How to Save Big When Shopping

No article could list all the places to shop to get big discounts. The usual one are well known: Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, and many, many more. But there’s another aspect to the idea of shopping smart that you might have overlooked: be adventurous and try new places and methods.

Discount stores are often overlooked. In the past few years, a number of Dollar Stores of one brand or another have opened up around the country. Shopping there can net you major brand soap for a dollar that would cost three in a regular grocery store. You can get a $2 toothbrush for less than a buck or a mop that would cost nearly $10 elsewhere.

In smaller towns, the local feed store – originally developed for horse owners but now stocking everything under the sun – can let you save big. Major brand dog food in large quantity is often 10-20% less than the price offered by a major grocery store. Clothing, garden tools, and much more are also on sale every day.

Looking at online options, Craigslist continues to expand, and for good reason. It offers an unbelievable array of items for whatever someone who might be your neighbor is willing to accept. It’s especially good for those odd items that you would have to scour antique stores for years to find, and the prices are usually much lower than such stores charge.

Along with that same line of thinking, but applying it to retail, thrift stores often sell ‘second-hand’ clothing that has, in fact, never been worn. Sometimes it’s on the rack owing to the generosity of donors. Other times, it was just something that person had in the closet for a while and never wore. They take it to the thrift store to exchange for something else they prefer.

Book and CD purchases are another possible arena where those who enjoy reading and music can save a lot. Alibris, Amazon, and other online venues offer steep discounts on books used and new. But Used Book stores, which often also carry CDs, provide another way to save on those odd titles that you will never see anywhere else. They’re fun, peaceful places that are rarely crowded, except in the largest cities. Strand Books in New York, for example, is three floors and it’s always packed with people.

Barter provides another terrific option for saving substantial sums if you’re willing to trade your time for cash. You’ll spend longer looking for a particular item than you would on eBay. But online sites (like SwapCD), garage sales, and just passing the word around through Facebook can net you a great deal on that perfect item.

Barter can involve trading your labor for an item, or a straight swap of your seldom-used tree trimmer for a badly-needed post-hole digger. There’s no limit to what someone else might want, and someone out there is willing to trade for just the thing you want. Connect with them the old or new-fashioned way and save the entire cost of buying the item.

The idea is to look around, try something new, and substitute your time to research and connect in order to save those hard-earned dollars. Check out this list of 100 saving hacks to get some more great ideas



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