We've now entered the holiday shopping season, when every store is advertising some big sale every weekend.
But we want to show you how to make sure you are really getting the lowest price, so that you never have to pay retail.
Nedra McDaniel, who writes a blog called "Adventure Mom", never pays retail for her clothing or gifts.
Everything to her is an adventure, even shopping this time of year.
Shop Outlets with Coupons
Sure, McDaniel shops the outlet malls, but she says go online for outlet coupons before you go.
"Outlets can be a savings, but also at stores if you use a lot of apps that are available, you can also find coupons you can use instantly."
Outlet malls have websites where you can sign up for weekly coupons.
And she saves plenty without fighting the outlet crowds.
Great Coupon Apps
If you have a smartphone, she says, you should have a price comparison app on it, that lets you see prices at other stores.
"When you’re in Target you definitely want to use the Cartwheel app, that's a great one," she said. "You can use the barcode in there, just scan it right away and see if there’s any savings"
For instance, she scanned the barcode on a jacket for extra savings. "It's a Cherokee blazer, at 20% off right now," she said.
What about the rest of her holiday shopping?
When McDaniel needs a gift basket, she goes to TJ Maxx for creative and imported items to put in a basket for someone. Right before Christmas, she says, they even have assembled baskets.
Save on Gift Cards
When she needs a gift card, she never pays full price on store racks, but rather uses the app Gift Card Granny for discount gift cards.
Another trick: Look for stores with gift card bonuses during the holiday season, such as Red Lobster and the Outback Steakhouse offering a bonus card for you if you buy one as a gift.
Check for Rebates
Once she's finished her shopping, she scans receipts with the Iobatta app, to show if there are any rebates after the sale.
"That’s one where if you scan your receipts you can get cash back," she explained.
Know Days for Markdowns
Finally, she says when you shop can make a big difference.
She buys Spring clothes in the Fall, Fall clothes in the Spring, for as much as 75% off.
And she says find out which day of the week is markdown day at stores.
For instance, according to the website Rather-be-Shopping. com:
- Macy's marks down clothing on Tuesday.
- JC Penney cuts prices the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.
- Kohl's cuts prices the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month.
- Old Navy uses Wednesdays to post new sales.
- Babies r Us puts items on sale on Thursdays.
- Best Buy adjusts prices for the upcoming weekend on Wednesday.
This Adventure Mom knows how to make shopping an adventure, and that way she never pays retail on her holiday purchases.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)
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