No matter what great deals and sales you score, it’s always an awesome feeling to save even more! Let me share with you, 10 ways to save money at the register.
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1. Ask for Discounts
Since becoming a military spouse, this has sort of been ingrained in me. Now, I will say, I typically only ask for a military discount when Hubs is with me (he being the veteran and all), but there are rare occasions when I’ll grab it for myself. Mostly Old Navy.
Other applicable discounts at many retailers include:
- Student discounts: Keep your student ID in your wallet forever! Retailers rarely check the dates, but always honor the discount.
- Senior discounts: Take your mom shopping with you. Assuming your mom is old enough to qualify for a senior discount.
- Employee discounts: My mom’s not old enough for a senior discount yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from utilizing her employee discount at Dress Barn when she’s come to visit.
2. Ask for Extra Coupons
This has worked for us at both Lidl and Michael’s. Lidl is a relatively new store in our area and it’s only available on the east coast, but, being new, they’ve been giving out a lot of awesome coupons lately. We’re talking $5 or $10 off $50. Every time I go through the checkout I ask if they have an extra one laying around. At least three times, just asking, has worked for me. I’ve saved $20 that way.
I have to give this tactic at Michael’s to Hubs. He recently went into ours and told the cashier that he’d left his coupon at home. She rummaged around and pulled out a 40% off coupon for him. He’s also managed to get 60% off one item at Michael’s before, using this tactic.
3. Ring at Full Price, Then Use Coupons
This is something I try to do at Hobby Lobby. If I know I’m not getting much and won’t need their trusty 40% off coupon on anything else, I’ll ask the cashier to ring a sale item (something that’s only marked at 30% off) at full price, then use the 40% off coupon on that price.
4. Take a Friend
Shopping is more fun with friends, let’s be honest. In my case, they usually talk me into things I’m trying to talk myself out of. So, really, I guess I would save money if I went alone. Hmm… Anyway, in this case, take a friend. That way you can split your purchase and use multiple coupons. I always make sure to have Hubs with me at Hobby Lobby, that way we can both capitalize on the 40% off coupon. We just do two separate purchases.
5. Be Friendly
Recently, I was in line for Starbucks with #1. The wait had lasted awhile, but #1 was keeping entertained by swinging on my arm. Customers around us noticed his impatience, but hopefully found it cute. The barista even took notice. When we finally made our way to the register the barista tried to high five #1, who was not having it. I laughed and said it “must be one of those days,” when really I knew he just doesn’t like interacting with strangers (good for him in this day and age).
I ordered my tall Pike Place with a splash a skim milk and waited to swipe my card as the barista poured my concoction. Next thing I know, the dude hands it to me and says, “Since you had to wait, it’s on the house.” Well, I’ll be! Now, imagine if I had gotten up there and hooted and hollered about the wait, pretty sure I would have paid then.
Simply being friendly and patient can take you far in this world, and, as it turns out, it can get you a free cup of coffee.
6. Ask About Upcoming Sales
Employees, and especially managers, are privy to early information about upcoming sales. They may be aware that the particular items you’re looking to purchase will be marked down in price in the coming days. Don’t be afraid to ask! If they know, chances are they’ll tell you. They may even offer to hold the merchandise behind the counter for a later purchase.
7. Look for Signage
A lot of retailers have their own free ‘clubs’ you can join and chances are, when you sign up, you’ll receive a coupon. If you see a sign for their club in store, grab your smartphone and sign up right then. These clubs are most likely automated, and that means, depending on the programming of the robot, your coupon could instantaneously be in your email account and able to be used.
8. Download Their App
Similar to the ‘club’ you can join, by downloading the retailer’s app, you may be able to acquire coupons not privy to those without the app. Think of it like a Kroger Plus Card, but on your phone. Also, if you allow the app’s notifications, they may send you great coupons on the regular.
9. Ask a Friend
If I overhear the person in front of me try to unsuccessfully use a coupon, I tend to speak up. I usually start with an innocent, “Oh, where can I get a coupon?” To which, if the user was unsuccessful, they may just hand it off to me. Boom – discount. Cue that friendly smile again! I’ve also been known to ask folks behind me to scan their apps for me, so I can score some discounts on my purchase, too. Most people are totally fine handing over some savings.
10. Bring Your Own Bag
All right, not much of a discount, but you can save $0.05 per bag at Target, and this prevents having to buy bags at the discount grocers like Aldi or Lidl.
Got Any Tips?
How do you save money at the register? Tell me in the comments below!
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