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This article features the advice of our our Savings Stars. Our RetailMeNot Savings Stars panel is made up of master couponers and bargain hunters who share their personal journeys and expert advice with us every month. Learn more from them here.

There’s plenty of savings advice floating around out there, some of it reputable, some of it not. The “not” part is why we created our Saving Stars panel, made up of shopping pros. Some of them are the very people who submit coupons and promo codes to our site every day (meaning they know a thing or two about how to find discounts). Some of them are our blog writers, who have racked up years of expertise in shopping and budgeting.

Every month, we ask these savvy Savings Stars a question. Their answers will help you level up your shopping game.

This Month’s Question: Which Store Is Your Happy Place?

Maria Lalonde, budget travel expert

Sephora is famously devoted to a stellar in-store experience — and as far as this makeup lover is concerned, its efforts have worked. Every time I walk into a Sephora, I feel like the protagonist of my very own makeup-buying adventure, gallivanting past walls of candy-colored cosmetics as Sephora Beauty Advisers float around me, offering to help me find the right shade in an easy-going, not-at-all-pushy-salesy way. Sephora’s bewitching in-store environment tends to work a little too well (as in, I frequently walk in looking for a single tube of eyelash glue, and walk out with a a new shade of lipstick, a jade roller and five Korean face masks) so I only allow myself to visit my “happy place” on special occasions.”


Hayley Brown, RetailMeNot couponer

Half Price Books. They have annual coupons you can use and frankly, even without the coupons, you are usually getting a steal. I primarily search the sale sections first before branching out to my favorite shelves. You can get so much there besides books as well. I get little trinkets, reading paraphernalia, video games, puzzles and more. I love that they have a dedicated true crime section where I can always be found sitting on the floor with a stack.” 


Aly Walansky, eating-well-on-a-budget expert

“I love shopping in stores at Trader Joe’s. I didn’t realize fully how much until during the pandemic, when I wasn’t shopping in store for a few years and Trader Joe’s was the one option I couldn’t take advantage of delivery with (they don’t offer it!). That first time I was able to enter the store again and roam the aisles, it honestly felt like coming home again. I love Trader Joe’s so much, not just for the great quality and good prices on interesting products, but also that it helps me to try new things and expand my recipe repertoire. It was thanks to Trader Joe’s that I started to cook with ingredients such as Calabrian chilies, schug, and harissa, and the flavors of my dishes have absolutely been better for it. Also, the service there is just unparalleled. People are always willing to answer questions and direct me where I need to go!”


Lisa McCulley, RetailMeNot couponer

“I love Hobby Lobby! I could be in there for hours. I first hit the yarn department (I crochet). I love being in the middle of the aisles with yarn on both sides of me. After I get my fill of the yarn, I have to venture off to all the end caps at the end of the aisles. I always end up getting some great bargain from there.”

The post Savings Stars Sound Off: Which Store Is Your Happy Place? appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.

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