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Do you enjoy bargains? Everyone loves and bargain, especially when searching for just the right gift for that special someone.

We’ve put together a list to help you find those great bargains that will save the most money.

1). Make a Plan

Being a successful bargain hunter means having a plan. A plan works to keep you on track, avoiding the other products and services that may seem like good bargains which saves you money, too.

To start out, make a list of what you need. For instance, if you need to buy Christmas presents, make a list of the people you’re buying for and possible gift ideas for each person. This way you’ll have a list of exactly what you need, and you’re more likely to avoid those other tempting items that also seem like good bargains.

The next step with your plan is to create a budget, which will help you figure out how much you can spend. In addition, use cash whenever possible. This is the best way to stay on budget. However, if you do choose to make use of credit and debit cards, then know your balance limits and avoid overspending.

With credit cards, it’s easy to spend up to and even over your credit limit. This just leads to high fees and difficulty paying down the balance. And don’t forget that if you buy a bargain now, you’ll be paying it off over the next several months, unless you pay the entire credit card balance off each month. If not, then the bargain will quickly turn into a more expensive item due to the interest fees you’ll have to pay.

Debit cards are handy, but you can have a similar problem. It’s easy to forget what your bank balance is and then overspend by accident. You’ll have overdraft fees, and possibly other fees, depending on your bank.

So, always have a budget and have a plan to pay off any balance on your credit card. Then the items you bought will still be bargain buys.

2). Research

Next, you’ll need to do some research. For this step, you’ll need to find the retail price of the item you’d like to buy. You can use this price as a base line. If you find a cheaper price, then you know it’s a bargain. If not, wait until the price goes down.

In addition, research the different models and features, and read through customer reviews of the item. And don’t forget to read the negative reviews, too. You can find some great information in negative reviews. It’s a great way to learn about other users’ experience with the product, including any problems others may have had.

3). Use Coupons, Discount Codes and Apps

Put your smartphone to use when it comes to finding bargains. You can use shopping apps on iOS and Android to help you find special offers, discount codes and more directly on  your phone. This is a great way to quickly and easily find savings on the items on your list. You can also use the apps to notify you of sales and more.

Some apps even help you to comparison shop. In the app, find the search bar and then type in the name of the product you’re looking for, then hit “search.” The app will find the best bargains in you area, providing you with another fast and easy way to find the best bargains near you.

4). Shop at the Store

While you’re shopping, be sure to check all the markdowns offered on clothing and other goods. However, remember that while these may seem like great prices, they may not be the best buy. Just because a price is lowered doesn’t man the product is a good buy.

If you’re looking at some clothing that’s been marked down, then take a good look at it. Is it the right size? Is it a color that looks good on you? Is it damaged by a tear or other problem? If so, then you should consider not buying the item. Instead, find another piece of clothing that’s in the right size and suits you.

You can actually use this same method with anything you’re buying. If the price is too good to be true, then don’t buy the item. Just because it’s marked down, doesn’t mean it’s a good buy.

What About Bulk Purchases? Do They Save Money?

Are bulk purchases ever a good buy? They sure are tempting, but do they save you money? The answer is it depends. Consider this, buying in bulk is best for those things you need all the time. This can include toilet paper, laundry detergent and even food items. If you use these items on a regular basis, then they may possibly be a bargain.

Be sure to check the unit price per unit before buying in bulk. This information is usually found on the price label on the self under the item. When you check, if you find the unite price is lower than the normal price, this is a good by! If the unit price is higher than the usual price, then it’s best to pass on and shop for something else.

Another issue is buying food items (perishable) in bulk, and then not using them before the expiration date. If the food spoils, or you don’t use it, then you end up throwing the food out. This is a waste of money. Instead, consider freezing these foods, such as meat, butter, vegetables and more. Then take them out of the freezer when you’re ready to use them. Then you’ll be saving money when buying these items in bulk.

5). Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle

Negotiating is intimidating for many people; however, this is a great way to save money. You may find some retailers are willing to have a little money in their cash register, rather than not making a sale. This can work on damaged goods, such as a piece of clothing that may be missing a button or have a tear that can be repaired. This can also work on last year’s appliances or electronics. It never hurts to ask if they’re willing to lower the price a bit.

We hope these tips will help you find the best bargain every time! Remember to have a plan and then stick to your list and budget. You’ll avoid spending money needlessly and end up with some savings to show for your work!