Before You Buy: Check

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

Not too long ago, the Borders in my town closed. In the weeks leading up to the store closing, the store held sales and offered discounts. It became common for my husband to stop at Borders on the way home from school and look to see what was on sale. After looking through what was available, and spotting something he thought we might want, he’d give me a call on the (prepaid) cell phone.

He would give me the name of the book, CD, movie or novelty item, and then I would look it up on If the price was lower at the store, he would snag it. If, however, the Amazon price was lower, we’d add it our Wishlist for later purchase. In fact, I often find that offers me better options than shopping at the club store — something I really don’t think is that great.

Some of the things that we have bought on include:

  • Small appliances
  • Pasta and other grocery items
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Music (digital download usually)
  • Mattress topper

Plus, as we shop at, we do our best to find items that are eligible for Super Saver Shipping. That way, when we do buy, we get free shipping. Our Wishlist allows us to “set aside” items for later purchase and free shipping. We wait until our order qualifies before it is sent.

This does require some planning, though. We rarely order items that we need immediately from Amazon, since the Super Saver Shipping is slower than other shipping options. However, since he have built up our home food storage, and we keep an eye on the levels of our personal care items, we are able to order what we need ahead of time.

Other Places to Find Good Deals

There are, of course, other places to find good deals on different products and services. We recently bought a new commercial vacuum from an online warehouse. The price was much better than anything we could find locally, and the selection was better than what was available on Amazon. Take the time to comparison shop, and you can find great deals all over the web.

Indeed, Consumer Reports Money Adviser offered some helpful hints recently on where you could go to buy different items. Here are some of the recommendations from Money Adviser’s Tightwad Tod:

  • Small Appliances: Amazon, Costco (it has a great return policy)
  • Large Appliances: Abt Electronics
  • Home Electronics: Newegg, Amazon, TigerDirect,
  • Mattresses: The Original Mattress Factory, Costco, Sam’s Club (we got our last mattress from Ashley, since we got a great discount from my brother, who was a salesman at the local homestore)

Knowing where to start your search for the best prices can help you reduce the amount of time you are looking. We also like to get brands that are likely to be of high quality, so we actually use Consumer Reports a lot to help us find the best value for our money. We often get products recommended by the venerable testing institution as best values.

What do you do when you are shopping around for the best value?

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

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