In today’s technology-driven world, it seems like there is always a new app or online tool that says it can help you save. While many of them can, that doesn’t mean old-fashioned techniques no longer work. In fact, many of them can help you squirrel away more money, spend less, and otherwise save as well today as they did before. Here are five ways to save money the old-fashioned way that are worth using now.
1. Embrace Haggling
In many cases, if you head into a major retailer to shop, you assume that haggling is off the table. While this can be true in many cases, there are also plenty of situations where asking for a discount is actually appropriate and can yield positive results.
Usually, you can only haggle on higher cost items. For example, large appliances, furniture, mattresses, expensive electronics, and similar goods could fall into that category. Most of those products have fairly large markups, so there could be wiggle room. This is especially true if stores give their sales staff quotas and you shop at the right time, such as at the end of the month, quarter, or year.
If you are about to make a large, bulk purchase of a single item, you might also have the power to haggle. Similarly, if you are willing to buy scratch-and-dent goods, floor models, discontinued items, or the “last one,” you might be able to request a discount. When it comes to furniture, you might also have some room to haggle if you are buying a full room’s worth of furniture instead of a single piece.
Pawnshops, thrift stores, and consignment shops are usually pretty open to haggling as well. If your offer is reasonable, you might even deal with very little pushback.
When you’re shopping, consider asking for a reasonable discount, particularly if you can justify it. Worst case, they’ll simply tell you no.
Also, don’t forget about price matching. If you know that exact item is available for less elsewhere (even if it’s already pretty cheap), ask about a price match. Typically, all you’ll need to do is supply proof if the store does price matching, and that may be as simple as pulling up the item on your phone and showing the cashier.
2. Go All Cash
If you want to limit impulse spending, something that can quickly destroy your budget, consider shopping the old-fashioned way by going cash-only. Spending actually dollars and cents feels more real than when you use your debit or credit card, so you might not be as quick to buy something you don’t need.
Plus, you’ll be more aware of how much money you actually have available, as you can see it, touch it, and count it out. This may make it easier to live within your means. And, as a side benefit, when you don’t use credit cards, you’ll avoid debt and those cumbersome interest payments without any extra effort.
3. Have a Garage Sale
Garage sales have been around for ages. The reason they stand the test of time is that they are still a great way to make some money off of your excess stuff. Plus, since you can focus on items you don’t need, you get the benefit of a less cluttered home, too.
Planning a garage sale does take some effort. You’ll want to pick a day in advance so that you can gather your items, make signs, and even advertise your sale. Plus, you’ll want to get a lot of small bills and change so you can handle cash transactions before the big day.
4. Cut Those Coupons
Many people have memories of their mothers or grandmothers sitting at the dining room table and cutting coupons. While the idea may seem antiquated since most households don’t get a physical newspaper delivered any longer, it’s still something that can help you save money today.
In some areas, coupon circulars arrive in your mail, allowing you to see them even if you don’t get a paper. You could also choose to buy the newspapers with coupons (usually Wednesday and Sunday editions) for a dollar or two, as you’ll often get at least that much back in coupon savings.
Plus, there are online coupon options. Some grocery loyalty programs have integrated manufacturers’ coupons. Additionally, there are websites that allow you to clip virtual weekly circulars and print only the ones you need or add them to your store’s loyalty card.
It does take a little time to clip coupons, but it is usually worth it. You can save quite a bit if you use them properly. Just make sure to only use coupons if they are for items you needed to buy anyway.
5. Use a Clothesline
When you need to have clean clothes, using your washer and dryer is usually the most convenient option. But, both of those appliances use energy, so they cost you money every time you turn them on.
While handwashing all of your clothes might be a bit too much, switching to a clothesline instead of using your dryer is typically pretty easy. If your weather is less than ideal, and an indoor drying rack can be a great alternative, allowing you to avoid energy-heavy dryer use.
Ultimately, all of these old-fashioned approaches can still help you save money today. Consider trying them all. Your budget will thank you if you do.
Do you have another tip to save money the old-fashioned way? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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