Saturday, July 13, 2013

How to avoid paying full price for the things you need

I rarely pay full price for anything. I am a catalogue reader, online bargain hunter, freebie fantatic.. you get where I am going. 

For example when i have someone's birthday coming up I'll get a card. A card that costs me 75 cents because I bought it from Cheap As Chips. No one would know I didn't pay the $5+ that is charged in the newsagent or supermarket. It's still funny or thoughtful. You can also save even more buy buying packets of blank cards for one or two dollars and then being able to use for any occassion. It also looks a lot more personal when you hand write a sentimental message in it , even if you found it on Google.

When it comes to furniture I know what's a bargain and what isn't. If it's not made out of solid wood or steel, forget it. I'm not a miracle worker, I can't make something THAT cheap look awesome. My only exception is if it's without marks or cracks.

I recently scored a few wardrobes that while chipboard LOOKED like solid timber and they were FREE. So I classified them as a bargain. I had someone come to the house to buy our old TV and one of the wardrobes were still sitting on our patio. She admired them asking if they were brand new and were we selling it because if we were she wanted it. There's confirmation I made the right decision grabbing them.

Keep in mind though, that something is not a bargain because it is cheap. If you can't use it, flip it or restore it extremely cheaply,  don't waste your time.

Now I LOVE two dollar shops. In those places I could wander for quite a while. Scouring shelves of georgeous ornaments, kids toys, furniture and more. The good thing about these shops too is that a lot of the non perishable foods get sent there when they are close to being out of date or just over the expiry date. Of course there is nothing wrong with the food, it's just not allowed to be in the supermarket anymore so they offload it to the cheap shops to grab the last bit of money they can without completely wasting the product. A lot of the time too you can get cosmetics, personal hygiene products, baby things all heavily discounted and often brand name stuff. I always buy toothpaste and my partners deodorant and nappy bags from these shops because even when they are marked on special, the supermarkets cannot beat the price for exactly the same product.

Online is your next best friend. If you are after a particular product, type in the name of the product and "price comparison" and you can a whole heap of prices for that product and where you can buy it. Also consider getting things second hand. Look on Facebook  at pages such as Buy Swap and Sell or Garage Sales, Graigs List or Gumtree, Ebay or Amazon.

If you love to travel or wine and dine, try and find websites where your average Joe's rent out their investment properties for vacation homes rather than stay in hotels. If you want more service than a B &B or self contained accommodation look on group discount buying sites such as Groupon or Scoopon.

Lastly, when you spend time with your friends and family, see what makes them tick. What they like, and make a mental ( or iphone) note. For example if Aunti Penny mentions she loves the lastest Elizabeth Arden Purfume, make a note so that when it is on special you can get it and save for her upcoming birthday, christmas etc. It will also prevent you from buying something she's not actually going to want at some exorbitant price because it was a last minute dash to the shops.

I have  also heard a lot about people also requesting upgrades, freebies and incentives when they are dining out or traveling. If you have had experience of getting an upgrade I'd love to hear how you did it!