Going to the mall is relaxing and can ease your stress. But sometimes, this kind of trip can also leave you broke.
Many people consider the mall as their favorite destination, which is why the sudden lockdowns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic were quite difficult to handle for some. But now that malls are open again, people are concerned for a different reason – the temptation to freely spend their cash.
Of course, mall-going doesn’t have to be expensive. Whether you’re shopping in Doha or anywhere else in the world, here are six practical ways you can save money and enjoy the bliss you get from going to the mall at the same time.
1. Bring Coupons and Look for Deals
One popular money-saving tip that works almost everywhere is to use coupons. While it may seem time-consuming to scour and collect these vouchers from your Sunday paper or the Internet, the effort pays off – literally.
Coupons grant you access to freebies and discounts on your mall purchases. Although they may seem small individually, the savings they offer will accumulate over time.
Many coupon clippers have updated their methods, boosting their savings faster with discounts directly sent to their email. But if the constant notifications are bothering you, you can turn them off for promotional emails and do the following:
- Check them only when you need to make a purchase.
- Create a separate email or smart folder in your primary account, so these can be gathered in a single space (e.g., Gmail’s Promotions folder).
If you don’t want to receive emails and newsletters, you can also try other ways:
- Check the mall or store’s website for discounts and promotional offers.
- Visit deal sites and see if the sale includes anything you need.
2. Time Your Visit During a Sale
Stores mark down prices during promotional events and sales to attract more customers. The good news is, most of these events happen during the weekend and even on your payday.
Like coupons and discount offers, you can check the mall or store’s website for the schedule of promotional sales. These are also advertised on TV, newspaper, social media, and on signages in and around the mall premises.
Aside from these, you can also ask sales assistants about the schedule of the sale. If you’re lucky, they might even offer the information voluntarily and hold onto an item you plan to buy until you return during the day of the sale.
3. Purchase with Gift Cards
Have you ever received fancy-looking cards and gift cheques as a present from your employer? Or perhaps you were able to get one from accumulating purchase points with a certain store?
These gift cards and cheques or GCs are as good as cash, so you might as well use them to save money.
Did you know? You can also enjoy savings even if you were not given GCs for free.
You can purchase them at discounted prices from websites and platforms where people resell the cards they got as gifts in exchange for a lower amount of cash.
If you’re lucky, you can buy gift cards at 35 percent lower than their face value. The best part is that you can use them fully, which means you can keep the amount you saved and still get the most out of your purchase.
4. Shop Around
Don’t settle with the first store that offers you the item you’ve been looking for. Since you’re already in the mall, you should look around and visit other stores that may provide a similar product.
Besides allowing you to find items that better suit you, this can also help you find a better deal. Check out competing brands and compare their prices. The key is to consider all the available options to ensure that you get the best value for your money.
Just remember to take into account other expenses you incur on top of the item’s prices, like gas, and your time and effort in doing so. If it seems like a waste of these resources, don’t bother.
5. Grab Cash-Back Offers
Some brands return a certain percentage of the amount you paid in the form of rebates. Credit card providers also have this option. The key is to know all the potential cashback opportunities and grab as much of them as you can.
Just make sure that you maintain the balance between needs and wants, as promotional offers may lead to impulse buying.
6. Do More than Shopping
While shopping is the mall’s primary attraction, it’s not the only thing you can do there. These establishments are designed to bring everything together – from shopping, groceries, food, and even kids’ entertainment.
That said, you can also save plenty of bucks on your trip to the mall by doing other activities. Bring your kids and spend quality time with them at amusement parks. You can also get your hair done, eat good food, and simply take a leisurely stroll.
Remember: You’re not required to buy something whenever you hit the mall. And those precious moments you spend with the people you love in this venue are something you cannot put a price on.
More Savings, More Fun
You don’t need to spend a lot of money when going to the mall. With the hacks listed in this article, you can get more savings as well as more fun.
Hisham Elzubeir is the Marketing Manager at Doha Festival City, the largest entertainment, fashion, dining and shopping destination in Qatar. The mall has more than 400 international and local brands, including some of the most anticipated names, many of which made their Qatar debut, such as Harvey Nichols, Charlotte Tilbury, Kiehl’s, Dior Beauty Boutique, ACE and IKEA. Hisham brings over 15 years of international expertise to the communications team at Doha Festival City.