Shoppers need not be financial wizards or money moguls to pocket plenty of savings while browsing at the mall. In fact, a few simple pointers can lead to bargain bonuses for smart consumers.
By employing several simple frugal tips, shoppers can enjoy significant savings on fashions and accessories, gifts, home goods, and more.
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10 smart savings strategies for mall shoppers
None of these mall savings steps is complex, but each can be cost-effective.
1. Pack snacks for the shopping excursion.
This sounds simple. Families and individuals may be amazed at how much money they can save by grabbing water bottles and pocket snacks before leaving for the mall. Food courts and vending machines offer plenty of choices, but at high prices.
2. Make a shopping list before entering the mall.
Lots of people jot grocery lists to stay on-budget at the food market. The same strategy works at the shopping mall. Savvy shoppers keep note pads or little spiral notebooks, listing everything from birthdays to clothing and accessory needs. In stores, this guides the search, while preventing extra trips to purchase forgotten items.
3. Print discount coupons at home.
Many shopping websites offer free printable coupons for use in brick-and-mortar stores. It’s easy to search coupons topically and choose the pertinent ones before departing for the mall. Department stores and popular fashion chains often offer web coupons for printing as well.
Smart consumers often choose to store coupons on their smart phones, instead of carrying paper copies. Many retailers accept these images, which can be scanned by checkout clerks.
4. Pick the right shopping malls.
Outlet malls are increasingly popular, springing up all over. Discount centers and overstock stores are plentiful, and they frequently vend items for much less than pricey boutiques or department stores may charge.
5. Park strategically at the mall.
Browsing can be costly. By stashing the car near the stores one plans to visit, it’s easy to save time and eliminate the temptation of ducking into extra shops for unneeded purchases.
6. Shop in-season.
Fashion boutiques and department stores tend to display merchandise at least one season ahead.
By searching for current items instead, shoppers can usually find terrific deals on items to use or wear immediately. Swimsuit shopping is pricey in the spring, but more budget-friendly in early summer. Winter coats, on the other hand, can cost a bundle in the early fall and a lot less after Thanksgiving.
In-season fashions can often be found in discount stores as well.
7. Grab a sales flyer.
Lots of stores print discount ad flyers, displaying these on racks or checkout counters. Frequently, customers find great deals (or even discount coupons) by flipping through these pages.
8. Try on clothing before buying it.
Fitting rooms can be super money savers. How many appealing outfits are soon discarded, simply because they did not fit when purchasers tried them on at home?
9. Never pay full price.
Smart shoppers seldom pay full retail price for anything. Sure, one may occasionally shell out big bucks for a prom dress or another special item that must be purchased immediately. However, as a rule, it pays to shop more strategically.
Stores always display the latest styles upfront, where shoppers will begin browsing. Merchants plant their older wares in the back. Sale racks usually line the deepest walls of every shop. The most frugal customers will begin at the back and work their way forward.
10. Sign up for customer loyalty programs.
Stores love repeat customers, so they often encourage patrons to sign up for frequent buyer programs. Some send email discounts, web-links, and coupon codes. The best programs automatically apply earned discounts at checkout.
What if a shopper finds a discount offer before it is valid? It pays to ask. Sometimes a retailer will make good on a coupon or reduced price, even if it takes effect the following day, instead of insisting the customer return to realize the savings.
Don’t be mauled by mall prices.
These 10 smart shopping strategies really do work. Shopping is much more fun when consumers can buy more and spend less.