Two Strategies to Use Every Time You Shop

Our baby, Elaina

Our first child was born this past November. As other first-time parents know, babies come with a multitude of expenses.

I’m not sure how many Walmart runs I made that first week, but by the end I knew I didn’t want to see that place again for a while.

During that first week I also found myself in another big box store in search of a specific baby item. This store happened to have a generous price-matching policy through Christmas, which I saw advertised all over the store.

I found the item and noticed the price was a little high compared with prices I’d seen online. I weighed whether it was really worth paying an extra $29 to have it immediately.

In this case, because the comfort of my wife and baby was at stake, there was no question in the end that I was walking out of the store with that item in hand.

As I was standing in the aisle though, I got an idea: Let’s see what other stores around me are charging! I whipped out my phone, opened the ShopSavvy app and scanned the bar code. (Long-time YLL readers will recognize this concept as showrooming.)

There on my screen appeared the lower internet price I’d found earlier.

Then I remembered the price-matching signs I’d seen just minutes before. Would they match the online price? I had nothing to lose.

At checkout, the cashier wanted a few more details about the lower price I’d found. After answering his questions and showing him the results on my phone he let me know that yes, he would give me the lower price!

Then my mother-in-law handed me a coupon she found in their ad at the entrance for $10 off. I ended up getting the item for $10 less than the lowest online price I found!

So what are the lessons here? First, download and use a price comparison app on your phone. ShopSavvy and RedLaser are both excellent choices. Now that comparing prices is so effortless, you have no excuse for not doing the research.

Second, always ask about the store’s price-matching policy. Even when you don’t see one advertised. Bricks and mortar retailers are wary of losing business to online sellers. They’ll often give you a break, but only if you ask.

Now why didn’t I tell you which store I was in or what the item was? Because that’s not important. What is important is that you use the tools available to you to get the best price. Use these two tips to do just that.

9 thoughts on “Two Strategies to Use Every Time You Shop

    • Thanks, Laurie! Good tip on using price comparison on groceries. I typically only buy what’s on sale that week, so for me doing this for groceries isn’t worth it as much as for bigger-ticket items.

  1. Pingback: Friends of the Family: Birthday Edition - The Family Finances

  2. I’ve never been able to use a comparison shopping app consistently. For groceries, it’s not even worth going to another store. And for purchases I can make online, I usually do unless I find out at home that it’s cheaper in the store, which is rarely the case.

    • I do most of my shopping online too. I like going to Amazon and reading reviews of products I’m thinking of buying. If the reviews seems to be generally positive, I’ll add it to my wish list and let it sit for a few weeks or months. Then when I go back and still need or want it, I’ll get it. This cuts down on a lot of impulse purchases!

      • That’s really smart, most people aren’t able to delay purchases like that, they just buy now and then regret the purchase later if they didn’t really need it.

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