It's time to set sail for Memorial Day deals! You'll want to be ship shape first, however, so invest some prep time to make the most out of special events offered by stores. Read on for a few tips and get the most bang for your buck:
1. Make a List
Memorial Day sales aren't just about preparing for the summer. This is a good time to buy items needed for the next school year or even as Christmas, wedding and birthday presents. A comprehensive list will allow you to make the most of deals often offered by stores for just one weekend.
2. Scan Circulars
Stores frequently advertise early in Sunday or Wednesday circulars, so make sure you check your local paper to determine which merchants will offer the best buys. Websites like MainStreet and SavvySugar offered roundups for last year's Memorial Day sales, so check online resources for information as well.
3. Stock Up on Discount Gift Cards
Now that you know what you need and where you'll shop, it's time to stock up on gift cards from websites like GiftCardGranny, where you can buy discount cards anywhere from 10-percent to 30-percent off the face value for both major and minor merchants.
4. Use Coupons
In addition to perusing circulars, look for online coupons and free shipping codes when ordering items online. You should also download a few money-saving apps to your smartphone before heading to the store. Foursquare provides exclusive coupons to those who "check-in" to various retailers, and retailers often post deals on Facebook and Twitter for loyal followers which you can access via smartphone. Review this story for tips on which apps to download for your iPhone or Android device.
5. Compare Online Prices
Not all sales are equal. Use your smartphone to check out online prices before making an in-store purchase, and don't forget to figure in any shipping costs. Comparison apps make this easy, so read Lifehacker's list of the best mobile apps.
6. Get Up Early
As with Black Friday, you'll want to hit stores early, to avoid missing out on deals. Check circulars carefully for any information on how many sale items a store is offering for Memorial Day, so you know whether it's worth hitting a particular merchant for your desired item.
7. Avoid Impulse Purchases
It's easy to fall for deals on products you don't really need when you're inundated with sales and promotions. Remember that just because something's on sale, it doesn't mean you need to grab it before the day is over. Give yourself time to think about the purchase and remember there will be future opportunities to save, especially with Fourth of July and Labor Day sales around the corner.
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!