Here's How the Best Shoppers Avoid Wasting Money

Trying to save some extra cash? Some big-time super savers may be a good place to get ideas for your next shopping trip.
Last updated Aug. 31, 2022 | By Jenny Cohen | Edited By Eric McWhinnie
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Want to become more than just a typical shopper? There are ways.

Super shoppers have genius shopping hacks that can save them money on everyday goods or one-time purchases. And there are ways you can become one of these super shoppers.

So, the next time you’re at your favorite store or shopping online, try one of these super shopper hacks to see if it can help you save money.

Sign up for newsletters

Kaspars Grinvalds/Adobe man viewing newsletter signup page on his laptop screen

Retailers might like to reward loyal customers, so sign up for their newsletters or email alerts. Some companies may let you know about special savings or tell you about super sales before everyone else. That could give you the chance to have a first look at products or just ahead on sales before the items you want are sold out.

Know price-matching policies

StratfordProductions/Adobe woman smiling while using smartphone standing against shelf in pharmacy

Some retailers like Target, Staples, or Walmart might have price-matching policies to help you secure the best deal possible. Check their websites to see details on their price-matching plans and how you can get the lower deal when you’re shopping.

Stack offers

Oleksandra/Adobe yellow ticket with open envelope illustration

Check with retailers to see if they’ll take stacked offers. They may take multiple coupons stacked up for a product or you might even be able to use competitors’ coupons depending on the retailer. Some stores are more generous than others when it comes to stacking, so remember to check a store policy before you head out with your pile of offers.

Become a loyal member

Andrey Popov/Adobe Loyalty Reward Points Program Card

Loyalty programs may be free or have a small fee to join, but you can get big rewards for signing up. Check online to see what kind of offers you can get for being a loyal member and remember to use those loyalty discounts when possible. 

You also may want to look into how many businesses are covered under one program. Some restaurant chains or hotels, for example, may have multiple properties where you can cash in your rewards.

Subscribe and save

baranq/Adobe cheerful young man paying bills online with credit card and laptop

If you have products that you buy on a regular basis, check online retailers to see if you can sign up for a subscription to save money. Subscriptions can work for things you may reorder on a regular basis like diapers or cleaning supplies. Some online retailers may give you a discount on those products if you agree to be a subscriber.

Don’t check out just yet

chaiwat/Adobe brown paper boxes in a shopping cart with laptop keyboard on wood table

Have you ever started shopping and then left the items in your online cart instead of checking out? Some retailers may take this as a sign you may be interested, but that you might need a little extra push. 

In cases like this, leave your packed online cart behind and see if the retailer will send you an email with a discount to encourage you to press the “buy” button.

Buy in bulk

scandamerican/Adobe bags of coffee stacked on pallets at Costco store

Places like Costco or Sam’s Club can save you extra money for items you may want to buy in bulk. Check out some of the top credit cards for Costco shoppers to see if they can help you save extra cash. 

You also may want to check out Costco’s Kirkland Signature in-store brand, which could be as good or better than name-brand products depending on the items you’re picking up.

Use budgeting apps

Andrey Popov/Adobe businesswoman using online banking service on mobile phone

Apps can be really useful when you’re shopping and when you’re at home. Before you head to the store or go online, check your favorite budgeting apps to see how any purchases may affect your personal bottom line. If you set up a budget that helps you save money now, you may be able to splurge later on something you really want.

Use your gift cards

dennizn/Adobe different gift cards of many brands

You may have gift cards sitting around your house with some money still on them. But how much? You don’t know. It may be a good idea to collect all of those cards in a central location and check the balance periodically. 

It may not be an everyday thing, but putting the cards together in an easy-to-reach place may encourage you to use them until they’re empty.

Consider in-store pick-up

Wallpaper/Adobe Online Orders Pick Up' sign in a store

Buying online from your favorite stores but don’t want to pay the shipping costs? Consider using in-store pick-up as an option instead. That way, you can lock in online prices for products you want without having to pay the extra costs of shipping them to your home.

Pro tip: You may want to also check out curbside pick-up for heavier items you order online, which could make it easier to transport your new stuff back home.

Buy generic

Magryt/Adobe different size and shapes of cosmetic containers

Don’t be scared off by the generic version of your favorite products. In some cases, the generic version may be just as good as the name-brand version but cost less. And you may be surprised to find that some generic versions are actually the same exact thing as the more popular named products with a different label on the front of them.

Use couponing sites

Kaspars Grinvalds/Adobe Woman viewing discount coupon on mobile phone

Websites like RetailMeNot or Coupons.com may be a good place to stop before you head out the door or are ready to press the send button. Check to see if there are any deals on what you plan to buy or test out different promo codes to get some surprising extra cash back.

Look up upcycling

netrun78/Adobe crafting with denim

More communities are getting involved in upcycling, which may be a good way to pick up something for free that someone else doesn’t need. Check upcycling groups on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. 

You also may want to try Craiglist to see if there’s anything being offered near you for free or cheap instead of paying full price at a local retailer.

Use rewards points

StratfordProductions/Adobe man looking at his girlfriend shopping online in cafe

Do you have one of the best rewards credit cards in your wallet? You may be able to use the points you’ve earned as cash on retail sites like Amazon. Some rewards credit cards might also let you trade in points for gift cards or products as a way to let you get a little more bang for your credit card bucks.

Bottom line

Drazen/Adobe woman looks at price tag of hygiene products in supermarket

With just a little bit of extra work, you could save quite a bit of extra cash. Look into specific deals for the stores you shop at the most. You may also want to consider downloading their app, getting their emails, or signing up for their loyalty programs to keep a few more dollars in your wallet.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.