TrackIf helps you find the best time to buy

Knowing the best time to buy a product or service is an art and science that I will continue to pursue for a long time. If you have to buy something, like food, it’s a little harder to sit around and wait for prices to drop. But, if you can wait to buy something, or are looking for the best time to buy stock up items like razors, there are tools that can help here. In addition to previously mentioned Paribus, which will give you a refund if a price goes down after you buy something, track if is another tool I use to help me get the best deal. Let’s take a look today.

First, trackif is free and easy to use. Just register and input the product that you are looking to watch. Next, as the prices fluctuate, which they do, trackif will send you an email every time it does. Along with it, a link to a price history. For my example, I tracked razor blades and was surprised at how much the price changed over time as you will see in this picture. Now, razors may be an odd example but since you can track just about any item, why not?

best time to buy










The best time to buy might not be now

In my example, I started “watching” Schick Razors at Amazon back in June. Then, the time to buy was July. For some reason, the price dropped more than half from its current $13.48 to $5.29! I should have bought! Since then, there have been some wild fluctuations. Just a few days ago, the razors were down to $5.91 but since I don’t need any at the moment for the forseeable future, I didn’t jump.

The takeaway here is that prices DO change. You don’t always have to jump on something, but it may be a while before you see relatively low prices again. What I would like to see with trackif is a shopping list importation feature. That way, I can get a really good handle on typical purchases to make sure I don’t overpay. Right now, you have to manually copy and paste a web address with the product you are trying to track, or install their trackif button to do that for you.

How to save money on gym memberships

A few days ago, I provided some tips and examples of how to save money on spa treatments. Today, I am going to provide some tips on saving money on a more common health regimen expenditure – gym memberships. Just as with spa treatments, there are options for you to consider before committing to a membership. Let’s discuss these and some ways to save money on them.

Choosing the type of gym membership is key. Do you have access to multiple gyms? Are the gym hours consistent with your schedule, or more limited? Are there limited facilities and equipment? A bargain basement gym membership may only provide access to just the weights and fitness gear, whereas a more inclusive price may include pools, classes, and access to personal trainers.

Save money while getting a work out

save money on gym membershhips

Credit: Wikimedia

When you have narrowed down what you are looking for in a gym, consider the cost, of course. Is there a minimum contract to sign (note: gym memberships really are just contracts) that requires you to commit to six months with an early cancellation fee? Are you required to provide money down when you first join? For example, “Join today for $100 and pay $50/month thereafter.” Consider that as well.

Finally, just as with spa treatments, research your health care provider or employee benefits to see if there is a discounted option there, too. You might find a deal where they waive membership down payments, reduce monthly dues, or provide some other perks. It pays to look.

What’s most important overall, is to go to the gym. No matter how low of a monthly cost membership dues are, if you don’t go, it’s a total waste of money. To see if a gym membership is right for you period, see if the gym will offer a free trial or day pass. That way, you can try out a few gyms to see if one is more suitable than another.

Finally, if you really feel like you can’t commit to any member option but just want to go use a gym facility on occasion for a class or other offering, ask if you can purchase one time day passes. They might cost $20 or so, but that’s better than being locked into a contract.

Give your wallet a workout break before committing to an expensive gym membership. These tips can help ensure you save money and stay fit.

How to save money on spa treatments

File this under how to save money if indulging. For most of us, getting massage and spa treatments are a rare indulgence. But, with the holidays coming up, or for any time of the year when you need a “tune up,” they are almost a must for the body, mind, and soul. So, how do you save money on these little luxuries? You actually have a few options, some familiar from the concepts I have discussed, some a little off the beaten path.

  Save money by using discount gift cards

save money

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A common theme that I discuss on how to save money on literally just about everything, is using discount gift cards. My stand-by favorite website for finding discounted gift cards, Gift Card Granny, lists a few optons, with multiple denominations, for spa services. For example, you can buy discounted gift cards for Spa WeekSpa Wish and Spa Finder. These sites act like “shopping portals” for spa services. Just look for the service/location that is best for you. In the past, I have seen discounts of around 15-20% (or more if you want to try your luck on eBay) off these cards. As I say frequently, if you ARE going to spend the money anyway, you might as well get something for it in return. In this case, a discount.

Off the beaten path

Let’s say you don’t want to bother with buying discounted gift cards that you might forget to use. No problem. Here’s another tip. See if your health care provider offers discounted massage therapy and other alternative treatments. The last thing you probably want to do at the end of the day is visit your health care provider’s website, but it could definitely pay. In addition to other discounts to gym and fitness programs, they also might offer you access to a pre-approved list of massage therapy providers that you can hire at a discount. There’s an incentive to the health care company to keep you healthy, even if it is unconventional.

Daily deals

Daily Deal sites have become a bit passe as of late, Groupon’s recent lay off of thousands of employees and LivingSocial’s delayed Initial Public Offering are a few examples of this somewhat floundering concept. But, if you read the fine print, know you are going to use the deal, and plan carefully, discounted massages and other spa treatments are an almost daily offering. Check it out.

Package deals

If you are planning to travel this holiday season and are staying at a hotel, you might want to check the various “rate packages” that are offered. For example, they might have a spa package or hotel credit package rate on offer. The nightly rate might be higher than another you can obtain, but if you check that vs. paying for a spa treatment at full price, there might be a discount to be had there, too.

You can do this!

Indulging is almost a necessity on on occasion, but it doesn’t have to completely blow your wallet and budget at the same time. A little research, some planning, and flexibility might just get you an otherwise out of the question health treatment.