Become a Holiday-Savvy Saver

Bunny and Mama in Drake by tree 2009Bunny and Mama in Drake by tree 2009Ellie in NYC - ABC News Ellie in NYC - ABC News

The Kay Family, Christmas on the Move, 1995

The Kay Family, Christmas on the Move, 1995

The number one and two resolutions in the New Year revolve around health and wealth, but you don’t have to wait unit January to get started. That is why my co-author and I wrote our new book, Lean Body, Fat Wallet (Thomas Nelson- Released this week!) so that readers can see the connection between the habits that bring on fiscal health are the same habits that bring on physical health.  One of the best habits you can develop is to become a savvy saver in the store and here are a few tips that can help you have a healthier wallet this coming year by getting a head start on shopping smart during the holidays.

PRICE MATCHING—ASK YOUR STORE

If you have a store that will match competitors’ ads, then this helps save time and money. Most Walmart stores offer this benefit to their consumers. This price-matching tip is also good outside of the grocery area because there are dozens of other stores that will honor competitors’ ads, including Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, Target, and more. Since these policies vary from year to year (and even month to month), it’s important to inquire at the customer service desk before you try to use the price-matching benefit.

To implement this tip, just take in all the local sale ads and have the store match the sale price from the circulars. There may be some restrictions, so be sure you ask for the details at the customer service desk. For example, Walmart will not honor a “buy one/get one free,” nor will they honor “percentage off” sales. But they will substitute their brand for other store brands that are on sale and it may even end up being a better quality deal!

SEARCH HIGH AND LOW FOR BARGAINS

In today’s grocery stores, many bargains are located on the top and bottom shelves. The expensive items are at eye level. To those in marketing the reason is obvious—you’ll buy something that’s in front of your nose! Also, avoid the floral, deli, and bakery departments. They’re usually overpriced and can bust your budget.

Bunny and Mama in Drake by tree 2009USE A SHOPPING LIST—DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!

When shopping, you should never leave home without an organized list. It minimizes time spent in the store and helps you stay on target, thus avoiding impulse buying. It can also serve as a reminder of sale prices and coupons you may have. There is an app called Awesome Note, which can be found at Mint.com, that can help you organize a shopping list.

COUPON APPS AND WEBSITES

My son, Jonathan, just gave me his Christmas wish list. The first item was a pair of shoes. The first thing I did was look them up in RetailMeNot.com. Instantly, I got a coupon for 25% of the exact shoes Jonathan wanted. Now on Christmas day, he and I will both be happy.

Besides RetailMeNot.com (or its app), Coupon Sherpa and Yowza are also great apps to help you find great values at your local store. Download these apps and use them regularly to save 30 percent or more. Both use geographic location or zip codes to target deals at stores near you. You may also want to try the Redlaser app, which can be used to scan the bar code of a product and find out if the item is cheaper somewhere else. As far as websites go, consider using BradsDeals.com or Dealnews.com to get current updates on a variety of bargains.

Do you have other holiday tips when shopping for savings?

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