No, shopping is not an Olympic sport (yet!) but you can apply some of the same competitive tactics that athletes use when going for the gold to finding great deals. You won't have to spend all day at the gym or monitor you calorie intake, but you can feel like you've accomplished something spectacular when you score bargains like a pro and shop like an Olympian.
No athlete can succeed at a sport without knowing the rules of the game inside and out, front and back. Bargain hunting is the same way. If you really want to get the best possible price for a product you have to know a store's coupon policy. Learn their stance on price matching and competitor coupons. Sign up to receive coupons by email or snail mail. Learn the mark down schedule so you know when new items are added to clearance. Find out if they do adjustments when items you've purchased go on sale. Ask if they offer rain checks when stock is depleted on sale items. There are plenty of rules to the bargain hunting game and knowing them well will help you come in first at the checkout.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines
The world's best athletes don't sit on the sidelines and neither should you. Jump in and start taking your bargain hunting seriously. Devote time to perusing the aisles, weekly flyers or deal websites like this one. If you simply spend most of your time warming the bench, when it comes time to make a purchase you can't expect to be at the top of your game.
Thrive Under Pressure
Olympians not only perform under pressure; they thrive because of it. Don't let days known for deep discounts-- Black Friday or tax free holidays for instance-- scare you away from scoring great deals. These days are like your London 2012 Olympics. They're a time for you to showcase all of the practice and training you've put in. Sure, they're difficult and come with a new set of challenges like crazy crowds and cranky cashiers, but if you really want to shop like an Olympian you'll thrive under that kind of pressure.
If you don't set a shopping goal then you'll never know when you've achieved something. Athletes are the same way. They set daily, weekly and monthly training goals so they know when they're improving. Perhaps your goal is to slash $30 off your weekly grocery budget. Or maybe you want to spend 25% less on birthday gifts for your extended family members. Set goals, monitor your progress and celebrate when you hit a milestone.
Work at it Every Day
Most athletes train full-time and while devoting that much time to bargain hunting isn't realistic, you can definitely work at it every day. Visit your favorite deal blogs daily-- including ultimatecoupons.com. Keep up with your email to see if a retailer is offering any exclusive discounts. Peruse Facebook for fan-only coupons. Just like the most dedicated athletes end up earning Olympic medals, your daily commitment to bargain hunting will pay off. And just as an athlete has the gold to prove it-- hopefully you'll have the savings.