Tag: save money

7 Tips for Saving Money at Outlet Mall Stores and Factory Stores

Americans buy so much clothing that we’re starting to fill up landfills with it.

Because you don’t know what you could end up wearing next year, you might not be the type to spend high prices on trendy clothing. If you want great fashion at a low price, outlet mall stores can give you the bargain you’re looking for.

Here are 7 things to remember when you’re shopping at outlet mall stores.

1. Look for Quality

When you’re walking through an outlet mall, you could be tempted by all the brands on display. Don’t get starry-eyed about all the luxury brand offerings. You need to find quality materials that will last you for years rather than brands that seem trendy now.

Lots of great brands make products that are also high-quality. They’ll also produce a lot of one product that they will sell but isn’t up to their usual quality standards. When you see a high quantity of one product, make sure it’s good quality before you buy it.

You’ll know quality materials, even from lighter fabrics, when you see them. Trust your gut when you’re shopping. Check out Ramco Textiles for some examples of high-quality fabrics.

2. Follow Trends to Come

While you should always be skeptical of trends, if you want to remain stylish, you’ll need to know what’s happening in the world of fashion. When a new style takes hold, every brand will try to jump on the bandwagon. When rompers were a big hit, just about every brand on the planet had overstock the next season.

Keeping an eye on trends means that you can be on the lookout for a brand that tried to be a trendsetter and failed. If a great brand made a version of a type of garment that won’t become a hit for 2 more seasons, there could be a lot of product in outlet stores for cheap.

Combine your love for trends with an appreciation for quality and you’ll be sure to end up with a great deal.

3. Always Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until the first snow storm to buy your winter jacket. If you’re not married to trends, look for great winter deals as soon as winter ends.

If you weren’t happy with what you had for summer or felt unprepared for the weather, look for new items as soon as fall hits. Outlet prices will cause off-season garment prices to plummet.

If you’re shopping for a family, shopping off-season is massively important to make sure that everyone has what they need and is happy with their wardrobe.

4. Avoid the Rush

Everyone wants to get a deal and some people will even call ahead to stores to see when they receive their next shipments. You can go that route if you’ve got to get the latest items, but you could find yourself in a mad dash to get things that there’s no shortage of.

Instead, save yourself the stress of waiting in long lines or dealing with picked-over shelves by going during off-peak hours. Try shopping early in the day on Tuesday-Thursday rather than going on the weekend. If you miss the morning shopping hours, go around dinnertime instead.

You’ll save yourself the stress and might find that the shelves are nicely stocked for your visit.

5. Check Return Policies

Depending on the brand or the store, you could be dealing with a rigid return policy that might leave you suspicious. In fact, if an outlet doesn’t believe in their products or their customers enough to offer a good return policy, they might not be worth working with.

Some stores might have no return policy at all. You might end up buying discounted goods as gifts, and if they don’t fit, your friends or loved ones won’t be able to return them. If they can’t be returned, it’s like you just walked into the store and donated money to them for no reason.

Rather than waste your time and money, make sure that the shop you’re buying from has a strong return policy. If the products are good enough, they’ll know that very few people will be returning but for legitimate reasons.

6. Talk to the Staff

You never know how the quality of one item compares to the items offered last year or even last season. Manufacturing could have changed or the way something is made might be different than it was before.

The people who will know the most are going to be the staff at the outlet mall. Talk to them and see what they recommend. Ask what is selling and what might be getting returned a lot.

If they’ve had problems with one garment, perhaps they can recommend another. Asking the people who work with the items day in and day out will give you the best idea of what to expect when you’re shopping.

7. Sometimes You Have to Come Back

Don’t ever feel guilty if you don’t find anything that you fall in love with at an outlet mall. The great thing about outlets is that the stock turns over so often that you can come back in a few weeks and find a completely new set of items for sale.

While it might take you a few trips to find what you’re looking for, with the savings that you’ll get in the end, it’s always worth being patient. If you pick up an item you don’t think you can love forever, just put it down and come back another time.

Outlet Mall Stores Are More Than Discount Malls

Outlet mall stores are a great place to find a deal, but also a great way to know what trends are going to be out of fashion in a year and which are here to stay. If you love fashion, it’s not all about following what’s in during a given season. It’s also about getting high-quality garments at a good price.

Before you go shopping, check out our guide to make sure you start decluttering before you bring more into your house.

