Okay, I have a confession. I’m a weirdo. I love Excel sheets and fancy formulas and budgeting. But what I love more than budgeting is getting a good deal. I’ll admit I have some shopping luck on my side. From not knowing the price of something so the manager just rings it up for a random amount and finding out later I got it for 90% off. To the teller ringing up a giant piece of artwork that was supposed to be $100 and it rings up as $18.99 and even the teller is shocked and confused as to why it is so cheap.
But despite my random luck here and there, I love finding a good deal. I’m not a crazy couponer but I do hate paying full price. In fact, I refuse to pay full price for pretty much anything. So today I want to share with you my super simple shopping hacks. Nothing’s ground-breaking, but these tips have saved me thousands of dollars over the years.
Google Chrome extensions to save money
From Ebates and Coupon Cabin offering cash back on most online purchases to Honey that automatically finds the best coupon, there are so many Google Chrome extensions and websites that can help you save money (or get money back) with little effort. Even though you can go to the Ebates website whenever you shop online, I recommend just installing the plugin. The plugin will automatically alert you if cashback is available on the site so you never forget!
Personally, I have the Ebates, Coupon Cabin, and Honey extensions. It means I get a few pop-ups in the corner every time I visit an online store, but I think it’s worth it when I see my cash back checks and coupons. Even though the plugins all do essentially the same thing, I like to have all three because you never know which one is going to get you the best deal. Sometimes Ebates is 3% back while Coupon Cabin is 10%, and sometimes it’s the opposite.
Create a separate email for stores
The plugins I talked about above are great, but a lot of stores send exclusive emails to their subscribers. These plugins won’t always recognize these email discounts, so I like to subscribe to my favorite stores. But I hate getting 100 emails a day. The solution? Create a second email that you use exclusively for store emails. If you use it exclusively for stores, you never have to check it. And if you aren’t constantly checking it and seeing deals, you won’t have the temptation to take advantage of a flash sale or deal that might come into your inbox.
Whenever you are ready to shop, simply login to your shopping email and search for the store that you are shopping at. Look at the most recent email or two and see if there is a coupon to snag. If not, you know you’re getting the best deal with your Google Chrome extensions!
You’ve checked your email and your Google Chrome extensions, but there’s another quick step that can save you some money. Once you find a product you love, copy and paste the exact product name into Google. You should see Google Shopping results at the top or in the sidebar and it will show you all the places that you can get the item and the price.
This isn’t that helpful of a step if you are shopping at a specific brand store, but if you are shopping at Wayfair or Overstock, chances are that other stores sell that exact item as well. They change their prices often, so you never know where it’s going to be cheapest.
If shopping in person, Google the item that you are looking at and check the price online. If it’s cheaper, ask if you can get a price match. A quick tip here is to turn off your location. Target, for example, tracks your location and if they know you are inside a store, the online prices will increase to match the in-store pricing.
This is a quick one to add and once you get it set up, you can pretty much forget about it. There’s an app called Paribus that keeps tabs on your purchases and tracks the prices for 7 days after purchasing. If there is a price drop, they will automatically send you a refund for the extra you paid! Pretty cool, huh?
Stick to a budget
Boo, I know this one doesn’t sound very fun, but it’s so important. If I didn’t have a monthly budget that I set aside for home decor and DIY projects, I would probably spend all my money without even knowing it. $20 here and $10 there can really add up when you aren’t tracking how often you make a quick purchase.
There are apps that can help you track your budgeting, but I like to track it all manually. I have budgets for EVERY category that I spend money on each month and put the category and amount into my budget tracker immediately after each purchase. You’ll be amazed at how much you save just because you have to track it. You become so aware of the little purchases that you make here and there and it can add up to saving you a lot.
Saving money is easy
There you have it. 5 easy ways to save money. Okay, maybe budgeting isn’t always easy or fun, but
- Google Chrome extensions
- and Paribus
sure are! Another awesome way to save some money on home decor and furniture is through DIY. Check out all our DIY decor and DIY furniture projects.
Have any other money saving tips? Share them in the comments below!