You typically go to the mall to spend money, but with these five tips, you can actually save money there, too.
Whether you're shopping for some new pieces to infuse into your wardrobe or are just hoping to replace those worn out OTK boots, there are several strategies for saving that are tried and true -- we know, we're the ones who tried them!
Avoid the store credit card
Times are tough: Many retailers are offering special discounts to those who sign up for their store credit card. But be careful: If you really want to save money, skip this deal in disguise. Often the interest rates will be way higher than bank cards -- so, if you are getting a once yearly reward of 5 percent on purchases, it doesn't really pay, does it? Avoid this lure and you'll end up saving money in the long run.
Know before you go
Treat your trip to the mall like an undercover operation. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make a plan of attack. Think about what stores you may want to hit up and do some pre-planning. Google the store's name along with the words "coupon" or "printable coupon." In just a few minutes, you could be arming yourself with valuable coupons that will take cash off your purchase.
Enlist your smartphone
At this point, most of us have a smartphone. If you've got one, put it to good use at the mall. With apps like Coupon Sherpa and ShopKick, coupons for the stores you're shopping at end up in the palm of your hand.
Ask about rewards
Lots of stores have rewards programs. For instance, with AEREWARD$ you earn one point for every dollar spent at American Eagle, Aerie or 77kids. Every three months those points are added up and you receive a savings voucher based on the number of points you accrued. You also get special savings during your birthday month when you share your email. At Victoria's Secret, for a limited time new Pink Nation members will get a free pair of undies with a purchase just for signing up! Who can say no to a free pair of panties?
Sign up for e-newsletters
For exclusive deals you may not be able to find anywhere else -- and to be in the know about upcoming sales -- sign up for the e-newsletters of your favorite stores. Yes, junk email is a pain, but if it helps you save money at the mall, it's worth the effort.
More ways to save money shopping