15 Things You Should Never Pay Full Price For

15 things you should never pay full price for... /things-you-sho…full-price-for/...Don’t you love getting a deal on things? Several years ago, I didn’t think twice about paying full price for most of the things I bought each week. Now that I’ve learned about the deals you can get from free grocery coupons and simple negotiation tips, paying full price for most items doesn’t make sense! My philosophy is this: someone is going to pay full price, but it doesn’t have to be you. Sometimes it’s worth paying full price for an item. Maybe the few minutes spent each week to clip coupons isn’t worth the savings for you....Don’t you love getting a deal on things? Several years ago, I didn’t think twice about paying full price for most of the things I bought each week.

Now that I’ve learned about the deals you can get from free grocery coupons and simple negotiation tips, paying full price for most items doesn’t make sense!

My philosophy is this: someone is going to pay full price, but it doesn’t have to be you.

Sometimes it’s worth paying full price for an item. Maybe the few minutes spent each week to clip coupons isn’t worth the savings for you.

Regardless of your stance on couponing or bargain hunting, the truth is that you don’t need to pay full price for certain items if you plan ahead.

1. Toothpaste and Toothbrushes

I thought I was saving money by getting generic toothbrushes for around $1.50. With name-brand toothbrushes and toothpaste costing $3.50 or more, it seemed like a waste of money. But, we’ve found that stores will offer a buy-one-get-one-free sale and when you combine a coupon for each item, you can walk away with the top quality items for between $0.00 – $1.00 sometimes. Or consider making your own.

2. Deodorant and Shampoo

Please don’t spend your hard-earned money to buy these at full price. The store deal and coupon strategy above will make these items pennies on the dollar.

3. Cleaning Supplies

Bathroom and kitchen cleaners are always going on sale. Plan ahead and get another bottle while it is discounted. That way, you can wait for the next sale and get another good deal.

4. Groceries

Using coupons for groceries will require a little more time and effort, but the savings can cut your bill tremendously. We are constantly seeing savings of 20% or more on our receipts after going to the grocery store, and that saves us close to $50 each month on the food we’d normally buy each month.

5. Cars

Whether you’re buying new or used, you should always check the blue book value of the car on KBB.com before you purchase it. Try to walk away with the vehicle $500-$1,000 less than the KBB value. Even more is great – but you’ll need to rely on your negotiating skills.

6. Clothing

Even if you’re not into shopping at thrift stores for clothes, you can still save money on your threads. I head straight to the clearance rack and will often find dress shirts that are greatly discounted. Sorry, I don’t have any tips about women’s fashion, but I’m sure you can save with the clearance aisle too.

7. Books and DVDs

If you don’t want to pay anything for books or DVDs, you can head over to the library and check things out for free. Of course, Amazon.com and Half.com are great resources for cheap books. I’d also look at PaperBackSwap.com as a resource for trading books.  Or check out how Bob got his college textbooks for free.

8. Pets

You can save hundreds by finding a pet through an animal shelter or by looking on Craigslist.org for families giving away their pet. If you pay full price at a breeder, remember all the vet bills that will come afterward too.

9. Furniture

This is where your negotiation skills will come into play again. If you’re at a furniture store, remember to ask if that’s the best price they can offer. Once you settle on the best price, ask if they give a cash discount. We once purchased a chair on sale and got 5% off by paying with cash.

10. Restaurants

Look at Restaurant.com or Groupon.com for discounts on local restaurants and never pay full price again!

11. Your Home or Apartment

The negotiation process for buying a home is common for homebuyers, but you can talk down your apartment rent as well. You never know unless you ask. We saved $50 each month simply by asking.

12. Hotels / Vacation Packages

Using Priceline.com and Expedia.com can save you a lot of money on your next trip. For your vacation, try pricing it out with their vacation packages and then using a local travel agent who can match the price. We found a trip online and booked through a travel agent who matched the price and lined up all the details for us.

13. Sports Gear

If you’ve wanted to get into golf, but don’t want to spend the money for an expensive set of clubs, do what I did and buy a used set of clubs. Play It Again Sports is a store that specializes in used sporting goods. You’ll get a great deal on gently used equipment that is still in great shape.

14. College

Finding scholarships online through FastWeb.com or on your school’s website is the first place I’d look to lower my tuition bill. Although I haven’t seen any college coupons, I do know that you can go completely free at College of the Ozarks, a fully accredited university that waives tuition for those who work at the school.

15. Car Insurance

We saved a couple hundred dollars by switching car insurance providers and saved an additional 15% by allowing Progressive to track our driving habits. It’s nice to know that we can get the same coverage but save about $40 each month!

Can you think of anything that can be added to this list? What would you NEVER pay full price for? Leave a comment!

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  1. Janice

    For groceries, I find that shopping at non-namebrand markets save me just as much without coupons than shopping at namebrand markets. The greatest savings are on the things we consume most often, bread, milk, coffee, and cereal.

    • Tim

      There are a few great stores that are ‘no-frills’ and have cheaper goods. Aldi is one that we have in the midwest.

    • Joolie

      I clip coupons some, but stores like Aldi don’t accept them, in part because it’s their policy, but mainly because they carry about 90% of only their own brands. Still, I save more by shopping at Aldi than I would buying brand-name goods with coupons. I buy everything off my list that Aldi carries and then go to Jewel-Osco for the few things they don’t.
      At Jewel I frequently compare the store brand sitting beside the item with the coupon and choose to save more buying the store brand. In that case I leave the coupon on the shelf for the person who care more about brand than price 🙂
      That said, I did save $10.50 this evening at Wal-Mart with just 4 coupons!

