Personal Finance: Top 5 clever ways to save every day

(NC) -- Any time we have to part with our money, there's a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing we got a good deal. But on a daily basis not everyone has time to clip coupons, or comb through weekly flyers to hunt down sales.

In fact, while 92 per cent of Canadians say they feel it's important to shop around to find the best deals, busy schedules and lack of discipline keep us from getting the biggest bang for our buck, according to a recent survey from American Express Canada.

Here are five easy ways to make sure you aren't missing out on savings:

• Carry a credit card that does the discount hunting for you. A cash-back format, like the SimplyCash Card from American Express, gives you 1.25 per cent cash back on every single purchase, which is like a discount on every purchase. How you spend the cash you earn back is up to you.

• Do a quick search before you shop. Use your browser to tell you where to go by searching for "best price for (product) in (city)". This will help you pinpoint your best option for a deal before even setting foot in a store.

• Sign up for emails from your favourite stores. Many retailers alert loyal customers of their sales in advance, so make sure you're on their lists. This applies to your preferred airlines and hotel chains as well.

• Set up browser alerts for a sought-after item. Want to know if a certain pair of boots or a specific tablet is going on sale? In your browser, type in the exact product you want with the word "sale" in the search query line. Then, select the option to receive alerts as they happen. You can even be more specific and include a certain retailer in order to reduce the number of results.

• Keep an eye on the holidays. It's not only Boxing Day or the ever-popular Black Friday that surfaces good deals. Stat holidays like Canada Day and Labour Day have retailers slashing prices, especially on larger items like appliances and electronics.

"Saving money doesn't have to be painful or difficult," says Susan Misner from the popular blog, Golden Girl Finance. "When it's as simple as pulling out a cash back credit card to put dollars back into your wallet, there's no excuse to ever pay full price for something again."

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