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Retail experts say plan ahead to save money as costs continue to rise due to inflation

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Posted at 7:23 AM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 07:23:59-04

TAMPA, Fla. — With inflation causing prices to soar on products across the board, retail experts say there are several things people can do to try to save money while shopping.

“Not only are prices on certain things at 40-year highs, a lot of times it’s those things that people really can’t skip buying,” said Kristin McGrath, Editor for The Real Deal blog for RetailMeNot.

Those are things like groceries, energy, and housing. But, prices are up across the board on items like clothes and electronics too.

So experts say it’s important to do your research before making a purchase.

“You can compare prices across retailers,” said McGrath.

If you’re looking for clothes, shopping seasonally is the best way to save money.

"Right around at the end of the month of April is when retailers are going to start filling their shelves with summer fashions so a lot of those spring fashions, those transitional items, those light jackets and things like that are going to move to the sales rack. So you can get a lot of wear out of those items still, save them for next year but the point is you’re paying a lot less for them,” said McGrath.

Wait until three-day weekend sales, like Memorial Day at the end of May, to buy big-ticket items. That’s when you’ll see the best discounts on things like furniture, mattresses, and appliances.

If you need to purchase something sooner but don’t have all the money you need — buy now, pay later programs like Afterpay, Klarna, Shop Pay and Affirm may be a good option.

“They divide up your costs of an item or of an order into several payments, several smaller payments over time so those can be really tempting to people who are really feeling the pinch of inflation,” said McGrath.

“I would caution shoppers to be careful because it almost makes it too easy to buy things you can’t afford right now and chances are you still may not be able to afford that item later when those payments start coming due,” she added.

Cash-back apps on your phone can help you earn money while you shop.

The most popular ones are Ibotta and Checkout 51.

Users can earn anywhere from $10 to $300 a month depending on how much they shop.

“One really good thing to look for is some major retailers offer gift cards with certain purchases. Target does this a lot especially when you’re buying diapers, cleaning products, sometimes beauty products,” said McGrath.

If you prefer online shopping experts suggest using browser extensions that can help make sure you don’t miss out on any deals like:

  • Honey
  • Rakuten
  • CouponCabin
  • Deal Finder by RetaiMeNot

“You can just have it run in the background, it pulls promo codes for you as you shop online like you normally would and it tells you which promo codes to use,” said McGrath.

“Definitely look at RetailMeNow. We’re combining promo codes, free shipping offers, sales for tons of major retailers,” she added.