Savings Tips from the Shopping Showdown

Aug. 16, 2005 — -- GMA consumer correspondent Elisabeth Leamy and Savings Mom Stephanie Nelson went head-to-head in a shopping showdown to see who could find the best bargains. In the end, the competition was a draw, but together they came up with these winning tips to save on all types of purchases:

Don't open store credit cards. Having too many open credit cards can hurt your credit score, so only do it for giant purchases, and then cancel immediately.

Look for free return shipping. Buying online can be tough if the clothes don't fit, so free return shipping is a good thing to look for.

Combine double coupons with sales. Sometimes you can get groceries for free.

Buying in bulk can waste money. If you don't use the product fast enough, the food can spoil and then you lose the food and the money.

Look for Web site clearance sections just as you would look for the sale rack in a department store.

Buy used for certain items. Exercise equipment that people use once and then abandon are great bargain, but other items such as car seats and baby equipment that might be out-of-date and unsafe should be bought new.

Compare regular and online stores. Shop at a store first to try the product on, then go online to see if you can get it for less.

Use expired coupons and competitor coupons. Some stores, like Bed, Bath and Beyond, accept expired coupons and competitors' coupons.

Check for online coupon codes by signing up for e-mail offers or go to a Web site that lists them for you.