Did You Know About All These?
Halloween weekend is upon us and almost everyone is looking to unwind after midterms. In the spirit of this, I’ve decided to change things up this week and write about a few shopping hacks I know of that many people aren’t aware of! Whether you’re in the market for a last-minute costume, cheap booze, or getting a price match, I’ve got 10 YoungMoney tips that might save you some cash.
1) You Can Buy Alcohol At Costco Without A Membership
A lot of people aren’t aware of this and it isn’t something Costco advertises. Many states have a law that requires you be able to buy alcohol from warehouse clubs like Costco without a membership. I don’t know why it’s a law, but thankfully, California is one of the states that has it. To do this (besides be 21), all you have to do is let the greeter at the entrance of Costco know you’re there to only buy alcohol. They will give you a paper slip that you must present to the cashier at checkout. Note that you will not be permitted to buy anything else. I have personally witnessed people do this (including my friends), multiple times. If you don’t believe me, Click here.
2) Kirkland Alcohol Vs. Name Brand
Costco has better alcohol deals than just about anywhere. Especially if you purchase one of their Kirkland brand liqueurs. A well-known rumor/conspiracy theory you may have heard is that Costco’s Kirkland brand Vodka (French One) is actually Grey Goose Vodka. Although Costco or Grey Goose will not comment on this, they have never denied it. Actually, Costco doesn’t bottle any of its own Kirkland alcohol. They’re not a brewing company. They instead pay distributors to bottle it for them in a Kirkland bottle. Just Google “Costco Vodka Grey Goose” and you’ll get pages of articles. Many of the Kirkland brands are rumored to actually be very familiar name brands you know.
In the case of the Vodka, a bottle of 1.75L Grey Goose at a local Costco in San Diego sells for between $35-40. The Kirkland brand sells for $19.99 for the French Version and $13.99 for the American Version (rumored to be Tito’s Vodka). So don’t shy away from Kirkland!
3) Getting Free Shipping On Your Halloween Costume (Or Anything)
Let’s say you’ve waited until tonight to decide what to order for Sigma Kappa Delta Omega Gemini Catfish Superman’s amazing annual Halloween mega party this weekend. Even your Amazon Prime won’t get it here in time! Don’t worry, you can almost always get free 1-day shipping from big retailers. Big retailers want to please customers. Especially online shoppers who now make up a majority of their businesses. If you need something in a hurry, don’t bother paying the expensive shipping fees. Quickly hit the customer chat window and ask for free shipping. It will take you 2 minutes, and the worst they could say is no. But often times, they’ll say yes. Especially if you come up with a good excuse like “I need it for a last-minute gift”, or “It’s a clothing item I need for an event tomorrow night”.
This has worked for me SO many times. I’ve gotten free shipping (sometimes up to a $30 value) from Amazon, Macy’s, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Zappos, any many others. Amazon especially is extremely accommodating to these requests. Try for yourself!
4) Walmart Will Price Match Amazon In Stores
Amazon is really starting to scare Walmart. So much so that Walmart has invested big money into improving its online retail experience. Including starting its own 2-day shipping membership program and giving away 30-day free trials. Walmart has also begun to price match Amazon which it did not use to do. Find something on Amazon that is cheaper than what Walmart is selling it for? Just pull it up on your phone and show the cashier. I’ve personally done this a couple of times and it’s saved me $20 on a TV stand and $7 on a memory card. When you’re living the YoungMoney life, it all matters. Take a second and price check Amazon to see if you can save yourself a few bucks. I haven’t tried this at Target yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do the same.
5) Abandon Your Online Cart
Many online retailers will email you a discount offer if you put items in your shopping cart and just leave the website. You might have to wait a few days, although some sites follow-up within minutes! Retailers use data like your shopping history and where you live to help determine what kind of offer you’ll get, or if you’ll get one at all. They’ve figured out that customers who get that close to placing an order can sometimes be coaxed into completing the transaction with a little extra incentive like a 15% off code. BONUS: always check sites like RetailMeNot.com for coupon codes before you press “Place Order”. Again, this takes seconds and you could end up finding a code online that would save you 10-20%.
6) Grocery Store Apps
If you regularly shop at a grocery store chain like Vons or Ralph’s, you definitely need to sign up for a club card. It’s free and can save you tons. Most people know that. But, did you know many grocery stores now have apps that can save you more money? Vons (and parent store Safeway) have an app that gives additional coupons on top of your club discounts. The best part is it’s super easy to use. The app will track the regular purchases on your club card and recommend coupons to you. Especially if you regularly buy an item each week (like Oreos) and then all of a sudden stop buying Oreos. They might send you a coupon for half of Oreos. They also will give percentage or dollar discounts to your purchase. Special offers pop up every so often that give you $5-10 or 10% off your entire purchase that day. Pretty nice if you regularly do your shopping there.
7) Shop For Items On Specific Days
Many retailers like Target mark down items on specific days of the week. For example, Target has these discounts each week:
Monday – Electronics, Office Supplies
Tuesday – Women’s Clothing, Domestic Items
Wednesday – Men’s Clothing, Toys
Thursday – Shoes, Housewares
Friday – Cosmetics/Make-Up, Automotive Products
Many stores follow this strategy as well. It’s all about how the stores turn over their inventory and bring in new stuff. These specific days are when they restock on new items and need to clear out old stuff. If you’re planning to go shopping, maybe pick a specific day to stop in!
8) Free VISA Gift Cards
Free money? That is about as YoungMoney as it gets. Many car manufactures want you to test drive their cars and offer promotions multiple times a year to do it. They often will give away $25-50 VISA gift cards and sometimes up to $100 for just test driving their car. But YoungMoney knows you don’t want to march down to a dealership and spend an hour doing this. So here’s a hack I’ve been doing for years. Now, disclosure, this is not the most ethically upstanding thing to do and isn’t something I can truly recommend. But here is a way to get the card by doing nothing.
- Google “Test drive gift card” every few months. Find a car company doing the offer
- Sign up for a test drive online, enter your email and whatever else they want (use a junk email address so you don’t get all their marketing emails all the time)
- Get the email from them for your scheduled test drive
- Call a local dealership for that car brand. Ask for a salesperson and ask them what the dealer code is for that location. Don’t tell them why you want it. It is not illegal in any way to ask for this and it is public information.
- Open the link you got, enter the dealer code and the salesperson name from the phone.
- Send the gift card to your house.
It’s that easy. That’s all the information you need to fill in for them to send it to you. My friends and I have done this for years and gotten hundreds of dollars in these gift cards. Again, I can’t claim this is the most honest thing to do. But, it is what it is. You can make this decision for yourself if you wanna do it.
9) Free 2-day Shipping Membership From ShopRunner
ShopRunner.com offers free 2-day shipping membership to anyone with an American Express Card. Go to their website and enter your card number. You’ll get free 2-day shipping from hundreds of retailers including GNC, Under Armor, NFL shop, and many others. If you have an AMEX card, it’s a great freebie.
10) Check Your Credit Card Offers
Many retailers partner with credit card companies and banks to offer you extra cash back for shopping on their website. I have a Wells Fargo Credit Card and got an offer this month for 10% cash back from Starbucks all month-long. Plenty of stores do this. Log onto your cards website and check for offers that might save you some money!
Have a great Halloween weekend and I hope everyone did great on their midterms! (Sorry if you still have more exams)
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