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How to Spend Less Shopping and Have Fun Doing It!

Spend Less and Have Fun Doing It

If you are like a lot of people, chances are you have to watch spending. It helps if you make it fun or otherwise interesting. I’ve always enjoyed looking for and finding bargains. In fact, a particular cousin frequently jokes about the time I wouldn’t accept his Taco Bell tacos for free because there was a deal the next day for 39 cents … I just couldn’t pass up that bargain!

In that spirit, the next time you are feeling a money crunch, instead of feeling bummed or sorry for yourself look for some shopping enjoyment. You can satisfy your “shopping diva” and save a bunch, too. Here are some of the ways I do just that.

Grocery shop at Aldi, which is the ultimate bargain hunter’s find. They have seriously crazy low prices. If you have the impression the store has inferior or only unhealthy food you couldn’t be more wrong. Alongside regular selections they also have a healthier Fit ‘n Active line of products. Some stores also have an organic brand.

I started with going there for only the weekly special produce buys and now do almost all my shopping there. And I’ve never had to use their “double” quality policy: If you get something not up to par, take it back for a replacement *and* your money back.

Plus they have different Special Buys each week, which are good products they’ve found at great prices. If they have any left after the initial sale, these are marked down lower until gone. I got a box of Snicker ice cream bars for something like $1.49 one time (Tim was very happy).

Stack savings. If you do any kind of couponing you are probably familiar with the idea of waiting for a sale to use a coupon. That’s stacking…using more than one deal at a time for better savings. And you can save a lot.

For example, I have a credit card that runs 5% cash back on different categories of merchants each quarter. I also belong to Ebates and Discover Shopping, which give me more money back for shopping online at certain stores. When there are some clothes I want from one of my favorite upscale places I wait for their off season cutbacks to start, then wait some more for a storewide sale or dollar off coupon. When the time is right I buy online through one of my cash back places and use my cash back card. Bingo! Up to four different savings on the same purchase.

My best recent stack was last Small Business Saturday at a local consignment store. After my $25 statement credit from American Express, a $15 store credit from clothes I’d previously consigned to the store, and 20% extra savings, I got an Anne Klein evening bag and Wilson leather jacket for $48 total. Woohoo!

Look in nice consignment stores and Goodwill for clothes. You can find good clothes for so much less. For the most part, people donate or consign clothes because they no longer fit correctly or they got them home, decided they really didn’t like them, and left them hanging in the closet too long to return. It’s exciting to search through the racks and find the perfect top or suit for about 25% of what it costs at the department store. When I was in the corporate world I used to buy all my work clothes at Women’s Closet Exchange (WCE), just a few minutes from where I did (and do) live and give them my “old” clothes to sell. It’s also where I got the above-mentioned purse and jacket.

Which reminds me (this is very exciting). Sue and her daughters at WCE are getting their own reality show! Look for Resale Royalty on Style 9-10 eastern time, beginning April 29, 2013.

Those are some of the ways I enjoy saving money. How about you? What’s the most fun you’ve had bargain shopping?