Monday, November 29, 2010

How to Become a Smart Shopper

In today’s tough economy, every penny counts. It’s becoming harder to come in under budget each month, but there are steps you can take to alleviate your financial situation. One such way is to become a smart shopper. Don’t just buy something the moment you see it; take the time to do research and use the Internet to score amazing deals so you can have extra change in your pocket.

Shop with gift cards. One way you can save a few dollars every time you spend is to shop with gift cards when you can get them for less than their face value. is a great place to purchase gift cards at a discount. Savings include everything from 11% off Macy’s gift cards to up to 9% off Starbucks gift cards. Be on the lookout for discounted gift cards from sites like or

Additionally, see if your local grocery store offers money off of gas for every dollar you spend there. If your grocery store sells gift cards, you can simply buy enough gift cards for a purchase you’re planning on making, thus upping your discounts on gas.

Search for coupon codes. Before you buy anything online, search for coupon codes. Sites like compile hundreds of coupon codes, and you can easily search for the ones you need. If you prefer to shop at the brick-and-mortar stores, you can also find hundreds of coupons online. Manufacturers will often post coupons online, and stores like Target offer many printable coupons on its site.

Before you buy your car, do your research. Buying a car is a big purchases. Read Consumer Reports, and research the average price of cars in your area with sites like Also check for deals on cars that aren’t in your area; sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a discounted car and have it shipped to you.