That’s not a provincial boast, it’s a simple fact (as well as a battle cry, a mantra, and a badge of honor). Getting it—whether “it” is a plasma TV, or the hottest designer jeans, or a tube of toothpaste—for some eye-popping percentage below the original price is a universal, irresistible thrill.
Finding those deals, though, takes time, footwork, and a lot of digging, not to mention a complex mental calculus. Is the lowest price really the best if the service is lousy? Are warranties worth the extra money? Do outlets merit the travel time? Reporting great deals has been an essential part of this magazine’s mission since its founding (and an important internal practice. We, um, “recycled” the cover line from the last “Sales & Bargains” issue, published in 1991. Saves time! Time’s money!).
Judging by the feverish phone calls we get from the sample-sale contingent, we know there are readers who turn to the “Sales & Bargains” column before anything else. So for them, as well as for anybody else who lights up at the thought of saving a few (thousand) dollars, here’s the ultimate guide to spending less and getting more.