Show me the Money

May 6, 2009 6:30 PM

Looking for the Best Deal

During these difficult economic times, we're all looking for good deals. But one mom isn't willing to settle for just good. She says she never buys anything until she hunts down the best deal. And she shares tips for how she does it.

In Stephanie Ashcraft's home everything has a story. As she plays air hockey, she says, "This is the activity table that we were able to get for a screaming deal. They're usually over $1,000 for a nice one. And this one we were able to pick up for just over $500."

Across the room, she says, "We got our $2,300 sofa set for 1,000 bucks."

"I have to find the deal," she says. "If it's not 50 percent off or more I hardly look at it at all."

How does she do it?

Ashcraft says, "Tip number 1 is use cash and don't be afraid to walk away."

She says that's how she and her husband bought a $200 dollar keyboard for their four young children.

Ashcraft explains, "They had a floor model left at one of the warehouse stores. We asked the manager, we have 100 bucks, that's all we have. Are you willing to take that with the tax and everything?" And he was.

Her tip number 2 is "Be willing to ask for a deal."

That's how she bought a wooden organizer for her hobby room. She says, "My scrapbook organizing system never {goes} on sale. {So} I just contacted the owner and I said is there any way you can give me a 25 percent discount if I just pay you in full? And she said yes, we'll do it. So don't be afraid to ask. The worst they can say is no."

Ashcraft's tip 3 is to research prices.

She says, "The Internet is one of the best money saving tools out there right now. Within minutes you can have the lowest price on pretty much about anything."

For example she pulled up prices for a cookbook she wrote called "101 Things To Do With A Salad."

She demonstrated, "You look it up on pricerate.com or bizrate.com. The lowest price is $5.91. That includes the shipping."

Suddenly she proclaims, "That's cheaper than I can get it as the author."

Ashcraft loves to share money saving tips so much she blogs about them. Her web site is called Savvy Savings.

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