Life Hacks – Shopping

There are countless problems you encounter on a daily basis that can put a little speed bump in your day. Life hacks are those “a-ha!” moments where you find the simplest solution to your daily problems, oftentimes using items immediately at your disposal. Each month this column will take you through some creative hacks to use in all different areas of your life to make your day-to-day as simple as possible. This month we’ll explore hacks to help you get the most for your money while shopping.

If you’re an avid Amazon shopper, you need to check out CamelCamelCamel. This helpful site will allow you to search any product and then check its price history for up to one year on Amazon. You can also sign up for the site to alert you to price drops on the product so that you’re sure to get the lowest price possible for anything you shop for. To access all the offerings on the site you’ll need to sign up, but it’s free so hop online and start shopping now.

As any regular Kohl’s shopper knows, their sale signs are digital. Most everything in the store is on some sort of sale all the time, but it’s important to pay attention to the signs. If the sign has a small black square in the top right corner, then this signifies that the item is marked down to its lowest price of the season. The top right corner of the signs can also tell you what kind of sale the item qualifies for. “BB” means bonus buy, “BGH” means buy one, get one-half off, “PP” means product placement and the sale price is not a percent discount, and “S” means sale and that the item will be on sale for one to two weeks.

When you’re shopping for a special event outfit or dress, it’s easy to drop a lot of money on a gorgeous dress that you will likely only wear once. Instead of going out and dropping big bucks on a short-term purchase why not try Rent the Runway. This site allows you to rent designer dresses in all different colors, lengths and sizes so that you can have the perfect outfit for a fraction of the cost. They also offer less formal styles of outfits and accessories like jewelry, scarves, handbags, and sunglasses.

It’s probably common knowledge to most that Walmart will price match other similar department stores like Kmart and Target. What you might not know is that Walmart will even match prices on sites like Amazon. For day-to-day purchases, you may not feel like the constant cross-referencing of prices, but for your larger purchases, you’re going to want to check all avenues to make sure you get the best price. Also, check Walmart’s website before purchasing in the store, as sometimes there are lower prices online that the store will match at the register.

The Dollar Tree is not known for its high-quality products, but it should remain on your radar for some select products. There’s no use in spending department store prices on items that you can get for a dollar or less. You can get all of your holiday and party décor for a steal. Office supplies are another offering where you can save at Dollar Tree. The same boxes of envelopes, rubber bands and paper clips you’ll pay a couple of dollars for elsewhere are only one dollar there. You’ll also want to keep an eye on basic food items like bread, canned goods and boxed goods, as well as your cleaning products.

There are certain times of year when the prices bottom out on your most essential purchases. January is a good time to purchase your winter attire and home furniture. February is a great time for electronics, particularly right before Super Bowl. April is a good month to purchase laptops and May is ideal for mattresses. August is a great time for home items as college kids prep for dorms, and October is an ideal month to purchase a new car.