When you don’t want to or can’t buy things second hand, or you can’t make it yourself or do it yourself, it can still be hard knowing how to afford twins, triplets, and more. It is these times when you need to know some saving strategies. Here are some great ways to get a great deal on non-second purchases. *Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate or referral links.*
Here are some ways of buying new for less:
Some stores, like Babies ‘R Us offers 10% off two of the same item (e.g. two cribs, two bedding sets, two strollers, etc.). The discount applies to the following categories only: furniture, bedding sets and baby gear, including car seats, strollers, travel yards, highchairs, swings, gates, exersaucers/walkers and backpack/carriers. Double strollers and matching infant car seats are also eligible for the multiple birth discount. This offer is not available on any special purchase items. Other stores, like shoe stores, may also offer multiples discounts. Have you found any stores that do? Have you ever asked?
If you or your spouse is in the military, whether active or reserve, always ask whether there’s a military discount before your pay. Many stores, such as Payless Shoesource and Home Depot, give a standard 10% off. That Home Depot discount can save you a ton on home improvements or new appliances. Others have military discounts on particular days of the week. Some stores don’t have a military discount policy, but will give you a break at the cash register to say thank you. You just need to show them your military ID at checkout. Note that many times the military discount won’t apply on top of clearance prices or other discounts. In those cases, choose the discount that saves you the most. Also, if you shop through the AAFES website or on base at the commissary, you don’t have to pay local sales tax. That can save you a ton on big ticket items like appliances.
Clearance and Sales
I was raised on the notion that you should never, ever, buy something at full price. An item will always go on sale, and eventually clearance. And it doesn’t even matter what type of item it is. While some items will never drop 90% off the price on clearance (like new sofas and electronics), the prices will drop at least some. Being taught this, I also learned a sense of restraint. I didn’t need an item that day, that moment. It wasn’t going to sell completely out. If I was patient, I would be rewarded with a sale in a week or a month. And sometimes, I would just end up forgetting about it, and not spend any money on it anyways.
However, did you know most stores will do a price adjustment if you do buy an item and the price drops over the next week or month? That is why I often keep my receipts. If I later notice that it is cheaper, I go to the customer service desk and they will adjust the price for me, giving me the cash back. Sometimes it may not be much, but that dollar here and there add up quick!
Price Match and Online Comparison
That is also why price matching can be very helpful! I don’t do this a ton, but for bigger purchases, it is a must! And I also like to stop and look online for the best price. You don’t need to buy from a store anymore, or accept their prices. I have saved lots of money on items like contact lenses (contactlensking is my recommendation), text books, diapers, and more from shopping online. Just make sure the site is authentic.
Buy at the Right Time
There are certain times of the year when it is the perfect time for buying new for less. I don’t know them all (so please share if you do!) but generally buy post-season items. That means buying swimwear in September, coats and boots in March, and school supplies the end of September. Post-season items go on clearance, because they have to get rid of them to make room for the new season. If you are patient, and willing to perhaps not have the first choice of designs, it can save you lots of money. But, there are times when buying in-season can be a great idea. Buying linens when it’s back-to-school season can save you money, as bedding and towels don’t usually go on sale every week or even every month.
While some people hate confrontation of any kind, sometimes it pays (literally) to be slightly edgy. If you are buying an expensive item, like a new mattress, couch, or car, you should seriously consider haggling the price (if buying a car, you really really should). If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, bring in your mean, scary, intimidating husband, boyfriend, mom, sister, whoever, to help you out. But, even if buying a small ticket item, if you see that it has any sort of flaw, haggle. If you see the same item marked down but only in a different color, haggle. If you are on the fence, haggle. A sale is a sale. Stores want your money and your business.
Online Deal Websites
Yes. These really can save you money. And a lot of it. If you need an oil change, a hair cut and style, a date out, a dentist appointment, a new mattress, furniture, pampering, house cleaning, or photographs, online deal websites can be a great way to save! Some of these services or goods are rare to come by at such low prices. And some may just be for your favorite place anyways, making it a total score (because you shouldn’t buy things you don’t actually need or use; that won’t save you money). Some of these sites include:
Loyalty Cards and Rewards Programs: Pile on the Discounts and Savings
There are just some stores where it is easy to save even more. Kohls is one of them. Old Navy is another. If you have a favorite store where you are buying all your clothing from anyways, you might want to look into how to save even more. Many stores offer loyalty cards (often at no charge) and store charge cards. I know credit cards are a hot topic for some, but if you are one who always pays balances in full, then you might want to consider getting one to your favorite store.
For example, I have a Gap Card. With that card I can save an additional 10% on Tuesdays when I shop in stores. I also often receive higher discount percentages than non-card holders. And the more I spend there, the quicker I save there, as points accumulate to earn me $10 rewards cards.
When I buy from Old Navy, I wait until they have a “take an additional 30% off” sale to buy from them, and then buy as many clearance items as possible, and then a few items already on great sales. Plus, if I go in on Tuesdays, I can save another 10%. If I shop online, I then go through a third party cash back site like Upromise.com where I can receive 5% cash back of my purchases from oldnavy.com). I recently scored 22 items for under $65, or about $2.49 an item after all the discounts were applied. I stocked up my twins and my son with some cute new clothes for the same price I would be paying at a second hand store. I love buying new for less!
Cable, Internet, Phone, and Other Services
While you aren’t exactly “buying” these items, I have learned that you should try to get the lowest price possible. I once wrote on my blog about how it took me three phone calls to get the price point I wanted for my phone and internet bill. Always threaten to leave when calling customer service. Ask to speak to a manager. And if you need to, call again. And then call again. If you get the right person, you will get the right price. It’s also how you can get those promotional or introductory prices to stay past the initial period. See my post for more info.
I’m not talking coupons for food (that’s coming), but coupons for services and retail stores. Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby usually offer a 20% off one item coupon! This is a great way to buy new for less, especially on big purchases like cribs, strollers, and car seats. Get two coupons and use them in two separate transactions (if allowed). I know we used a lot of these to buy things for our twins. Also, Babies R Us will sometimes offer coupons for an additional 40% off clearance clothing and other awesome deals (which is the only way I shop at Babies R Us because they tend to be pricey). Whenever you are planning on going shopping, look online for store coupons, no matter what store it is.
We all like shopping and getting great deals, buying new for less, so tell us, what tricks have you learned buying new for less?
ldskatelyn is the mastermind behind this week’s theme week of saving money, trying to help others learn how to afford twins. She loves saving money and making ends meet and is so excited that she is sharing some of her knowledge with others this week! She blogs about her family and parenting over at What’s up Fagans?