Saving Big with a Little Work

I saved $95 on my room at Harrah's Casino from the phone quote to a Facebook fan exclusive rate.

I saved $95 on my room at Harrah’s Casino from the phone quote to a Facebook fan exclusive rate.

Everyone likes a good deal. It’s a great feeling to get something you want or need for less then you expected to pay. But are you willing to do a little research to get that deal?

Recently, I had to book a stay in Atlantic City for a Saturday. Usually, we like stay during the week and use the casino’s free room offers. This time my wife is going to a bachelorette party so it has to be on the weekend which is difficult to get for less then $250 a night at the nicer casinos. I did my research. I checked sites like Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline. I called the casinos directly to see if my “player card” would give me any discounted rates. All the rates were still expensive.

I Googled the places I wanted to stay with “promotions” and “coupons” entered. Limiting the time frame you want Google to search is helpful in these kind of searches, however I still came up with expensive rates. I checked the casinos websites directly to look for more affordable rates. I found Harrah’s Resort and Casino with a rate of $207 on their site. I felt like this was probably going to be the best rate I was going to find but I got up and did a few things around the house first.

Thankfully I realized I neglected to check Harrah’s Facebook page for any deals. I logged onto my Facebook and found they had an exclusive rate for their Facebook and Twitter followers. I was able to book the room I wanted for $145. I saved $62 by liking their Facebook page, $95 if you count the $240 quote they gave me over the phone. This is one example of how some extra time can save you big money. Whenever I buy online, when we are going on a trip or I need to purchase a larger item I do a little research to see if I can save some money before I buy. Here are a few tips to help you save money:

• Google the product you are looking for to make sure you have the lowest price. Some stores will price match if you want to pick up in person.

• Google the product or brand with “coupon code” or “promo code” to find a bargain. I’ve saved half off of Disney on Ice tickets using this technique in the past.

• Do you know you are going to buy from a particular store soon or do you shop somewhere often? Subscribe to their email newsletter. Brands and stores will sometimes include discounts in their newsletters to keep you loyal.

• Check the store’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterst, etc.) to see if they have any special promotions.

• Sign up for loyalty cards. Often you will get rewards for doing your regular shopping. Best Buy recently sent me a $5 coupon off any purchase. That’s free money.

• Time your purchases. Do you know you are going to do a kitchen remodel? Time it around a holiday like memorial day, July 4th, etc when stores run major promotions to maximize your discount.

• Have patience. My wife and I saw a bedroom set we absolutely loved. It was more then we wanted to spend so we waited. Every now and then we would pop in to the furniture store and look for a sale. One day I saw it advertised as on sale so I went in to the store, played hard to get and got another 5% off the sale price. We saved close to $1,000 by being patient. Stores often cycle their sale items over several weeks.

• Know what it is worth. We bought a new mattress and I knew I could get it for 50% off as comparable models were on sale for half off. I knew what the mattress was worth to me and I waited for the sales rep to come to my price. He tried to show us other mattresses, we said not interested. He saw we were willing to leave so he met our price.