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Shopping - Everything Else
Written by Ahmed Amr   
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I got to thinking about this article when I had to part with one of my pillows. People don’t pay near enough attention to their pillows and finding myself in a situation where I was obliged to go shopping for a replacement, I decided to find the best deal possible. The variance in prices on pillows is amazing. You can spend anywhere from eight to a hundred dollars for a single pillow. Much of the price differential is justified by the quality of the pillow, the brand name and whether it’s synthetic or made from cotton. But the biggest variance depends on where and when you buy it. If you’re replacing three or four pillows, shopping around for the right price on this one item can save you hundreds of dollars.

There are a number of other items where you can match the savings on pillows. The general attribute of the items on this list is that you can always postpone purchasing them or buy them in advance and store them for later use. As you go down the list, notice that these are items that you can usually find in two-for-one sales and they’re often offered as loss leaders by major retailers.

1. Bed sheets, towels and shower curtains. Like pillows, these items cannot only be had at deep discounts, they’re also easy to store.

2. Tiles - tiles and other flooring can be purchased at huge discounts when you shop around for odd lots. The savings can be spectacular and if you’re flexible and have a little imagination - you can end up saving as much as 80%. When you decide to remodel a bathroom, start by putting together an inventory of the materials you need and buy them before you begin the project. Schedule the remodel after you purchase the tiles.

3. Carpets - It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a carpet outlet near you that specializes in remnants. You’ll be amazed at the quality you’ll find and the deals you can negotiate. This usually works best when you’re covering a small area or when you don’t mind having different color carpets in different rooms.

4. Light Bulbs - The thing about light bulbs is they don’t take a lot of space to store and it’s always comforting to have spare bulbs around the house. For whatever reason, light bulbs are often offered at deep discounts as ‘loss leaders’ by supermarkets and discount pharmacies. Stock up whenever you see them at a ridiculous price and of course, get CFLs or LEDs.

5. Underwear and Socks - You should never pay full retail price for them. It’s another one of those loss-leader items that retailers often use to draw in traffic. When you see a good two-for-one sale, go for it. Even the premium brands are often on sale and you should wait for major sales. Some of the best deals are found at factory outlet stores.

6. Shoes, sneakers and sandals - I’m very partial to the quality of shoes I buy. You can’t put a price on comfort and the shoes you walk definitely effect the kind of day you have. If you have a Nordstrom store in your area, wait for their annual sale. Not only do they sell the finest quality shoes but you’ll find their products have great durability. Brand name sneakers and sandals can also be had at huge discounts when you wait for the right sale. Shoes can last for many years and when you find a shoe you really like at a great price, buy more than one.

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Kayla  - Thanks |2011-03-31 06:50:17
Great tips! I will definitely be using these!
Aspiring Millionaire  - Great article |2010-09-26 20:26:18
I just found your blog and have been browsing through yoru articles.

I agree wholeheartedly that most items people buy can be bought at huge discounts and stored.

It's a matter of shopping smart, knowing the sale cycles of different stores and buying when the discounts are good.

Buy a decent amount, enought o last you until the next sale and you will never have to pay full retail.

Also, most things you can buy the good quality on sale for the same price as the cheap, low quality stuff.

I have never understood why people pay full price.

Thanks for a great blog. :)
Mahray  - Shoes |2010-07-08 03:50:07
Buying shoes on sale is great, if your size is ever on sale. I'm resigned to the fact that I'll always pay full price for my shoes - I have biggish and wide feet.
frugal nomad  - You have a great point |2010-07-08 04:24:21
I can't argue with that point. It's true of the sizes on pants and shirts and almost everything else. But you'd have a much better chance of finding the right shoe at the right price if you show up early. In the case of Nordstroms, which has some of the best footware in terms of quality, they'll give you a raincheck. A year ago, I went to their annual shoe sale and they didn't have my size in the color I liked. I paid for it and went and picked it up a few days later.
Anon  - How to save on paper towels |2010-06-28 09:52:47
I was surprised to see paper towels listed here as an item to buy. I save on paper towels by never buying them. They're a poor replacement for fabric towels, wash cloths, napkins, ... and sponges. You may create a tiny bit more laundry without paper products in the kitchen, but you'll get points for being kind to the environment while looking richer.
frugal nomad  - staff writer |2010-06-28 12:45:13
oops - well, we thought of that but decided to take the risk of including it. But you're absolutely right. Paper towels are a waste of money no matter what you pay for them but if you do use them, you might as well save a buck.
Anon |2010-06-30 04:08:00
I buy the paper towels in the smaller size sheets. When I do use one, the smaller sheet is enough (anything larger needs a towel). This way, I use only half the amount.
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