As a follow up to Part 1 of this non-regular series, I'm going to mention the next best thing that saves me a huge chunk of money on my regular, variable spending.
That single tip is:
Watch The Cash Register As Your Items Are Scanned!
Seriously, it's that simple (again!). I'm a big fan of simple. This simple tip is great for two reasons.
First off, many stores have items that scan in at the wrong price. Even if it's off by 10c, that's YOUR 10c. You worked hard for it, you should have your say as to where it goes. Period. Which means that if an item scans in at the wrong price, worst case scenario, they'll adjust it to the correct price.
Second important (more important) reason is a simple code of practice that almost all retailers in Ontario (possibly all of Canada, and I'm not sure about the States) follow. It's called the Scanning Code of Practice (also referred to as SCOP).
Basically summed up as:
So any retailer that follows this voluntary code is obligated to give you the first item scanned at the wrong price for free, up to 10$ (or 10$ off if it's over that). Keep in mind that it is up to 10$ off the correct price. So if the object in question is regularly 25$ and it's on sale for 9$, you will get it for free. Alternatively, if the regular price is 25$ and it's on sale for 11$, you will get it for 1$.
On a claim being presented by the customer, where the scanned price of a product atcheckout is higher than the price displayed in the store or than advertised by the store,the lower price will be honoured; and(a) if the correct price of the product is $10 or less, the retailer will give the product tothe customer free of charge; or(b) if the correct price of the product is higher than $10, the retailer will give the customera discount of $10 off the corrected price. (source: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/vwapj/ct02381e.pdf/$FILE/ct02381e.pdf)
Then, if you are purchasing multiple items of the same type, the subsequent items will be price adjusted to the correct price.
Some cashiers/supervisors/managers will roll their eyes and scoff. But seriously, let them. Remember that they are there to provide customer service, and on top of that, they are paid by the hour. *I've been an hourly paid employee, and honestly, I welcomed interruptions like this!* So don't feel ashamed or embarassed, because you've done NOTHING wrong.
So that's it! My second favourite way to save money. It takes a little bit more initiative and less shy-ness. But it definitely pays off! All you have to do is mention it to the cashier as soon as you notice it, and ask if they follow the "Scanning Code of Practice". A lot of cashiers might not know what it is, so you might have to ask to speak to a supervisor. But it is completely worth the time it takes.
Good luck, and happy savings!