Every Monday in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.
A very simple way to cut your bill is to get comfortable and experienced with asking for a discount. My philosophy is that you never want to short-change someone, but it never hurts to politely ask. The worst they can say is “no”. 🙂
Here are three ways you can often get a discount just for asking:
1. Ask for a Discount If You Buy In Bulk
If you buy a lot of a particular item, you can often get a discount if you buy in bulk. If you’re going to be using a lot of something over the next four months and you can freeze or store it for an extended time period, see what kind of discount you can get if you buy enough to last you for three to six months.
For instance, if you go through a lot of organic butter, ask the health food store you typically purchase them from if they could give you a discount if you purchased a case of butter. If they say “yes”, buy the case and store it in the freezer to use as needed.
My dad did this when we were building our house when I was growing up. He went to the local lumber stores and told them he was going to be buying a lot of supplies for building our house and what kind of discount could they give him if would buy all of the items from their store. If I’m remembering correctly, one store almost immediately offered him 15% off everything he purchased from them over the next six months. That simple step of asking saved us thousands of dollars!
2. Ask for a Discount on Almost-Expired Groceries
Many stores are happy to give you a discount on almost-expiring groceries. All you have to do is ask.
One of my friends discovered that her local grocery store will give her $1-2 off each gallon of milk if it’s within 3-5 days of its expiration date. So when she shops, she looks at all the expiration dates, finds some milk that’s going to expire within 3-5 days, and asks them to mark it down. (By the way, you can freeze almost-expired milk to use in baking.)
One time, I found some bananas that were past their prime at Aldi. I went and asked if they’d give me a discount on them. They did better than that; they said I could have them for free!
3. Ask for a Discount on Memberships and Monthly Bills
If you have a membership to a local gym or other club and it’s something that you are regularly using (if you’re not regularly using it, cancel it today, okay? There’s no use in paying for something you’re not using!), ask them if they have an discount opportunities. If you volunteer once a month or help with a certain project, you might be able to get a sizable discount.
When it comes to your monthly bills, always call and try to re-negotiate fixed rate bills at least once per year. Things like internet and phone packages are often negotiable — and we’ve saved hundreds of dollars over the years by asking annually if they have a better rate they can give us.
So take the time to make that simple phone call. Schedule it on your calendar or just go do it right now. It could result in savings of $100+ per year — just for taking the time to ask!
Have you asked for a discount on something before? If so, tell us about your experience(s).