Save money with 3 discount store pointers

Buying everything new at brand name stores at the mall isn't your only option for finding necessities. We'll give you 3 tips you probably haven't heard to save you money on everything from groceries to clothes.

Save money with 3 discount store pointers

1. Check out outlet malls

A salesperson at a regular retail store would never steer you away from a full-priced pair of jeans and suggest a slightly damaged version for a 30 percent discount. But that's exactly the sort of offer you'll find at an outlet mall.

  • On your next shopping trip, skip the retail mall and head for the nearest outlet mall. Many clothing chains operate stores in outlet malls that offer merchandise for less than regular retail.
  • Some of the best bargains you'll find in outlet stores are items with tiny irregularities. These imperfections may be so small that you can't even find them. Ask the store manager to show you the section containing irregular items.
  • Once you pick the item you want, ask the manager for his or her opinion on whether the defect will significantly decrease the usefulness or life span of the item. Odds are good that it won't.
  • Be wary of brand-name merchandise that's made specifically for outlets. It's often lower quality than the brands' department store merchandise. Inspect items carefully for things like workmanship and fabric quality.

2. Buy slightly vintage bread

It probably takes your family a few days to finish a loaf of bread — so what's one more day? Steer your cart right past the bread aisle in the supermarket and buy your bread and other baked goods from your nearest day-old-bread outlet. This is where bread, rolls, and other bakery items go when they don't sell quickly in the supermarket, and these bread thrift stores offer the products at a very steep discount. When you get them home, just pop them into the freezer and take out a few pieces as you need them. Bread freezes very well.

3. Head to thrift shops at year's end

Secondhand outlets run by charities would like your business year-round, but there's a special two-month period during the year when you'll find an extra-large variety of bargain merchandise: December and January. Crowds of people flock to these stores to drop off their donations at the end of the year for tax purposes, and you'll find that the extra assortment of goodies on the shelves lasts into the new year. If you only go to these stores once during the year, this is the time to visit!

These are just 3 ways to stretch your money farther. You really don't need to sacrifice quality to make big savings: you just need to be strategic and smart. Use these tips to start out and always keep your eyes open for good deals.

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