While it pays to clip coupons, most of us just don’t have the time. To find out how to snag the best in-store shopping hacks, we invited Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler, founders of the popular couponing blog, The Krazy Coupon Lady, to join us in our studios. The best part about these deals is that you don’t need to clip a single coupon.
Of all the retailers listed on the site, Target (TGT) is one of Krazy Coupon Lady’s favorites because of all the ways you can save there—with or without coupons. The key to shopping smart is knowing when to go for the items you want. Shop on Mondays to find markdowns on kids’ and infants’ clothes, Tuesdays for women’s and juniors’, Wednesdays for men’s, Thursdays for shoes and Fridays for scarves and jewelry. After studying the store’s schedule, they confirmed their findings with Target. “The takeaway is, if you’re shopping for a necklace on Thursday, and you’re on the fence about whether to buy, come back the next day because it might be on clearance,” explains Demer.
TJ Maxx hack
Maximize your savings by shopping on Wednesdays for first dibs on markdowns. Like at its sister stores, Homegoods and Marshalls, TJ Maxx (TJX) shipments for new products arrive daily, but the markdowns start on Tuesday nights. So shopping the very next day means better selections for you on the newest items in store.
And Wheeler says to be on the lookout for TJ Maxx’s yellow price-tags because those items are final sale and you won’t see prices go any lower.
For the best way to buy in bulk, skip the Costco (COST) membership fees and pay with a Costco cash card. Here’s how it works: Pay a friend who’s a member to get you a Costco Cash gift card. Flash that at the entrance, and you’re in, no membership needed. “It’s a great way to test out the membership before you’re ready to commit,” says Demer. Note: This doesn’t work at Walmart’s Sam’s Club (WMT).
Trader Joe’s store hack
Look for some of your favorite products under Trader Joe’s (private label. “One of the best kept secrets at Trader Joe’s is that its private label items are made in the exact same factories as some of the premium brand names,” says Wheeler. For example, you can get Stacy’s Pita Chips for $4 at any grocery store, but at Trader Joe’s, they are half the price. And the same goes for products like Cheerios and cheese puffs.
Ikea store hack
By design, Ikea’s layout was created so that you can spend an entire day just trying to exit the store. One way to get out faster is by shopping on Tuesdays. Why? Because you can drop off your kids at the free childcare center and shop solo—and faster. Ikea childcare is typically an hour and a half, but on Tuesdays you get an extra 30 minutes, says Demer. And when you’re ready to pick them up, stop by the cafeteria and get two free kids’ meals when you buy one adult meal.
Have a shopping hack to share with us? Using the hashtag #WAYSTOSAVE and share them with us on Twitter, Facebook, or email them to us and we’ll feature some of your best tips at the end of the month and share them with our viewers.