10 Things Furniture Stores Won’t Tell You on How to Save Money on Furniture

Want to save money when buying furniture?

Of course, you do!

Read on for 10 ways to get great deals when buying furniture!

10 Tips to Save Money When Buying Furniture

You can’t expect furniture stores to let you in on the best money-saving secrets. But, not to worry. We’ve got you covered.

Furniture can be expensive. But, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are tips to get the furniture you love at a price you can afford.

1. Hit Your Local Thrift Stores

Don’t count out local thrift stores just because their furniture is used. After all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right?

When shopping secondhand stores, look for quality name brands and durable materials. If it’s high-quality furniture, chances are it still has a lot of life left.

2. Check Out Yard Sales

You’re bound to find a bounty of great finds just by scoping your neighborhood’s yard sales. And, if you wait until the last few hours of a sale, you can usually save even more. As the clock begins to run out, hosts often will slash their already-low prices.

3. Compare Prices

Look for stores that offer a low-price guarantee. One discount furniture store Sydney even promises to beat others prices by at least 5%.

4. Money Saving Apps

There are tons of great money-saving apps available for penny pinchers. Download a few before your next shopping spree and watch the savings add up.

5. Cut Coupons

Often, you can save a bundle just by browsing online or looking through store ads for best buys before making a purchase.

Many retailers offer money-saving coupons online or in their sales paper ads that are yours for the taking. Just print or clip to save wads of cash.

6. Look for Markdowns & Discounts

Many stores have an open-box or bargain area filled with perfectly good merchandise. Sometimes, retailers may mark down returns or last season’s favorites, resulting in drastic savings for you.

7. Trade in Your Old for New

Some furniture dealers, like IKEA, will let you trade in your unwanted furniture collection to earn cash towards a new purchase.

8. Do It Yourself

Popular craft sites have made it possible for anyone to learn how to build their own custom furniture. Just check out the Pinterest site for tons of ways to create a do-it-yourself piece using practical items that you probably already have lying around the house.

9. Negotiate Prices

No matter where you score your next furniture find, you should always attempt to negotiate the price with the seller.

Negotiation skills will go far when haggling with yard sale hosts and resale shops. But, it’s a little-known secret that you can also often negotiate prices with many top-brand retailers.

10. Browse Online Resale Sites

In recent years, resale sites have taken off. Now, hundreds of resale communities have joined the likes of eBay to offer you limitless options when buying everything from kitchenware to coffee tables.

Want More Money-Saving Tips?

Once you see how much money you can save buying furniture that you love, you’ll be hooked. And, luckily, we’ve found lots of ways to save on practically everything you purchase.

Want to learn how to score even more great buys?

Check out these hot deals to save big bucks on all of your favorite brands!

Good Cheap Alcohol: How to Save Money When Buying Drinks

The average American household spends about $565 on alcohol every year.

While that may seem like a relatively small number, it can really add up over time. This kind of splurging could be detrimental to a household’s budget. But are there any foolproof ways to save money on this particular vice?

If you’re interested in learning more ways to save money on good cheap alcohol, keep reading!

Stop Buying Name Brand Booze

One of the best money saving tips is to stop buying the more expensive, name brand alcohols.

For many of us, there’s not much of a difference between a $60 bottle of tequila and a $20. The occasional at-home margarita is going to taste just as good after a long day at work, as a top shelf beverage at a bar, right?

While it may be tempting to buy name brand, it’s not really necessary for most people. Skip it and get something a little cheaper that tastes about the same.

Buy in Bulk-But Keep This in Mind

Like most things, buying your favorite alcohol in bulk can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Big bulk stores like Costco and Sam’s Club will offer deals on alcohol that you should absolutely research before making a purchase. It’s always important to check the individual unit purchase, of course, to make sure you’re actually saving money in the long run.

Buying your favorite red wine in a box will give you more to drink and it will last longer in your fridge! Definitely a great money saving tip.

Online Shopping for Good Cheap Alcohol

One of the best parts about the internet is online shopping. We all love to do it. There’s nothing better than getting a couple packages full of goodies on our doorsteps.

Conveniently, you can now buy your favorite beers and wines online now too!

Websites like Amazon even offer pantry deals for your favorite liquor. This allows you to save anywhere from 10-15% on your monthly alcohol purchases.

If you’d like to buy red wine online, visit this site for some great pricing and unique flavors.

Make Wise Bar Decisions

It’s happened to all of us at some point in our lives.

