Digging for Discounts

Living near an outlet mall is a double-edged word. Whereas I love that I am so close to stores that offer daily deals on new items, if I don’t exercise will power, I can easily spend a ton of money scooping up sale merchandise.

Fortunately, you don’t have to live next to an outlet mall or warehouse store to save money on clothes, footwear, or household items. Savvy shoppers know exactly where to go to bargain hunt. Thrift, consignment, and resale stores are a frugalista’s dream. These types of shops carry “gently used” or “like new” items at deeply discounted prices. Other places to find decent deals are yard sales and auctions. The bonus to shopping for goods at garage or yard sales is that in most cases you can negotiate with the seller to lower the price of a specific item even more.

If you are a tech fiend, then you know that online bargains can be had with a simple click of the mouse. However, when opting to shop via the Internet, it’s always a good idea to read the fine print to avoid hidden fees. Also, review the site’s shipping and handling fees before checking out, as some charges can drastically inflate the sale price of an item, so that it is no longer is a good deal.

Other points to consider when digging for discounts: Driving a long distance to save a dollar or two on a sale item is not financially wise, especially if you factor the price of gas and wear and tear on your vehicle into the final price of the deal.

Package size is another controversial topic among extreme bargain hunters. Smart shoppers know not to look exclusively at the overall size of a package. A smaller container may seem to be a better deal until you compare its unit price with the next size up. In addition, while warehouse stores would have you believe that buying in bulk can help your bottom line, if you don’t use all of what you bought, you are simply wasting money.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.