Why pay full price when you can get the exact same thing for less? How can you do that? Think sales, rebates, senior citizen discounts, coupons, zero percent interest financing, resale shops, group rates, subscription series rates, and more. Sometimes you just have to ask.
Haggling is one way to try to negotiate a price. This give and take between buyer and seller is common in European markets. In the United States, haggling is still used at flea markets, garage sales, estate sales, and farm equipment sales. Even though the price on the merchandise is already low, the buyer sometimes wants to dicker, to haggle. This seems to increase the thrill of getting a “real bargain.”
If you subscribe to a daily newspaper, check the inserts for coupons for ordinary purchases such as shampoo and paper towels. Clip the coupons and use them. If you have a teenager in the house, make a deal with him/her. The teenager must scour the newspaper and other flyers for coupons to use at the supermarket or comparable stores. The teenager gets to keep any “savings” from the coupons. The coupons must be for items routinely on the shopping list.
Scan the grocery store ad for specials. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables which are in season.
Look at the newspaper ads for department stores, automobile dealerships, furniture stores, hardware stores, and other stores. Many items are traditionally on sale in certain months of the year. The following list appeared on U.S. News.com on September 1, 2014:
- January—winter attire on clearance, old inventory furniture, motorcycles, fitness gear
- February—more winter attire on clearance, flat screen TVs, cameras
- March—luggage, winter sports gear on clearance, frozen foods
- April—tax software, tires, beauty products, sneakers
- May—lawn and garden products, mattresses, camping gear, spring clothing
- June—lingerie, home décor
- July—swimwear and outdoor furniture on clearance; start of back-to-school sales
- August—wine, office supplies, laptops
- September—grills, older-model appliances
- October—denim, back-to-school clothing on clearance, older-model appliances, cars
- November—Halloween candy and costumes on clearance, cookware, electronics
- December—winter apparel on clearance, Champagne
Many businesses offer discounts to senior citizens. For example, Kohls gives a 15 percent discount to those age 55+ every Wednesday. Carsons gives 15% off to seniors on Wednesdays. Burger King has a Senior Discount. Home Depot offers Senior Discounts. Many motels and hotels offer senior discounts. AARP members receive a 10% discount on the price of the room plus late checkout until 2:00 P.M. when available. Senior citizens may also qualify for discounts on membership dues to organizations such as historical societies and libraries.
Sometimes a senior citizen will have to apply for a rebate. For example, the City of Chicago exempts homeowners 65 plus from sewer service charges if they apply for the discount. Senior residents of Aurora can receive a rebate of $25 per year for municipal gas taxes plus $25 per year for municipal electricity taxes. State Farm will discount the price of car insurance if the senior completes the 55 Drive Alive course.
With a little extra effort, you can receive the exact same merchandise or service for less. What a deal!
—By Karen Centowski