We go out for drinks with friends, the alcohol starts flowing and…Then we wake up the next morning with an unusually high charge on our credit cards.

Saving money on liquor in the bar is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your alcohol costs down. Limiting yourself to one or two drinks is always a good idea when out with friends.

It’s also a good idea to stop drinking top-shelf liquors. Much like shopping for your home beverages, you probably aren’t going to notice the difference between a very expensive, high-end vodka and a lower shelf, less expensive liquor.

Need More Money Saving Tips?

Just because you want to live a more frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up some of your favorite things.

Finding ways to save money on good cheap alcohol is going to help your yearly budget in the long run. Just remember, when grocery shopping, make sure you pay attention to sales and keep to a strict list.

Keep Your Bridezilla In Check: How to Save Money On a Wedding

Just because your wedding only happens once doesn’t mean you should go bankrupt. That’s why you need to find out how to save money on a wedding.

The wedding industry is set up for spending money. It’s easy to drop over $100 on the bride’s bouquet, and those prices add up. The average cost of a wedding in 2016 was $32,329! That’s about the same amount of money as a new vehicle.

So is it possible to plan a wedding without breaking the bank?

Of course, it is! Check out our ideas for how to save money on a wedding.

How to Save Money on a Wedding 101: Prioritize

The key to staying on budget is to have one in the first place. When it comes to weddings, you need to talk with your fiance and family about your priorities.

Is the DJ less important than the photographer? How do you feel about your venue? Work out these details now so it doesn’t sneak up on you later.

Don’t Get Married on a Saturday

Saturday is the most popular day to get married. It’s also the most expensive. Getting married on a weeknight or a Sunday can save you as much as 15% on the venue price.

Do Your Research and Book Early

When it comes to reserving wedding services, the key is to do your research. This way you can avoid falling in love with something that has hidden expenses.

Once you’ve decided, book as early as you can to get the cheapest prices.

Get Married in the Off-Season

Getting married in the off-season (often November to March) will save you tons of money.

Rent a Vacation Home For Your Venue

If you have a smaller wedding, rent a vacation home for your wedding. It will take care of things like kitchen needs, where you’ll get ready, and where the wedding party will stay.

Ask Everyone You Know for Help

Know how to save money on a wedding? Network.

See if you have a cousin who’s a great DJ or cake maker (but still offer to pay her).

Get your girlfriends together for a DIY party to save on decorations.

Narrow Down the Guest List

Is it necessary to invite everyone and the Pope to your wedding? Probably not.

Get strict on the plus ones, and cut out kids and coworkers.

Use the Internet

While it’s still important to send physical invitations, use the internet as well. Link to your registries, allow people to RSVP, and add directions to your venue.

Shop Non-Traditional for Your Dress

Instead of going to the bridal shops, find white dresses online or during prom season. You can also ask a friend to use hers if she’s the same size. Keep in mind to budget for alterations.

Get Unconventional Wedding Favors

Everyone likes little gifts. Take a look at this list of wedding favor ideas for summer.

Watch Out for Nickel and Dime Venues

Some venues will let you use their chairs and cutlery… for a price. Find a venue where all these are in the price.

To save even more, select a venue that needs minimal decoration.

Get Out of Town

If you live in a big city, you can save thousands of dollars by moving your venue outside of the city limits. Check out prices in your hometown, or get married in your old college town.

Hire a Wedding Planner

In the age of DIY, it’s easy to think you can plan a wedding yourself. But wedding planners will know about all the hidden costs, and they’ll be able to get you the best deals. The best ones pay for themselves with all the savings you get!

Ditch the Printed Program

More couples are ditching the cost of a printed program in favor of writing the order of events on a display board.

Embrace (One) Color

Focusing on one color, like shades of green or blue, will save you money on printing and decor. It will also look chic and put together.

Shop Seasonal

When it comes to bouquets, save money by buying seasonal flowers. They’ll look fresh and the price will be even better.

Buy Accessories for Everyday

The best way to save money on accessories is to find ones you’ll wear after the wedding. This includes shoes and hair accessories.

Make Your Decor Multitask

If you want to know how to save money on a wedding, then make your decor work hard. If you have flowers on the church pews, move them to the reception site to double as table centerpieces.

Be Your Own DJ

Instead of hiring a DJ, make a playlist of your own favorite selections on your iPod. Make sure to run it by your fiance and your family to avoid any explicit disasters.