  2. [email protected]

    I don’t buy my cleaning supplies at all! I make them. The staples in my “cleaning” pantry are vinegar, baking soda, Borax and Washing Soda, tea tree oil and Ivory soap. I can make all of my cleaning supplies from these. I use microfiber cloths for dusting and wash and reuse them. We have also greatly reduced our use of paper products by using cloth dish towels or rags for what we used to use paper towels on.

    • Tim

      Sounds like you’re saving money left and right 🙂 I’ve never made my own supplies, but it sounds cool.

    • tami

      I would love to know how you make your cleaning supplies from home? Please email me.

  3. Minda

    Nice article. Unfortunately they never have my size on clearance and rarely at Goodwill. =( I shop at Plato’s Closet mostly the prices are low and the products are good quality.

    I don’t suggest FastWeb at all. It has very few scholarships and lot of spam. Try http://www.collegescholarships.org. Also Apply to multiple schools if the one you get the best deal on isn’t your favorite you may be able to use their offer to negotiate with the other school.

  4. Darren

    Another way to dramatically cut college costs is to take CLEP exams. They’re somewhat similar to AP classes, and cover lots of general education requirements.

  5. Tom

    I’ll add one more. Buy gas in the morning when it’s cooler. Gas fumes increase the hotter in the day it gets so you’ll have less gas going into your tank. With gas prices you can’t afford to lose any of it.

  6. Rebekah King

    I work at Kelley Blue Book, and I have a couple of tips I tell my friends who are shopping for a car:
    When negotiating with for a used car, look up both the trade-in value and the private-party value, then the Blue Book Values for one condition level up and one condition level down from the condition you think the car is in. Always be extra-careful when grading a used car in Excellent condition, as only 15% of vehicles we’ve valued are actually Excellent.
    When negotiating for a new car, look at the MSRP, the Fair Purchase Price, and the Dealer Invoice. We’ve just built a new shopping tool on KBB.com called Reality Check, which you can get to on the vehicle pricing page, which shows you what other people in your area are paying for that vehicle and if the price will change much in the next 90 days.
    Hope that helps – go save some money!

    • Tim

      Good tip Rebekah! (I love KBB by the way…great stuff 🙂 )

  7. cashflowmantra

    I would recommend CLEP tests as well. I went to the dentist today and got a free toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. I use it at work so I can brush after lunch.

  8. Thanks for all the tips guys…

  9. Linda

    Another way to save on toothpaste and toothbrushes is get them cheap at your dentist office. Ours sells toothpaste and toothbrushes for $1.00 each. Also be sure to use only a pea size amount of toothpaste. Waste not, want not.

  10. Jonathan K

    5. Cars – Did this when purchasing our vehicle. kbb.com is always a great tool!

    15. Car Insurance – This is a good one!

    This week we saved $500 a year by getting a new quote and switching to a new car insurance provider (Progressive)! We have the same coverage and deductable as well as insurance through a recognized national provider! This is a great suggestion to do every 6 months or so.

    It was sad to tell my current auto agent (Farmers) but $42 a month is amazing savings! And remember to ask for discounts and try again in 6 months! Great article man!

  11. April

    For cheap ebooks I signed up with bookbub.com You choose what genre (s) you’re interested in and which retailers you like and they send you emails with 1 or more titles being offered at a sale price or even free. I think you can choose the frequency of the emails too.

  12. Amy

    Regarding negotiating furniture prices, does this apply to big, popular chain stores or the mom and pop, family owned, smaller businesses?

  13. Tiffany R

    I buy almost all my family’s clothing at yard sales. I buy name brand clothing in excellent condition for $1 each most of the time. I typically buy in the spring and fall for the next season. It saves us so much money!

  14. When I’m planning to have a vacation, usually I started to search online for promo plane tickets and packages for the resort. I don’t want to pay full price, especially for the plane tickets, that’s why I do take advantage if I saw a promo.

  15. Ann

    I appreciate the suggestion to buy used books but as an author if I find books I truly love I save up and pay full price if they are available new. That way I am supporting the person whose work I have enjoyed so much!

  16. James Corbin

    1. You can find $1 brand-name toothbrushes at the dollar stores. Sadly, that’s because they are all made in China now. Look at your toothpaste. Some of that is made in Mexico.

    2. Most people use more shampoo than is needed. I know I did until recently. Just a very little with lather up a lot.

    3. Most of us don’t use cleaning supplies in massive amounts so saving a few dollars on cleaning supplies will not do much overall for your budget. My cleaning supplies last for about a year or more.

    4. Groceries coupons are good if 1. You were buying the item anyway and 2. You didn’t buy the paper just for the coupons.

    5. I think you missed the point of the Kelly Blue Book value. That number is an average, which means it is not high or low. With used car prices high for the last few years due to the economy, it isn’t reasonable to expect to buy a good used car for $500 – $1,000 below the KBB value.

    7. Would never recommend Amazon on a Christian website. Not once, but twice, they have been caught selling books endorsing man/child sexual acts. Not only did they not apologize, they defended their right to sell such filth with vigor. That said, there are good book search engines out there: allbookstores.com and abebooks.com for starters.

    10. Look out for restrictions on restaurant deals. Sometimes they force you to buy drinks or a certain dollar value. Make sure you are happy with these before purchasing.

    15. Letting your insurance company track your driving via remote is a bit over the top for saving money. Don’t we have enough surveillance of our lives without signing up for more?

    • Steven Rothchild

      3. You must not clean much…..eww!

      5. I beg to differ. Used cars are overflowing lots everywhere currently, and there are great deals to be had! Last year I bought a 2012 Camry and paid below blue book simply due to volume of used cars the dealership was trying to move. And it wasn’t the first great deal I had come across in my search for a car. I don’t even have great negotiating skills. Sometimes all it takes is a little haggling, but it IS possible.

      7. Seriously? Come ON.

      15. Are you hiding something? If not, I don’t see the problem.