Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Practically Anything

Save money on practically anything

One of my pet peeves in life, is paying full retail price for stuff. I’m a big believer in buying quality items versus purchasing cheap things, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get a good deal. There’s a difference between buying value, and only focusing on instant savings.

Almost everything I own has been carefully planned and thought about beforehand, to make sure I get the best deal and the best value. Below are the tactics I use to save money on practically anything.

1. Online Deals and Discounts

I do a lot of comparison shopping online to rack up extra savings. You probably enjoy shopping online for that reason too. A few of my favorite online discount resources are Coupon Chief and BeFrugal which offers some pretty sweet savings at my favorite stores.

To get the most savings, be sure you sign up for BeFrugal’s free Cash Back and activate your account before you click to use the coupon offers. This way, you’ll earn Cash Back and score your $10 bonus.

2. Negotiating

To me, everything is up for negotiation and it doesn’t always have to be about money. Of course monetary value is important but it’s not the only factor.

Sometimes you can negotiate for things that enhance your work experience, free up your time or offer a better lifestyle. Our time can be just as important (if not more) than money.

3. Bartering

The basics of bartering is when you trade goods/services for other goods/services, without exchanging money. I like to barter for lots of things like, offering to babysit for free food (or sweets) and doing bookkeeping for clean laundry.

Even if you own a small business you can use bartering as currency instead of actual money.

 4. Repurpose and Reuse

I’m not overly obsessed with going green, but I like to do my part when it comes to reusing and repurposing items. There’s no reason to waste perfectly useful stuff.

I like to use boxes as make-shift shelves, for my bathroom and kitchen cabinets. I reuse old clothes as cleaning cloths, and old calendars as framed art. Almost anything can be repurposed.

5. Get it For Free

Before I even think about buying new furniture, books, household items or even pets, I check to see if I can get it for free.

With sites like Craigslist, eBay Classifieds and FreeCycle there’s pretty much no end to what people are willing to give away. Also, check with your family and friends to see if they have any items they are getting rid of.

 6. Be a Bargain Hunter

I love thrift stores and consignment shops! I even had a small side business making over $1,000 a month “flipping” thrift store and yard sale finds on eBay.

You can find some amazing deals on clothes, home decor and even art, at no where near retail price. Many items will be barely used or even brand new with tags.

 7. Avoid Credit Card Interest

Credit cards are tricky but they can be useful financial tools if used properly. Being a reformed credit card-aholic, I rarely use credit cards for everyday purchases.

But if you choose to use plastic, for the rewards or points, be sure to pay the balance off every month to avoid costly interest fees.

 8. Don’t Impulse Buy

Impulse buys are dangerous, and after our shopping binge, we didn’t even really want all that stuff to begin with. Curb your impulse spending by impulse saving instead.

Reward yourself for not giving into impulse buys, by transferring your small savings every time you don’t purchase something (like a cup of coffee). I was able to save an extra $535 in 3 months to put towards paying down debt, using this strategy.

 9. Time Your Purchase

If you wait to purchase something until you absolutely need it, you’ll likely pay the full sticker price. Instead, do a little planning, and be on the lookout for deals ahead of time.

For example, I’m planning to move to a new apartment within the next few months. So, I’m keeping my eyes open right now, for some good deals and sales.

 10. Trade-In or Resell

If it’s an electronic, book or even a DVD, it can probably be traded-in for extra cash. Places like GameStop and Best Buy offer money in exchange for items, like smartphones or video games.

I live by the “in and out” rule. Nothing new comes in, until something old goes out. Sometimes I resell stuff online or I trade it in for credit towards a new purchase. This helps save money and keeps my house organized at the same time.

What are your tips for saving money?

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Photo Credit: laurariumartín

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About Carrie

Carrie Smith is the owner and editor of Careful Cents. She helps serious solopreneurs and full-time freelancers earn more money in less time, through systems and financial organization. She's been featured in The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Kiplinger Finance and several other business websites. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @carefulcents.


  1. These are all great tips – we were looking for a TV stand/entertainment unit when we first moved into our apartment, and I found a cute one for $35 on Craigslist. I waited for less than a day and checked again and an even nicer one was free! It was awesome.

  2. Great Post Carrie.. I also believe you can negotiate just about anything but it does take skill. A skill that over time will become much better with experience. Mr.CBB

  3. I just picked up a free microwave via craigslist last week.  It’s awesome what kinds of great things you can score for free if you take the time to look.  I try to time my purchases too.  When I go to the grocery store, I usually check for stuff I normally buy, but only get it if it’s on special or a good price.  If it’s not a good deal, I’ll check again next time or at another store.  In the past I would just buy exactly what I wanted at whatever price they were charging and I wasted a lot of money.

    • I used to do that same thing. Whatever I needed I would just wait and buy it in the moment. I planned ahead but not nearly like I do now. It definitely saves money this way.

  4. Sara Carr says:

    I love #10 and really need to start getting rid of the old when I buy new. My husband is awesome at it – he trades DVD’s and BluRays and games for new or used items. We haven’t paid full price for a game or DVD in over a year.

  5. I never buy furniture new. I tend to check local classifieds and I even add the custom search to my RSS reader so if anything new is posted, I’m notified immediately. Often furniture is 50% cheaper after just a year of use, so worth it!

    • That’s a smart money-saving method. I have actually learned this lesson the hard way, when I purchased brand new furniture. It took me almost a year to pay if off, and by then I was ready to redecorate anyway. Ha! From now on I will look for gently used/thrift furniture for sure.

  6. These tips are great!  I’m really big on finding online coupons or comparison shopping before I do anything.  I rarely pay full price for anything anymore!

  7. Discount gift cards are a great way to save money on things you buy regularly. 

  8. I used to use Groupon, but now, I find that it’s too much of a hassle to wait for their deals every now and then.

    • When Groupon first started, I loved the service but I too found it a hassle to wait. And most of the time I forgot about the deal anyway. I think the frenzy around it has died down some.

  9. Ha! We bought Au Gratin potatoes tonight because Albertsons had $2.60 packages on sale $10 for 10 packs. Talk about sale shopping…..

    Potatoes at my house for everyone! Par-tay!

  10. I will always ask for a discount!  It never hurts to ask!

  11. Useful tips!!! Thanks for sharing. I search market before
    purchasing anything, when I satisfied from market price, then I decide to

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