Go Family Style

Save money on food and create an intimate atmosphere by serving your food family style. It saves on centerpieces too!

Put a Limit on Alcohol

Instead of providing unlimited booze, put two bottles of wine on each table. This way you’re still offering alcohol for the guests to enjoy at their leisure. If you buy it yourself, talk to your winery about discounts on buying cases.

Cut (Out) the Cake

Instead of getting a cake to serve 150 people, buy a smaller cake for the two of you. The rest of the guests can enjoy a (cheaper) sheet cake.

When you’re ordering the cake, make sure to avoid the word “wedding.” Even bakeries at local grocery stores will tack on an extra charge if they hear the “W” word.

Order Wholesale

Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart have florists that are cheaper than the chic boutique. Order your bulk decorations from them and get the specialty bouquet at the florist.

Embrace Candles

If your venue allows open flames, cheap white candles can add a touch of elegance to any reception area.

Want More Money Saving Ideas?

If you want more ideas on how to save money on a wedding, check out our blog. We have so many articles that help you save money and take care of your family, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve got three kids.

How to Save Money on Gas: 5 Simple Tips That Could save You Thousands

Planning on taking a summer road trip? So are a lot of people. The economy is pretty good these days. So people are spending more, and that includes taking vacations and doing more traveling.

You should know that gas prices have inched up. In fact, due to an increased cost of crude oil, gas prices are the highest we’ve seen in a while.

The average gas price is $2.81 a gallon. If you’re planning on doing some traveling this summer, or have a long commute to work, the money you spend on gas could really add up.

But are things to do that could save you money on gas. If you make a few changes, you could potentially save thousands of dollars. Read on to learn more.

1. Slow Down

Driving the speed limit can save you nearly $500 a year. Erratic driving, like accelerating quickly and slamming on the brakes increases the amount of gas you use. That increase can amount to nearly 40% more spent on gas.

Instead, when the light turns green, gently speed up. When the light turns red, slowly coast until you have to step on the brake. If you want to know how to save money on gas, these small changes can make a big difference.

2. Shop Around

Although most gas prices in an area will be relatively the same, prices do fluctuate. In some places that difference can be as much as $1 a gallon, such as in big cities like Los Angeles.

Prices will be higher at a gas station right off the highway or at a major intersection, compared to a station in town or on a street with less traffic.

And prices in the city might be lower than prices in the suburbs. Gas stations are counting on drivers’ willingness to pay more out of convenience. Many gas station apps will tell you where to save money on gas.

3. Grocery Store Discounts

Some grocery stores offer significant discounts on gas. Many will save you as much 10 cents a gallon for every $100 you spend in their store. Over a month’s time buying groceries, you can a lot.

Memberships to discount stores like Costco or Sam’s Club means savings at the pump too.

Also, many gas stations offer different prices for gas when paying with cash over credit. It might mean taking a few steps into the station to pay, but again, a little inconvenience means big savings.

4. Keep Your Car Maintained

It’s important to keep your tires properly inflated. Not only can under-inflated tires cause them to wear out faster or wear unevenly, but it can mean using more gas.

Be sure to check your tire pressure periodically, especially as the temperature increases.

Also, do regularly scheduled maintenance, including tune-ups, filter checks, and oil changes. All of these can keep your car more fuel-efficient and save you money on gas.

5. Drive Less

Take the bus if you can. Driving solo back and forth to work is convenient, but if you can take public transportation, it will save you big bucks on gas, insurance, car maintenance and parking costs.

Now that the weather is nice, walking or riding a bike is a great way to save money, get exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. Many cities offer rent-a-bikes or bike sharing on street corners.

Plan your driving. If you find yourself running errands every other day, try to plan more efficiently by getting all of your errands done in fewer trips.

If you can, do your shopping online. Many stores offer free delivery. This includes grocery stores, Amazon of course, and even shopping on this website.

That’s How to Save Money on Gas

Now that you know how to save money on gas, you’ll soon be taking fewer trips to the gas station.

But if you’re ready to make some big changes, you could think about buying a car that’s fuel-efficient, such as a hybrid. This not only saves you money but helps save the environment.

Or, get a credit card that offers cash back on gas purchases.

Enjoy your summer travels with the family. But if it’s possible, walk or ride a bike. You’ll save money and enjoy the scenery a whole lot more.

For more great tips on frugal living, visit my blog.