, the place to go is still factory outlet malls. These spacious malls, usually found all over the American landscape, contain stores for brands such as Polo, Elizabeth Arden, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, and many more well-known brands. The prices may not be as cheap as a non-brand item, but if you absolutely have to have that logo imprinted on the product, factory outlet malls are a good place to shop.
Goodwill stores have always been known as the hand-me-down store and with good reason. Everytime someone had something that they wanted to get rid of, they would drop it off at Goodwill. The Goodwill stores have helped low income, families for many years. Now, as everyone’s wallets get slimmer, Goodwill stores have proven to be another great place to find really good bargains. It may not be brand new but if you are looking to save money on furniture or clothing, check out a Goodwill store.
Garage sales have been a traditional way to find bargains right in your neighborhood. As people accumulate more stuff, they often need to get rid of their old stuff. A good way to do this is to have a garage sale. There is simply no telling what you may find at a garage sale but you are guaranteed to pay nickels and dimes (or even pennies) on the dollar for what you buy.
When To Look For Bargains
When to look for bargains is just as important as where to look. There are times of the year when you can bargain hunt to find better sales. Generally speaking, around the holidays is always a good time to find some bargains. The best holidays to shop for in the U.S. are anytime during Christmas, the day after Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and New Years. The days leading up to holidays are prime times to find bargains as are the days after a major holiday. The drawback to shopping for bargains during these times is that everyone else is doing the same thing so the stores can get crowded.
Another good time to bargain shop is at the end of the seasons. Most retail stores have an end of season sale where the items, such as clothing, that were proper for one season are not practical for the next season. End of summer and end of winter sales are usually the best times to find some good deals.
Compare Those Prices
The key to being a bargain finder is to compare those prices. Some items it is easier to do. You just look at the price and see if it is cheaper. However, other items, such as bulk items, may be a little more difficult to determine. Sometimes a store has a special where you can buy more than one item for a discounted price. It may sound good but it may not necessarily be the best deal. A good rule of thumb is to carry a calculator with you. Break down the numbers to see how much each individual item would be. After all, you might not need three of one item, therefore you would be wasting money by getting the discount. Being a bargain finder means finding the best deals, even if you have to do a little math to figure out the price.
And don’t forget your coupons. Every bargain finder should cut coupons for everything, even the things you wouldn’t normally use. After all, not only do they help save some money but you never know when they might come in handy.