You’re bound to get a good deal at a discount store — but planning ahead and having a shopping strategy can save you even more money.
The October 2013 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports shared a few smart ways you can get the best deals on clothing and everything else at your favorite budget retailers.
“Using coupons only isn’t going to get you the absolute best deal anymore,” says Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “Knowing about retailer’s pricing strategies and other tricks can help you really maximize your savings.”
Secrets for saving even more at discount stores
- Use a store credit card. Kohl’s gives cardholders 15 percent off their first purchase, plus exclusive coupons and discounts all year long. Target Red Card users get 5 percent off everything and free shipping for online orders. TJX credit card holders get $10 back for every $200 they spend at Marshalls, T.J.Maxx or HomeGoods, with no annual fee.
- Shop on certain days of the week. Markdowns at Marshalls and T.J.Maxx usually happen on Wednesdays. Kohl’s shoppers who are age 60-plus get an extra 15 percent off in stores every Wednesday. The hottest-selling items from H&M’s latest campaigns usually hit floors on Thursdays. At Target, women’s clothes are generally marked down on Tuesdays, men’s on Wednesdays, and kids’ on Mondays.
- Go mobile. H&M’s app sends users sale alerts and gives instructions on getting coupon codes on their smartphone. Text “Coupons” to TARGET for access to a wide range of mobile coupons that can be used in-store.
- Sign up for bargains. If you sign up for e-mail alerts from your favorite e-tailers, you’ll hear about exclusive online specials.
- Get social. Become a fan of H&M on Facebook and Twitter to get access to potential savings. T.J.Maxx shoppers who share photos of their finds with #maxxinista on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook could win a $1,000 gift card. At Target, shoppers who have signed up at cartwheel.target.com can use their smart phones to access exclusive in-store promotions via Facebook (generally between 5 and 30 percent).
More bargain hot spots
Shoppers can find bargains almost anywhere they shop, but here’s the inside scoop on what to look for at a few retailers:
- Burlington Coat Factory: This national department store features designer and name-brand merchandise including apparel, home goods and more, for up to 70 percent off other department stores’ prices. Coats are the big draw, but shoppers should also check out the retailer’s wide selection of designer jeans and cheap and cheerful kids’ stuff, including suits, party dresses, and more.
- Forever 21: The clothing at this chain store is targeted toward teens and young women, but shoppers of all ages should head here for its selection of costume jewelry — with pieces available $12 or less — which look great on anybody.
- Loehmann’s: Shoppers can score some of the best deals on contemporary designer clothing, lingerie, sunglasses, and jewelry at this chain store. Sign up for an Insider Club membership to earn additional perks and discounts.
With these tips and your own shopping savvy, you should be able to score apparel, accessories and more at the best prices.