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How Teens Can Research Upcoming Purchases to Get The Very Best Deal

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You are in your favorite store and you have just spotted the best, the most perfect and cutest bag you have ever seen. You think about how amazing you are going to look. It must be yours. Buy it. Buy it now!

But wait just a second.

Do you have to have it this very moment? Is there a better way? Can you avoid paying full price? The answer is probably a resounding yes.

There was a time when I never gave a second thought to what something cost. Then my parents decided to help me learn to manage my money well by giving me an allowance and requiring me to purchase all of my clothing. That definitely changed my perspective. I quickly learned to scout clearance racks, use coupons and look for any way that I could make my limited funds go a little further.

Recently, I developed a plan for making sure that I get the best deals possible whenever I go shopping -- regardless of what I need to purchase. By taking a few moments to plan, you can usually save at least 10 percent and sometimes as much as 30 percent. These savings really add up.

So what should the savvy teen do before embarking for the mall? Here are four tips to get you started:

Sign Up With Your Favorite Stores

Almost all stores have email and text alert clubs that you can join. When you sign up for the free service you will receive regular emails and/or texts alerting you to the best deals and special discounts. This is one of the easiest ways to get additional discounts at your favorite places to shop. I have signed up for a number of my favorite stores and I love getting a text whenever they are having a special sale. Messaging rates will apply, so keep that in mind if you don't have unlimited texting.

Check For Coupon Codes

Do a quick search online for any coupons or coupon codes that might get you an additional discount at a store. There are a number of couponing sites that offer special deals for just about every store out there. Just recently I had to purchase supplies for an art class I was teaching. Thankfully I found a coupon online for 25 percent off my total purchase, and the store scanned the coupon directly from my phone. Easy savings. CouponPal.com is one of my favorites.

Sign In To The WiFi When You Get There

I'm not kidding. There are a growing number of stores that offer special discounts and coupons when you sign on to their network when you are shopping in the store. I just recently found out about this when I was doing some Black Friday shopping at my local Kohl's!

Talk To The Manager

Maurices is my favorite place to buy clothes. But regular prices are just out of my reach. I had the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with the manager one day, and she gave me a ton of tips on how to shop smart at Maurices. Now I know when they do mark downs each week, how to take advantage of their reward program, and the best times during the year to get rock bottom prices. Most store employees are more than happy to help you understand how to get the best deals with them so be sure to ask!

Taking a few moments to do a little bit of research can really pay off. You just have to make up your mind that you are not going to pay full price for anything. The more you save means you will have more money to put towards saving for a car or college costs. Or that cute bag mentioned earlier.

Yep. It's probably gonna be the bag.

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