By: Kristen Petriches
Since we are on the topic of getting stuff “for free” here are a few extra tips, for free!
Get into the habit of really thinking strategically about what and when you spend money on. If you know you are in the market for a certain product, and practice patience, you can keep an eye out for (legit) sales and find the best purchasing option. I try not to ever buy something that I want right away unless I really need it. I found a great purse at LL Bean and even though I decided for sure I would be purchasing it I told myself I would wait a few weeks to see if any sales or coupons came through. Sure enough, a few days later LL Bean was doing a 25% off sale and I saved $50 off the purse simply because I was patient.
It’s also important to get in the habit of finding “real” deals so you don’t fall for fake sales or promotions. A few years ago I bought a kitchen appliance set on Black Friday that I had been watching for months. It was typically $6,000 and on Black Friday I saw it listed for $3,000. I made the purchase because I knew, for sure, it was a great deal. The very next day it went back up to $6,000. I, essentially, got $3,000 of "free money."
Try not to spend money on shipping if you don’t need to. More often than not, free shipping is offered when you spend a certain amount of money or if you don’t need the product right away. I have gotten into the habit of keeping a running list of smaller items that I “need’ eventually so that when I find myself needing to spend $15 more dollars to get free shipping I can add something that I know I will actually use instead of just buying something I didn’t need. Another shipping tip: always keep an eye out for shipping minimums and how close you are to them. There have been several times in which free shipping was offered at $50 and I had only spend $40. The shipping charge was about $8 which would bring my total to $48. I figure I might as well spend $50 ($2 more) and get some sort of product for it – even if it’s not something I necessarily need.
Along with shipping, really think through the advantages of fee-based subscriptions and programs. Sure, Netflix may only cost you $10 per month, but if you aren’t really using it, you might as well pocket that extra money each month. Also keep in mind those smaller subscriptions do add up. If you are paying for Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Prime, and Netflix – you are likely paying about $40 month. I’m not proposing you don’t pay for any of these services, but rather, just make sure you actually use them.