House & Home

Tips help shoppers avoid paying full price

Posted May 7, 2012

— Shoppers could be throwing away cash without realizing it, but doing five things can help people save money and avoid ever paying full price again.

The No. 1 tip: Resist the urge to splurge.

Sales that encourage shoppers to buy now usually get better with time. One-day sales tend to happen more often than most shoppers think. Waiting for a little bit before buying will reduce the impulse to buy unnecessary items, too.

Grocery Cart Tracker Thumbnail (w/graph) Grocery Cart Tracker

Tip No. 2.: Check the unit price.

Some brands are changing the package sizes to make it seem like they are offering a better value. By contrast, unit prices break down a product's cost using absolute units of measure.

Tip No. 3: Experts say go generic on drugs, batteries and canned foods.

Many products in these categories have just as good quality as name brands.

Tip No. 4: Compare in-store price tags to online prices.

Become a savvy shopper and save cash

Web tools such as the Invisible Hand scour the Web for rock-bottom prices on just about any product.

Tip No. 5: Don't be shy. Ask on for a discount on everything from your Internet service to appliances in chain stores.


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  • snowl May 8, 2012

    Just start to walk for the front door and say that you want to think about the purchase and the works best with new cars and new furniture in my experience.

  • btneast May 7, 2012

    Only the car dealers do that, as far as I know.

    ...perhaps because you never ask is why you think this? Not asking is as good as a no. No business is going to advertise that they will negotiate better prices, you have to ask for it.Not all will, but way more than you are thinking will.

  • ellengraham5660 May 7, 2012

    Yeah, there are not many people, and ESPECIALLY Wal-mart, who negotiate. They try to get you to pay even MORE than what your service or item is worth. Usually that's the way it goes. There isn't much haggling except at a garage sale these days. That's how we furnish our house! ha ha

  • 1Rx4FN May 7, 2012

    Paying with cash has helped me negotiate deals outside of car dealerships. This has worked for me at local nurseries, big box stores and clothing retailers. Something about physical cash and not some plastic credit card that makes people more willing to deal.

    I only use generic batteries for toys, remotes and such. Never for flashlights or smoke/CO2 detectors.

  • fouroakstwins2 May 7, 2012

    We get discounts on our cable / internet rates by calling and seeing if they have any discount packages or promos going on. Sometimes we are told no but call back until we find something. Done this for years and it has paid off!

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc May 7, 2012

    Paulej, I've got one for you. I was on the phone last week with Home Depot asking questions about a generator. I mentioned that I had seen one for $50 less somewhere else and she instantly offered me 10% off (about $80). So, yes, you can negotiate better prices even with the big box stores... Bottom line is that I got a lot better generator for the same money!

  • Save It May 7, 2012

    "Experts say go generic on drugs, batteries and canned foods."

    Not batteries. That is a lie.

  • Alexia.1 May 7, 2012

    "Don't be shy. Ask on for a discount on everything from your Internet service to appliances in chain stores."

    Seriously? Go to Walmart and give that a try. I've never heard of a restaurant doing that, either. Only the car dealers do that, as far as I know. Perhaps there are some furniture dealers. About the only other people who can negotiate a price are small business owners who are actually doing the selling in their businesses. If anybody gets a discount on their utilities, I'd like to hear what trick you did :-)