7 Best Ways to Avoid Paying Full Price
| Photographs By m-imagephotography
Am I the only one who gets giddy when I hear that I can receive a discount on something? I immediately get excited because it means I don’t have to pay as much as I’d originally planned and I can put some of the savings toward something else.
I know we all would love to avoid paying full price for as much as possible. Think about how much money you could save, and what you could put it toward instead. Could you get out of debt faster? Open a new retirement account? Top off your emergency fund?
Whatever your end goal is, be sure to utilize these seven ways to avoid paying full price so you can save more money.
1. Buy used
This is the most common way to avoid paying full price for the things you need. If you can get comfortable with buying gently used items, you’ll save a ton of money over time.
One of the easiest things you can start with is buying used clothes. You can buy gently used clothes at local resale shops, thrift stores, and even online. Sites like ThredUp and apps like Poshmark even allow you to buy used name-brand clothes for a fraction of the retail price.
I save money on back-to-school shopping by buying my son a few outfits from resale stores and the Goodwill in our area.
When we moved earlier this year, I was able to score a ton of used items for our home that were still in good condition. From furniture and landscaping tools to decor and kitchen supplies, my husband and I literally saved thousands by avoiding paying full price for those items.
2. Use coupons
Don’t underestimate the power of couponing. Coupons are free to obtain and use and you can even stack coupons to get a bigger discount on the purchase price. Most manufacturers offer free coupons for their products and you can find these online. You can also use coupons that you get in the mail with your weekly newspaper.
You don’t have to be an extreme-couponing expert or sort through papers all week long to make coupons work for you. Digital services like the Flipp App allow you to sort through weekly circulars and clip relevant coupons easily online when shopping on your computer.
Don’t look for coupons to save you thousands of dollars, but when it’s convenient, you can use them to save yourself a couple of bucks and avoid paying full price.
3. Shop the clearance aisle
This is something easy you can do to avoid paying full price for whatever you buy. If you’re going to buy something new, head to the clearance aisle when you first enter the store.
You can find just about anything you’re looking for, from food to clothes or toiletries and house supplies. Granted, you may not always find the exact items that are on your list, but it’s worth it to get into the habit of checking the clearance items before you commit to paying full price for something.
On the flip side, you don’t want to persuade yourself to buy extra things just because they’re on sale. If you’re going to make an unplanned purchase because you’ll receive a discount, you want to replace what was on your original list with the sale item so you don’t end up overspending in the long run.
4. Earn cash back
Are you taking advantage of cash-back and loyalty-rewards program? Sites like Ebates will allow you to earn cash back for just shopping online as you normally do. Ebates pays cash back quarterly. Ibotta is another helpful rebates app that can come in handy when you’re buying groceries or household goods.
If you’ve already made a purchase online and the price gets dropped later, you can use Paribus to get the difference refunded if you did pay full price.
5. Use credit card rewards
Using rewards credit cards wisely can also help you earn cash back so you can give yourself a discount on certain purchases.
I don’t try to earn or redeem credit card rewards often, but it can be a great way to save money on travel. When you use your cards wisely, you can earn points and cash back that can be used to avoid paying full price for your flight or your hotel stay.
My husband and I actually honeymooned in Jamaica for a whole week for just $400. We saved thousands on our trip and it was all thanks to credit card rewards.
6. Become a mystery shopper
Mystery shopping can be a fun way to make extra money during your spare time. You’ll likely head to a store or business in your local area and either purchase something or interact with the staff. After your experience, you can submit your observations via a report that is used to help improve the customer experience at that particular business.
Being a mystery shopper can be fun because you can technically get free food and other items. Companies will reimburse you for the money that you spend mystery shopping, so that means you can try out a new ice-cream place, go bowling, tour a gym, or get your car serviced without having to pay for it. Plus, you’ll get compensated for doing the work and submitting the report.
I know some mystery shoppers who use the gig to get discounts and freebies they’d otherwise have to pay full price for on their own. You may be able to get free or discounted oil changes, meals, or items for your home by using mystery shopping as a side hustle.
Finally, one of the best ways to avoid paying full price for anything is to negotiate. If you don’t ask for a discount, you may not ever get one. In an appropriate setting, you may be able to barter or negotiate pricing for certain things.
You may want to try this if you’re in the market for a new car. If you have some leverage, negotiating can become pretty effective. After doing some traveling abroad, I’ve realized that some cultures thrive on negotiating, so it doesn’t hurt to give it a try every now and then — or even when you’re on vacation and looking to score a discount.
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