My bargain hunting skills are something I take pride in. It seems like half the time I just stumble on a good deal, and half the time I go through all the motions to find the best price. That being said, here are some of the best strategies I've used to find the best prices and deals.

  • 1

    Don't necessarily buy the first thing you see

    Comparison shopping is key. If you have a smart phone there are some great apps that will pull up both the best prices online as well as in local stores, a lot of times just by scanning the barcode. Check out Shop Savvy and the Amazon mobile app to get you started. When shopping online, always at least put the item you're shopping for into a search engine to see which online retailers have the best price. Don't forget about shipping costs! Something may be $5 cheaper at one store, but have $8 shipping as compared to free shipping.

  • 2

    Do whatever you can to not pay full price

    It might take a little work, but most of the time you can save money just by poking around. It could be sale flyers, coupon inserts, or mailers. But also don't forget about the internet. By just doing something as simple as Googling "Petco coupons", you just might be able to come up with something you can print out, take to the store with you, and save a few bucks. This rule applies even more for online shopping. There are almost always discount codes floating around. Without even trying all that hard you could come up with anything from a 25% off coupon to a code for free shipping. RetailMeNot is one of the best sites to find codes.

  • 3

    Rewards, Rewards, Rewards

    You should rarely make a purchase without getting something back for it. If you're buying in a store, you should be using a credit card that you get either points on, or a percentage back on. If you're shopping online, you should try to go through programs that give you points, rewards, or percentages back. To name a few, MyPoints, Ebates, and ShopDiscover are all examples of programs that offer either points, cash back, or discounts.