Budget Smart Girl's Guide

When and How to Ask for a Discount-Part One


One way to be a Budget Smart Girl is to ask for a discount on just about everything you plan to buy. Yes, you never have to settle for the listed price but the key is knowing when and how, and a lot depends on the actual item. Here are some guidelines-

Cars – Anytime you shop for a new car you should never pay the retail price for it. The best time to shop for a new car is the last day of the month because that’s when everyone is trying to reach their quotas.

Consumer Reports gives great information about how inexpensively you can get a vehicle and what price to shoot for. Don’t be afraid to walk away and go someplace else if they won’t meet the price that you’ve researched.

Mattresses and Furniture – Furniture has a high mark-up so there’s a lot of discounting that can be done if you make it fast and simple.

Know what you want going in, offer the price you want to pay and be ready to walk away if they won’t do it. Again, end of the month is the best time to shop for furniture and mattresses.

Appliances and Electronics – Depending on where you shop, these items are often sold on commission. In most cases, you’ll make a better deal shopping locally for these items.

If it’s a fast sale, a local sales rep will be willing to make a little less money per purchase if they don’t have to work too hard to make the sale.

Interest Rates – If you have credit cards or even a higher interest home or car loan, call the company and ask for a reduction. If your credit is good, you’ve paid on time over the life of the loan, and it seems likely that you can get another loan elsewhere, they’re going to give you a discount.

Medical Procedures – It might seem hard to imagine, but often you can make deals for medical procedures. If you explain that you’re paying all cash up front and not going through insurance that saves them a lot of extra work with the hassle of filling all the billing forms. Even if you already did the procedure and found out it was more expensive than you thought, you can often work out a deal with them if you ask.

Grocery Stores – It might not seem possible, but for items that expire, like meat, dairy, fruit, and vegetables, you can ask for a discount. Say there are five packs of hamburgers that expire tomorrow that means they have to throw them out.

Talk to the manager and offer to buy them all but ask for a discount. Freeze immediately and they’re good for at least six months depending on what you bought. For things like fruit and veg, you can freeze or can them.

My next post will cover tips on how to go about asking for a discount.

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Happy savings.

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