Confession: I can’t remember the last time I went shopping and paid full-price for something. In fact, I recently furnished my new apartment and was able to strategically nab new rugs, furniture, bedding, and almost all of my kitchenware at a sale price. Of course, beautiful new arrivals and buzzed-about beauty buys catch my eye every now and then. But the reality is, if you’re willing to wait for it, most inventory will end up on sale.
If patience isn’t your strong suit, there are plenty of other hacks you can use to save money shopping. The ideas ahead require almost no effort (like downloading an app or planning your shopping around holidays) so leave all your garbage excuses behind and start saving like a pro.
Give ’em your email
Shopping online? Subscribe to the brand’s newsletter—many offer a 10 to 15 percent discount just for signing up. Plus, you can always unsubscribe or update your settings later if the emails start to clog your inbox. My favorite two brands I know do this? COS and California’s OZMA (the latter of which is home to the dreamiest raw silk jumpsuits).
Forget about your shopping cart
If you’re an impulse shopper, it might be time to rethink your strategy. That’s because you can score big if you add items to your cart and then forget about ’em. Many companies send follow-up emails to remind you that you forgot something, even throwing in a discount to nudge you to checkout. Brands like Target email price alerts for products you left in your cart so you can pull the trigger once it’s gone on sale.
Embrace virtual coupon clipping
Download Honey, a free browser extension that scours the net for coupon codes you can use at checkout at over 30,000 shopping sites. The tool is pretty much automatic, so there’s zero effort to make on your end. There’s also a sweet rewards program where you can earn back some of what you spend.
Decide if you need the item urgently
If not, wait for the next big sales holiday. Retailers typically offer reliable discounts during Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the day after Christmas. Additionally, brands like Amazon and Nordstrom have annual sales you can hold out for.
Don’t sleep on apps
Shopping IRL? Download the store’s app to see if they offer any in-store discounts or coupons for registering. The same goes for food and beverage businesses—order via the app to enroll in their loyalty program. Places like Starbucks, Sweetgreen and a bunch more have frequent buyer deals where you can earn a free lunch, or cup of joe, just for being a returning customer.
Fight for a price match
If one retailer lists the Alexander Wang boots you want at one price, do a quick search to make sure they’re not discounted anywhere else. Don’t hesitate to bring up price discrepancies when you’re checking out. If they won’t budge, at least you know where you can find it cheaper.