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If you're not one of those people who "seizes the moment" when you have the chance to save money, it might pay to establish some new bargain-hunting habits. When you adopt the mindset of a frugal shopper, you'll become more effective at stretching your household budget and having more money left over after paying the bills. One costly mistake a lot of people make is to wait until they urgently need something before buying it. Under those conditions, the pressure is on and your choices for saving money are usually limited. If your priorities include saving money, getting the best deal, or stocking up for future needs, then buying things when they're on sale is often the way to make your funds go farther. Here are a few examples of opportunities that can pass you by if you don't take advantage of them while you can:
- Going out of business sales: There are a lot of reasons a store might be closing its doors, but in many cases that closure could mean substantial savings for you and your family. If the manager's objective is to liquidate as much of the store's inventory as possible, then you could easily negotiate incredible bargains. Although a store's signs and ads might be more promotional than factual ("Everything must go! No reasonable offer refused!"), if they're selling things you need or anticipate needing, it's probably worth stopping by and checking out the sale.
- End of season sales: When a season or major holiday comes to an end, you may not be in the mood to buy a discounted snow-blower, lawn mower, or Christmas decorations. However, if you can afford it and you know it's something you're going to need next year, it may make sense to buy it now and enjoy the savings later.
- Scratch and dent sales: Consumer products like household appliances can be quite expensive if you don't look for sales, compare prices, and take advantage of money-saving opportunities. If a retailer is willing to reduce the price of an appliance, a furniture set, or a piece of home office equipment because of a cosmetic flaw or some other minor issue that won't affect it's performance or quality, you might be able to get an exceptionally good deal on the item. Sometimes asking a store manager if they have any unadvertised discounts or distressed merchandise can result in unexpected savings.
- Surplus merchandise, overstocks, clearance sales, and closeouts: Theoretically, you should be able to save a bundle of money when you shop at stores advertising clearance sales and surplus inventory. Although results may vary depending on the nature of the sale, it often pays to keep an eye out for clearance or surplus inventory sales when hunting for good bargains.