Tips for smart shopping save the day! Forget about Bond, Superman or Mighty Mouse – it’s you, Smart Shoppers, who hold the ultimate power! Now, I know you’re already brilliant and always manage to save a ton yet buy everything you want and need, but a few additional tips for smart shopping can never hurt, can they? Well, that’s exactly what inspired me to share the rules I go by while shopping. Here they are, ladies and gents, hope you’ll enjoy.
1. Don’t Shop Hungry
One of my mom's most favorite tips for smart shopping, the eat-before-you-shop thing does make a lot of sense! If you hit the supermarket while your belly is doing the king-of-the-jungle impersonation, you’ll actually end up buying significantly more stuff. And even worse – stuff you don’t need! If you, on the other hand, choose this time to shop for clothes, you may not love the way they fit later. Because, let’s face it - our stomachs are not THAT flat on most other occasions!
2. You Don’t Have to Shop Every Sale
Stocking up on items that rarely go on sale is definitely a smart shopping tip…if you need them! Don’t pile things you don’t need now but may need in a year or two – that much advanced planning will do nothing but help you trap your funds. And, another thing – don’t purchase crazy amounts of products that go on sale often, even if you need them – it’s a waste of money, waste of space and, since the items are most likely to be available and on sale the next time you really and objectively need them, advanced purchases don’t really earn you anything.
3. Shop Alone
A lone shopper is a smart shopper – keep that in mind! The more people you have around you, the faster your cart is going to fill up. They’ll distract you, make you start paying less attention to your shopping list and maybe even influence you to buy stuff you’ve never even thought of buying. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about and I’m sure you do, too!
4. Avoid Shops That Sell Cheap, Rock Bottom Quality Goods
Okay, my on-budget fashionistas, this one is for you! Now, I know you know of at least a few stores that sell really cheap, hip but not particularly well made stuff and I want you to start avoiding them! You’ll get distracted, black out and end up purchasing a lot of poor quality items, half of which won’t even survive the first wash. Do not enter at all! Look for equally good offers in stores that sell better quality stuff – you will find them and save by paying the same for a garment you’ll get more uses from.
5. Check Dates, Prices, Sizes
Family packs aren’t always cheaper than smaller packages! Quite the contrary, I often realize they’re not only more expensive but contain less product than two or three smaller packs! Take notes of the prices you pay for products too and you’ll spot good deals faster and always, always, always check the expiration dates on perishable goods currently on sale. You don’t want to buy a lot of something you won’t be able to use up before it goes bad.
6. Be Careful with Coupons
Coupons are a great way to save on items you need! Notice how I’m stressing out the NEED part! I know most smart shopping tip lists deal with this phenomenon and I will mention it too – coupons could trick you into buying stuff you don’t want or need. Use them to buy products you will use or, if we’re talking about good, shame-to-miss offers for clothes and cosmetics, products you will give away as birthday presents.
7. Smaller and Frequent Vs Bulk and Rare
Dry, canned and frozen items are okay to buy in large quantities, even milk, because you can freeze it. Anything you can’t freeze nor use by its expiration date is a waste and will only make you feel like a smart shopper…until the products go bad and end up in the bin, of course! Pay attention to your fruits and veggies, too – they are cheap, I know, but lose their freshness pretty quickly too, which is why I buy a lot only when I’m 100% sure I’ll have enough time to cook them all, use them up in salads or make preserves.
There you go shoppers, a few tips to help you get even better! But do let me hear from you too! Would you be interested in sharing a smart shopping tip of your own?