Take the Discount Challenge

Easy way to pay less for the things you're already planning to buyToday might literally be a bit of a challenge, depending on how discount-minded you normally are.

One way to spend less money is to ask for discounts on the things you’re going to buy anyway. (Of course, another way is to buy less stuff in the first place, but that’s a topic for a different post.)

You can find discounts by looking for sales, using coupons, signing up for store shoppers cards, and comparison shopping.

But — very often — you can also get discounts simply by asking.

The challenge is this:

For an entire day, ask for a discount on everything you buy, no matter how silly it might seem.

I did this once as an experiment. That was back when I still drank pop (soda for you non-midwesterners) so I remember how hard it was to ask for a discount on that from the convenience store, but I did it because I wanted to stick to the experiment. It was interesting just how often I actually did either get a discount or get something thrown in for free, even from places you might not expect to offer discounts.

As a result, it also became a whole lot easier for me to ask for discounts and to negotiate. Now not everyone will give you a discount, but it’s likely that more places than you imagine will. Just be nice and friendly when you ask. (And as a side note, some places might trot out their credit card offers as a way to get a discount. I wouldn’t say yes to those.)

Here are a few ways to ask for a discount:

  • Is there any way I could get a discount on that?
  • Do you have any special deals or anything on this?
  • I really like this, but do you think you could give me a better price?
  • Hm, if I buy this, would you throw in [x required accessory] for free?
  • Do you offer a discount for cash? (Useful more at stores that don’t like to take credit cards due to the transaction fees.)

If you take the challenge, let me know how many places did go ahead and give you a discount. (And if you aren’t up for an whole day of asking for discounts, at least give it a try on a regular basis to see how it goes. You might be surprised.)


  • Challenge accepted! I mostly only buy groceries, but, it’s worth a try :). I do always search for coupons with online purchases, so maybe that could count too. Like you said, can’t hurt to ask!

  • I once witnessed someone ask a clerk who was marking down meat for a discount on the different cut of meat they actually wanted to buy instead, and they got it, so you never know!