I was recently reading an entry in the Thrifty Mommy blog where she knew the right question to ask to get much-needed airline tickets for the next day at a discount price. The entry tells of her savings (others comments on savings they’ve had) by asking for bereavement fares. So she was able to attend to the family loss with the expense being minimized.

Here are some other questions that may help you save on your purchases:

  • my parents were doing major house renovations and asked a major hardware store if they would give them a discount because they would need to return often for different supplies needed along the way and some of them would be rather expensive which they did agree to a 15% discount on all purchases
  • when you go out to dinner for a birthday/anniversary celebration ask if they would give a discount for the occasion (some regulations may exist – free dessert, must have 3 or 4 other paying adults then you can have the 4th adult meal for free, must be on the person’s birthday with proof of birth date)
  • don’t be afraid to ask if there any upcoming sales/discounts in the near future on anything really (food, furniture, car, tires, etc.) or for a rain check on an existing sale when they have run out
  • the builder for our house was taking an extremely long time and we gave him a letter telling him kindly that we were not satisfied with the tardiness and some of the quality of the work and wanted to be compensated or would challenge him through the Home Owners Association, which would then give him a fine he’d have to pay. We ended up getting an upgrade of ceramic tiles put into a larger area in our house than the original floor plan said (definitely didn’t cost him as much to have the ceramics installed as he told us originally it would cost us to have it done)
  • ask friends if they know of a way to get things at a discount price. A friend of ours knows a car dealer that attends auctions and is able to get cars at a wholesale price and thus possibly able to get a vehicle through them at a discount price

There are numerous other areas you could save on (food, vehicles, art, presentations, vacation/cruise, concerts, etc). You just have to be willing to ask if there is a discount available. Sometimes the savings are huge, other times you have to decide if the effort is worth your time. Really the businesses all want to retain your business and their level of service is usually the only thing that will help them excel above their competition and retain you as a customer (hopefully you will refer your friends as well).

When have you asked the right question and have been able to save on your purchase?