5 Things to Do Before You Buy Anything

  1. The “when” is not always now

There are certain times throughout the year when specific categories are better priced, so if you’re considering making a purchase, especially a big one, find out if it’s a good time to buy that particular item. Consumer Reports and Cheapism both have decent lists of when to buy within certain categories. You might be able to save a bundle if you wait a month or two.


  1. Do the work

If you need something, don’t just go online or in-store and buy the one that’s on sale. Read expert reviews on sites like CNet, or consumer reviews on sites like Amazon to see what other people are saying. It might be worth it to pay a little more for a better product.


  1. Never take a price at face value 

Compare prices with sites or apps like Price Grabber and Shop Savvy to find out what retailers have the best prices. Also, Google coupons, i.e. “Macy’s coupons” for the stores where you plan to shop. Also, when you’re in-store, it never hurts to ask a salesperson or your cashier if there are any discounts that aren’t aware of.


  1. It pays to be loyal

If the price is right, shop at a retailer where you have a loyalty card or a store credit card so you can reap the benefits, like points and exclusive discounts.


  1. Gift cards are golden

Gift cards are as good as cash, so don’t forget to use those new or partially used gift cards that are sitting in the kitchen drawer. Also, if are planning to shop online or in-store with a particular merchant, see if there are discounted gift cards available on sites like Giftcards.com and Giftcardgranny.com. You could automatically save anywhere from 2-30%!