20 Common Things Savvy Shopers Never Want to Pay Full Price For

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You work hard for your money—like, really hard. So why should you throw it away and pay the full price for stuff when you don’t absolutely have to? You know, those little money hacks and insider tips that savvy shoppers whisper about over brunch.

In a world where discounts, promotions, and sales are easily found, paying full price for anything seems unnecessary. From everyday groceries to high-ticket items, there’s almost always a way to snag a deal or negotiate a better price. And sometimes, paying full price is just wasteful. Here are 20 items that you never want to pay full price for.

Clothing

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When it comes to clothing, paying full price can feel like a rookie mistake. Most retail stores cycle through inventory so quickly that the shirt you’re eyeing today will likely be on the clearance rack in a few months. Take advantage of end-of-season sales, clearance events, and sign up for store emails to snag those sweet promo codes that make updating your wardrobe less of a financial burden.

Travel and Vacation Packages

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Prices for travel can fluctuate dramatically. Airlines, hotels, and travel agencies frequently offer deals during off-peak seasons and last-minute bookings to fill empty seats and rooms. By setting alerts on travel comparison websites and being flexible with your travel dates, you can experience world-class vacations without the world-class price tag. Also, checking out travel comparison sites and watching for last-minute deals can lead to significant savings.

Subscription Services

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Subscription services, from streaming media to software, often lure you in with introductory offers that are too good to pass up. Always be on the lookout for these deals and remember to reassess your subscriptions periodically. Chances are, there’s a promotion or a competitive service out there that could get you the same benefits at a lower cost, especially if you’re willing to swap services or negotiate with customer service when your initial deal expires.

Magazines

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There’s nothing wrong with having some reading material around your home, but you should never pay the cover price at the store. If there are magazines you enjoy regularly, get a subscription or buy at a retail store that offers discounts and save yourself a small fortune. 

Books

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Books don’t have to drain your wallet; there are numerous ways to enjoy literature without paying sticker price. Thrift stores, used bookshops, and online marketplaces often offer books for a fraction of the cost of new ones. Buying used books, checking out sales at bookstores, or using an e-reader can provide much cheaper alternatives to buying new hardcovers. Additionally, subscribing to library services or digital book clubs can provide endless reading at minimal or no cost—proving that enriching your mind needn’t empty your pockets.

Cosmetics and Skincare Products

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Many beauty retailers offer reward programs that accumulate points with every purchase, which can be redeemed for discounts or free products. Waiting for special promotional events or using a loyalty card can significantly cut costs on these typically pricey items.

Office Supplies

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Office supplies are a hidden drain on finances if you’re always paying full price. Major office supply stores often run sales, especially during back-to-school seasons, making it the perfect time to stock up on essentials like paper, pens, and folders. Additionally, signing up for business reward programs can yield members-only discounts, rebate offers, and special promotions, slashing costs significantly over the course of a year. Office supply stores often have rewards programs that offer cash back, rewards for recycling, and discounts after a certain amount of spending.

Gourmet Coffee and Tea

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Gourmet coffee and tea are pleasures you shouldn’t have to pay top dollar for every time. Specialty coffee shops and tea houses frequently offer loyalty programs where your purchases add up to free drinks or significant discounts on bulk buys. Keep an eye out for seasonal promotions and introductory offers for new products, ensuring you enjoy your favorite brews without brewing up debt.

Lawn Mowers

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Taking care fo the lawn can be expensive. However, lawnmowers take up valuable space, so stores typically don’t want to store them over winter. Wait until the holidays, especially after Labor Day, and get a good deal on a new lawn mower that will last for many mowing seasons to come! 

Office Supplies

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While you may need office supplies for your home and office year-round, there is a best time of year to buy them at a discount….back-to-school season. August and September are prime months for office supply sales after the long summer break. Plan to get your office supplies yearly around this time and you’re sure to save money.

Video Games

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Video games can be quite expensive when first released, but if you can wait even a month, you can buy that game in great condition for significant savings.  If you can wait even longer, you can own it for even less. 

Swimsuits

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Swimsuits never really go out of style, and these days, they can be quite expensive when the weather starts to heat up. Buy your swimsuits for next summer at the end of bathing suit season in your area. You can get them for much less than their original prices. 

Televisions

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If you need a new television, there are two different times of year to get the best deals. You’ll find the lowest prices of the year around Black Friday and a week or two before Super Bowl Sunday. 

Groceries

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We all have to eat, but that doesn’t mean you must pay full price! Most grocery store flyers start on Wednesday and end on Tuesday. Shop on Wednesday for the best chance of getting the most deeply discounted items, and check the discount sections for even bigger price cuts on items that didn’t sell last week. 

Textbooks

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If you’ve taken a college course in the last few years, you know college textbooks can be exorbitantly expensive. But the campus bookstore isn’t the only place to get them. Check out Amazon or online discount bookstores for used or digital versions to save some cash. 

Luggage

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Stores are stocked with new luggage in March, before the summer travel season, so that’s the time to buy last year’s luggage at a discount. The only difference between last year’s luggage and this year’s is the colors and prints available. 

Mattresses

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Even a furniture store can only hold so many mattresses at once. New model mattresses come out in early summer, so check out the Memorial day sales, where you can get the best deals on last year’s models. 

Show Tickets

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If you can wait until closer to the date of the show, or even the day of, you can score some excellent deals on tickets to concerts, Broadway shows, and sporting events. Reselling apps like Stubhub are the place to go for cheap tickets. The closer you get to starting time the cheaper they will be (if they’re still available).

Gift Cards

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Businesses love to offer gift cards. It’s guaranteed money you’re spending (today or tomorrow) in their establishment. Although, most won’t offer a discount, you can usually get a bonus gift card around holidays to add to its value.

Pet Food and Supplies

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From food to toys, pet supplies can add up in cost. Many pet stores offer loyalty programs that provide discounts, coupons, and even free pet food after a certain number of purchases. Shopping during specific sales or using a store card can offer substantial savings over time.

Money Matters: 11 Signs That Your Bank Account Needs a Boost

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Have you ever wondered how you’ll know if you have enough money? Do you already know you don’t have enough money? If you aren’t sure whether you have enough money or not, here are 11 signs you don’t have enough money.

13 Overrated Habits That Aren’t Changing Your Life Like You Think

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Look, you’ve probably tried them all—the miracle morning routines, the extreme diets, the endless hustle culture hype. And let’s be real: How many of them are actually stuck? Probably about as many as there are unicorns in your backyard, right?

It’s time to cut through the extra and take a hard look at some of these overrated habits that promise the world and deliver…well, not a whole lot.

Let’s get down to why these so-called life changers might just be wasting your time and energy, and what you could be doing instead that actually makes a difference.

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