Top shopping mistakes that are costing you money and time

Chances are you're making shopping mistakes that waste your time and cash. 

So we teamed up with Consumer Reports Magazine to examine some costly errors and tips on how to avoid them.

"I always want a good deal because the best deal is the way to go when you got a lot of kids," said Allison Lapka.

Lapka said she tries to find sales and does well when shopping.  

"I don't usually do the dollar stores unless I need wrapping paper or small things like that," she said.

Mistake No. 1: Overlooking Dollar Stores

The Dollar Tree, where everything is $1 or less, carries brand names like Healthy Choice, Post Cereal, Betty Crocker, Hefty, Advil and Colgate. There are even frozen foods with Banquet and Ore Ida. 

"I love to save money,” said coupon guru Rachel Krych, who has her own blog "Couponing With Rachel."

She said she likes that Dollar Tree takes manufacturer's coupons now, too.

"With name brand products, there are coupons that you can use which means there are some things you can get for free at Dollar Tree after your coupon,” Krych said.

Mistake  No. 2: Not Using Apps

Krych uses apps like iBotta and Checkout51 where you buy an item, scan your receipt and get money back. 

"(You can) cash out through PayPal or you can cash out through gift cards for Regal movies and things like that," Krych said.

Mistake  No. 3: Skipping Warehouse Websites

Often places like Costco only have room for so many big items like patio furniture. Therefore, many times you'll find exclusive online deals through big warehouse stores to help you get what you want without the hassle of transporting all that yourself. 

"Having a vehicle to get this stuff home is very difficult. Or having enough help to help you unload and get it set up,” said Costco Warehouse Manager Mike Gibson. “That stuff is very difficult," he added.

Mistake  No. 4: Not Haggling

You know to haggle when it comes to cars or furniture, but business professor Dr. Elad Granot suggests you try haggling with your monthly bills like cable or gas. 

"Call that supplier and say, 'Look, I'm paying way too much. Do you have anything to offer?' I think you'll be surprised at how many will say, 'Actually, we do,'" Granot said.

Mistake No. 5: Overloading on Groceries at Drug Stores 

Granot said drug stores charge you for the convenience. Krych said you should watch for sales and specific weekly savings. 

"Don't forget the drug stores. [Because] they have some great deals and they have their own rewards programs,” Krych said.

"It's all advice that can keep shoppers like you and Lapka on target. Just look for the best deal and always look for coupons," Lapka said.

Mistake No. 6: Don't Miss a Sale

Sounds like common sense, but Krych said you might not know that by liking a store's Facebook page, you could get exclusive deals that are not known by everyone else.

As always, don't waste your money.

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