Everyone loves a good bargain. Getting a good deal always feels great, and there are many (many) products and services where you can almost always get at a discount. Here are five items you should try to avoid ever paying full price for.
1. Movie Rentals. Renting movies online is nice and convenient, but it’s exploded to the point where on-line movie rentals are now more expensive than ever before. Luckily there are several ways to assure you don’t pay full price on movie rentals:
- Bargain bins are a stellar place to find DVDs at serious discounts. Places you frequent such as your neighborhood drugstore, supermarkets and even big box stores still sell DVDs and most have discount bins full of movies that are priced at $4 or under.
- Share with friends and family. You have an inexpensive (even free) resource and a fabulous option at your fingertips when it comes to movie rentals. Organize an informal neighborhood exchange program where everyone shares their DVDs. Not only will you enjoy movies without the cost of rental charges, but you’ll get to know your neighbors in a fun and friendly way.
- The Public Library. Of course, there’s not much that can beat getting something for free, and your local library specializes in free movie rentals. All you need is a library card.
- Yard Sales. Great deals on DVDs are almost always found at yard sales…often for under $1! Get up early and scour your neighborhood for deals and avoid the cost of movie rentals completely.
2. Magazines. If you still enjoy reading a printed copy of a magazine, it's significantly cheaper to subscribe to your favorite magazine rather than to purchase an occasional volume from the news rack. Even if you only read two or three magazine issues a year, the savings with a magazine subscription are still impressive.
And no matter what you're reading, books or magazines, you can often find them for free or cheap from your local library.
3. Video Games. It’s actually ironic. After paying hundreds of dollars a gaming console, a TV or monitor and controllers, you usually end up with only a couple of generic-type video games to play. Considering how much you’ve already spent, there several tricks to acquiring video games without breaking the bank.
o Patience. Unless you're obsessive about getting a new video game on launch day because you absolutely have to play it right away, there really is no reason to get a video game at full price.
- Pre-order. Some video games will give discounts for pre-orders. If you have insatiable desire to play the game on day one, check out early ordering discounts.
- Bundle. Many retailers bundle their recent releases and most popular video games with their less successful games. If you don’t mind a owning a few video games that you’ll play less often (or give to your younger siblings), this may be an alternative for you to consider. You can also trade the less popular games with others video game enthusiasts.- Library. Once again, your library card is an invaluable tool for saving money. Many libraries rent video games for free and they often have the most popular titles.
4. Sports Equipment. Whether you have kids just starting out in soccer or you have decided to take up the expensive game of golf, don’t sacrifice your pay check on purchasing sports gear for full price. Consider last years’ model of cycling shoes, tennis rackets or elliptical for super discounted prices. The difference between the two is usually very minor and the savings are tremendous.
If you’ve wanted to get into golf, but don’t want to spend the money for an expensive set of clubs, buy a used set. Check out on-line merchants that specialize in gently used equipment that is still in great shape.
5. Flowers. Wholesale flower markets are simply awesome, they are often open to the public and they are more convenient and closer by to you than you might imagine.
These flower markets are a perfect way to purchase beautiful blooms, often for half the price as your local florist. Virtually every in-season and variety of cut flower is available at wholesale flower growers. The selection, prices and quality are remarkable. One word of advice: go early, and we don’t mean 10:00 am. Most wholesale flower markets open at dawn and the best selection are for the early birds.
When you purchase your flowers matters, too. Frequently, flower shops restock on Monday mornings, so often there are specials on Fridays and Saturdays. These end-of-the-week floral arrangements can still last a long time especially if you add the florist preservative packets…something that is usually available for free.
You work hard to earn your money so do your best not to pay full price when there are ways to buy the same products and services for less. There are several clever approaches to buying flowers, magazines, video games, movie rentals, groceries or even sports and fitness gear at bargain prices. Senior discounts and savings for special organizations may also bring you extra discounts, but only if you ask! Take a few moments to search for alternatives and enjoy cut-rate costs.