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10 Ways to Save While You Shop

Discounts, deals, apps and smart shopping can make every day a sale day

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1. Find free stuff

Websites like, and offer samples of products and online coupons and rebates.

2. Seniors pay less

Many retailers, including Kohl's, Ross and Belk, offer discounts to older people, usually over 55, on certain days of the week or month. Some grocery stores and pharmacies do the same. Ask at your local store.

3. Comparison shop

Free apps by RedLaser and Shop Savvy let you scan the bar code of an item and compare in-store and online prices at other retailers.

Learn about discounts and benefits from AARP. »

4. Thrift store treasures

Goodwill has an online auction site ( where you can bid on treasures from Goodwill thrift stores across the country.

5. Find coupons

Apps from RetailMeNot and Coupon Cabin help you find deals from your favorite retailers.

6. Pray for rain

Look for special sale items that are currently out of stock. Ask for a rain check so that you can pick them up later — at the sale price — when you really need them.

7. Any special promotions?

Those are magic words when ordering catalog items over the phone. So be sure to ask. Many times there are special offers — including discounts or free shipping — that the operator isn't allowed to mention unless the customer asks.

8. Save your shoes

Moisture from perspiration or mud puddles is tougher on shoe leather than pounding the pavement. If shoes get wet, stuff crumpled newspapers into them to wick up moisture. Or put a charcoal briquette into a sock and put that in the shoe overnight to both absorb wetness and eliminate odor.

9. Free shipping

Some sites offer free shipping with a minimum purchase. During the year-end holiday season, keep an eye out for free shipping days to save on your holiday shopping.

10. Post-holiday bargains

Whether it's Halloween costumes or Christmas decorations, many stores discount these items 50 percent or more after the holiday.

Contributors to 99 Great Ways to Save 2013: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, Tara Finnegan Coates, Joan Rattner Heilman, Stacy Julien, Megan Lawson, Marlece Lusk, Bob Lyford, Anne Masters, Jeff Yeager and AARP members like you.