INSIDE EDITION went on the hunt for bargains with shopping expert Kyle James, who has cracked the code on the price tags at certain stores.
"I can tell by looking here that this lamp is 50 percent off," he said pointing to a small number on the price tag of a lamp.
That little number tells you exactly how much the item has been discounted.
For example, we found a bedspread on sale. James noted the small “30” printed in the upper right corner of the price tag. So we asked a target employee how much the item was discounted.
"I believe the discount is at 30 percent,” the employee said.
And James says Target clearance items are discounted about every week or two until they sell out. So if there are plenty in stock, you might consider waiting.
For example, we found shoes marked 50 percent off. That sounds like a great deal, but there were still 10 left on the shelf, so James suggested waiting and coming back.
"If you wait 10-14 days there's a great chance these are going to be 70% off," he said.
It was a similar situation at The Home Depot.
James said, "The first thing you want to look for is the yellow tag at The Home Depot. That means it's a clearance item. You want to look for things that end in 06. The 06 means six weeks until it's marked down again.”
James spotted a garage door opener for $71.06.
"This is a great example,” James said. “The six means six weeks until it gets marked down again."
His advice on that garage door opener? Hold off. There were five left in stock, so there’s a good chance the item will still be there when it gets marked down again.
Each clearance tag shows the date it was printed so you know when that six weeks is up.
Another Home Depot secret? James says you can ask for a discount at checkout if the box is damaged, like with a kitchen sink he found. The box was a little scuffed up and had a dent in the side.
James asked the clerk at checkout, “Can you take off 10-15 percent off since the box is damaged?”
“I can take off 10 percent if just the box damaged,” the clerk replied.
And just like that he saved $11 off the already clearance-priced item.
At JCPenney, James said to look at the last two digits of the price.
“If it ends in 00 that means it’s full price,” he said. “Try not to pay full price at JCPenney. Just about everything is on sale. When you see stuff on sale it's going to end in 99.”
But he said your deepest discounts at JCPenney will always end in 97 cents.
"Look for 97, that's kind of the Holy Grail for savings at JCPenney," he said.
These are just some of many shopping secrets James uses to save money. To learn more, check out his blog, Rather Be Shopping.