4 Money-saving Tips While Shopping

Have you noticed you go into a store with the intent to purchase one item, but come out with ten instead? While the short-term endorphins feel great, those extra items cut into your money supply. Try using these tips next time you go out shopping.

1. Don’t leave home without a list

First, establish what you need versus want. Evaluating and establishing your needs from your wants could save you a trip from even going out to a store. If you need new blue jeans because all of your current blue jeans are raggedy and worn, then you need to add that to your list. If you want a new shirt despite having several in your closet, then you may want to consider leaving that off your list. All needs should go on a list of some sort. Whether it’s on paper, an app, or on a sticky note, don’t leave home without it!

2. Budget, budget, budget

Once you’ve established the purpose of your shopping trip, outlined in the list you won’t leave home without, it’s time to institute a budget. If you have several items on your list, you can create an overall budget, giving you leeway to spend more on certain items and make up the difference on other items. Or, you can be specific and assign a budget per item on your list. For example, you can give yourself $40 to spend on jeans and $60 to spend on shoes. Assigning specific budgets can be a bit difficult but will keep your shopping habits in check.

In order for you to save money, you need to stick to your budget. If you come under budget, great! If you go over, then you’re spending more than what you’ve allotted for yourself. Your budget should be top-of-mind while you’re shopping.

3. Discounts, coupons & more!

There are three ways you can get products cheaper than expected, which could help save money! They are:

  • Discounts – Stores are always running promotions and sales. If you find your favorite shampoo on sale, like a buy one, get one free promotion, then take advantage! Shampoo doesn’t go bad, and you’ll always need shampoo. This sale saves you from buying one in the future. Or, if you’re in the market for a piece of furniture, wait until the store runs a sale. Patience will be needed in this instance, but if you get a new couch for a bargain, it’ll be worth it!
  • Coupons – You don’t have to cut out pieces of paper anymore. Most coupons and discounts can be found online. In most cases, all you have to do is pull up the coupon on your phone and show it to the cashier. This saves you time and wastes less paper.
  • Comparing prices – With the power of the internet, you can know how every store in the area is pricing a certain product. So, if the current store you’re at is asking for an extra $7 than the one down the street, you can save yourself $7 by shopping at the other store instead. Especially big-ticket items, such as couches, grills, and kitchen appliances, compare prices with multiple stores in the area (and online stores) to find the best deal.

4. Avoid impulse shopping

The easiest way to rack up your bill is to impulse shop. People are especially guilty of this when they go grocery shopping. If their stomach is rumbling, food- not on their list- will seem more appealing to satisfy their hunger. One way to avoid this, especially in a grocery store, is to never go out hungry. Eat a sandwich, then head out.

The other way is to stick to the list. If it’s not on the list, then you don’t need it. The temptations of impulse shopping are always paramount, yet doable if you approach shopping with a list and a budget.