If there’s one thing I like more than saving money by couponing, it’s saving money unexpectedly by being a smart shopper! Today’s post is all about knowing where to look for clearance items at your favorite stores and using coupons strategically to maximize savings.
Almost every store has clearance, markdown, or “manager special” areas, and sometimes there are many in one store. And each store’s clearance prices are set up differently. Stores like QFC and Target put “markdown price” stickers on the product. Stores like Safeway, however, put the original price and a 50% off barcode to scan (see right).
The first step in scoring great deals from these areas is knowing where to look! Check out these spots in your local stores:
- Grocery stores
- Very back, near the employee section/back warehouse entrance or bathroom
- Very front, near an entrance
- Sprinkled throughout
- Department stores
- Very back or specific area in each department, usually on an endcap or shelf/rack (i.e. a rack in clothes, shelf in cosmetics, endcap in housewares, etc.)
- Usually one or two endcaps near the back of the store
- Shelf in specific aisle
Notice a theme? Usually these clearance sections are placed at the back of the store so you have to walk all the way through the store two times to get out of there with a clearance item. Now us savvy shoppers won’t let mind tricks get to us – keep your eyes on the prize and you’ll be saving in no time!
Today on my lunch break I walked to Safeway to get myself something to eat, and when I walked in, a display was set up of clearance items – all marked with a 50% off sticker (see image above). The Tide I purchased was originally marked at $7.99 retail, and $5.99 on sale. The 50% off gave me a store coupon of $3.00, and I had a rare $2/1 Tide detergent manufacturer coupon, making the price $0.99. I grabbed a Doubl’r coupon from the weekly ad (never shop at Safeway without the Doubl’r), knocking $0.50 more off the price, making my final total a whopping $0.49! If I had never checked the clearance rack, I would’ve ended up paying $2 for the same amount of detergent on a slightly-less-outstanding sale. I always make sure I make a pit stop by every store’s clearance section, if I have the time. You never know what you’ll find!
Where are the clearance sections in your favorite stores? Any great deals you’ve scored? Share below!