Making Your Home Life Affordable, One Essential Purchase at a Time 

Quarantining is costly: here is advice from a top shopping expert on how to save money

Getty Images
Getty Images

As we shift gears to make way for a new normal, it’s become clear that there are additional purchases individuals and families are having to make to work from home, home school or stay occupied. These essentials add up which means saving money is more important than ever right now. RetailMeNot’s data has helped identify what is smart to buy right now, what items to avoid, as well as tips and deals to save on the everyday necessities during quarantine. 

First and foremost, always make sure you’re using a coupon, promo code or cash back offer before clicking buy.

What to Buy for the New Normal

  • Work From Home Essentials: With all nonessential workers shifting to work from home, it is important to have the office items you need to be productive and successful. Whether it’s a stand up desk or other paper products of tech accessories, Office Depot is offering 20% off one qualifying regularly priced item and Staples has $25 off orders of $100 or more.
  • Educational Activities and Games for Kids: Parents are still looking for new ways to keep their kids busy and entertained during quarantine. Keep them occupied and engaged through online educational courses from Udemy, where you’re able to learn a new skill or language for up to 75% off. Or, for something a little less educational, GameStop is offering 50% off select games and Walmart is offering up to 50% off select toys and games.
  • Streaming Entertainment: Take your mind off things with a little television distraction and sign up for Netflix and Hulu who are offering the first month free. 
  • Self-Care Strategies: It’s important to take care of yourself right now and there are several ways you can do so at home. Consider taking one of eight free streaming workout classes from CorePower Yoga. Or, the meditation app, Headspace, also has free access to sessions on the “Weathering the Storm” collection.
  • Food + Supplies for Our Furry Friends: You can find savings on food and supplies for your furry friend during these uncertain times. PetSmart is offering 20% off select food, toys and supplies, while Petco is offering 10% off when you buy online and pick up in store.

Shop Safely

You can avoid stepping into a store yet quickly get the essentials you need through curbside pickup services. There are several retailers that offer buy online pick up in store with curbside delivery including Target, The Container Store, Michaels, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Office Depot, BuybuyBABY, PetSmart and Petco. 

What to Avoid Buying Right Now

We are seeing an increase in sales offered by retailers right now but there are still a few things you should hold on buying. As the new season starts, retailers are releasing their spring styles at full price so it is best to wait until later season when these items become discounted to stock up on spring and summer apparel. For those looking to purchase a new TV, try to hold off on that too. The next big discount on TV’s will be found during Prime Day and other “Black Friday in July” sales.

Additional Tips to Save Money During Quarantine

  1. Do your research and price compare: This is something shoppers should always be doing before making any purchases. Check other retailers and make sure you are getting the best deal before clicking the first offer you see.
  2. Pause before you Purchase: Don’t fall victim to impulse buys. After doing diligent research and price comparing, give yourself some 24 hours before making the purchase. Pro tip: add items to your cart and abandon them for a day and retailers oftentimes will send promo codes and exclusive offers to encourage you to checkout.
  3. Check RetailMeNot and use a browser extension like RetailMeNot Deal Finder to automatically find deals and cashback offers on the items you are purchasing. 

By keeping a few of these tips and ideas in mind, the savings can go a long way. 

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