Save some serious cash at checkout with these genius money-saving tips.

By Rachel Sylvester
Updated October 09, 2019
Credit: Getty Images

Whether you're a seasoned online shopper or prefer to spend your cash from the comfort of a physical checkout line, consumers everywhere could stand to save money on their next purchase, big or small. The next time you gear up to shop online or in store, reference these money-saving tips that will immediately save you time, stress, and cash.

Use apps to check prices in real time.

“The app ShopSavvy is really useful when you’re out shopping in stores because you can scan the barcode on items and see if there is a better deal elsewhere,” says Kimberly Palmer, personal finance expert at Nerdwallet. Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert, is also a fan of ShopSavvy, as well as Flipp, which provides circulars all in one place so you can quickly compare to plan your shopping trip strategically.

...And apps that help increase your savings.

Swagbucks, another one of Woroch’s go-tos, provides cash back for all your shopping. It puts cash back in your wallet by allotting you points every time you shop online or search the web. Once you gain enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards to your favorite retailers, like Amazon or Walmart.

Consider your credit card.

Think carefully about which credit card you’re using to do your shopping to maximize your cash back or rewards, says Palmer. “If you are shopping at Amazon, you can earn 5 percent cash back using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, for example.”

You can save even more money by shopping with discounted gift cards.

“Companies like CardCash and Raise offer gift cards up to 50 percent off, so a $100 gift card could be purchased for only $50,” says Regina Conway, the vice president of PR and events at Slickdeals. “Some gift cards to popular merchants may be a lesser savings, but every dollar counts, especially if you're making a larger purchase.”

Install a browser extension.

Tools like Honey hang out quietly while you shop, combing the web for the lowest price on whatever you’re buying. “One tool that saves Honey members time and money is Droplist,” says Honey’s vice president of communications, Kelly Parisi. “Droplist watches selected items, notifying shoppers when the price of an item drops below the amount initially chosen. Droplist monitors the price of the item for 30, 60, or 90 days and will automatically send an email when the price drops to the amount that was set.”

Shop according to product.

Woroch urges shoppers to wait to buy winter apparel and accessories until closer to the holidays or in early January. “Toys are best to buy in the first two weeks of December, based on price histories,” she says. “Gift wrap, decor, and other seasonal merchandise like pre-lit Christmas trees are a better buy after the holidays.”

Mark your calendar for major sales.

Amazon Prime Day and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, for example, offer deep discounts on clothes, home decor, kitchen essentials, and beyond.