For many of us, in as much as we love shopping and also want to shop smart, it can be a total nightmare at times. We all at one point in time have gone to the store and come back with no money and with a bunch of stuff that we didn’t even need.
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Although shopping can be a nightmare for both men and women alike, it can also be a great way to relax and have fun when done right.
So how can you shop smart, maximize your shopping experience, and still save a ton of cash?
Well, you are in luck because below is a list of ways you can shop smart and also learn how to save money.
1. Make A Shopping List
This is very important and that is why it is number one on this list. When making your shopping list include a list of the things you need and want, and when shopping stick to your list. This helps you to shop smart by getting only what you need, so if you are an impulse buyer then never go shopping without a list.
2. Have A Budget
All items on your list should have a budget; this helps you not to spend too much on a particular item. When you have a budget, it allows for a more relaxed shopping as you only get things within your budget. So if you budget $50 for a pair of shoes, smart shopping requires that you don’t spend more than that on shoes.
3. Take Only The Cash You Need
You can’t spend money you don’t have, so next time when going shopping, take only essential cash. This helps you to shop smart by stopping you from spending excessively, as you can’t buy more stuff when you are out of money plus it helps you stick to your list too.
4. Use Cash When Shopping
Studies have shown that people tend to spend up to 100% more when paying with a card (Debit or Credit). In a 2015 study published in the Journal Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, an auction-like scenario was set up and half of the participants were instructed to pay with cash and the other half with cards.
It was observed that those paying with cards were willing to spend almost 100% more than those with cash on the same item, even though they were given the same amount of money.
This means we tend to spend less and are more cautious about our purchase(s) when using cash. If you love online shopping and credit card rewards, just make sure to pay it off immediately after purchase.
Shopping with a card is easy and convenient, but the trick is to shop smart by saving as much as possible, and bringing your budget in cash will help you with that.
5. Avoid Shopping On Your Payday
You just got that check or that credit alert, then now is not the time to go shopping, but instead sort out your bills, mortgages, or loans first. After doing this, you can better budget what you have left.
When you have money to spend, items you would normally ignore become a must-have. So to avoid buying things you will regret later, DON’T SHOP ON PAYDAY.
6. Shop Smart By Comparing Prices
This can be useful when shopping online or offline. Before buying a product, compare the prices with a couple of stores, because different stores sell similar items at different prices. So instead of buying that phone right away, why not check if other stores sell it cheaper. There are great apps like shop savvy and Amazon app where you can compare prices so that you can get the best deal possible.
7. Eat Before Shopping
Asides stopping you from making bad purchases, it helps you save money that you would have otherwise spent on fast foods and restaurants and also reduces the time spent shopping. So when next you are going shopping, eat well or take a snack along.
8. Embrace Coupons And Promo Codes
This is a great way to shop smart and save money at the same time. Knowing how to apply coupons and promo codes on your purchases avail you the opportunity to shop at a lower price. Whether you are shopping online or in stores using coupons is a great way to save money on the things you buy every day.
If you shop online, you can take advantage of cash-back sites and coupon apps like Rakuten, Honey, and Ibotta. All you have to do is sign up once for free and you save money every time you shop.
9. Shop Out Of Season
If your clothing size doesn’t change much from year to year then this is a great way for you to have a good supply of new clothing available for the next year and save money by stocking up on clothing at the end of the season. This works on items like jeans, suits, and pants as they do not go out of style too quickly.
Jackets and winter accessories often start to go on sale in January or February. August is when you’ll find bathing suits, summer clothes, and sandals on sale. Athletic footwear often goes on sale in January when people are looking to get going with New Year’s resolutions, though you’ll often find sneakers on sale again in April. Jeans go on sale in October after the back-to-school rush has subsided.
So take advantage of out of season shopping in your shopping smart plan.
Image source: Realmenstyle.com
10. Shop Smart By Avoiding Holiday Shopping
We all know prices skyrocket during holiday periods as retailers are looking to make as much money as possible from holiday shoppers. Shopping weeks to a holiday like Christmas or Easter can save you a lot of money and stress associated with last-minute buying. This is a great way to shop smart and save money.
11. Avoid Impulse Buying
Ever gone to the store and bought something on sale that looked like a great buy but it ended up staying months in your closet without use? Well, we all have done that and regretted it.
The fact that an item is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a great buy. In as much as we cannot completely avoid impulse buying, asking yourself a few simple questions can help you curtail unnecessary spending.
a) Is it on your shopping list?
b) Do you need it?
c) Is it within your budget?
If you get at least two NO’s then don’t make the purchase. Avoid impulse buying by adhering strictly to your shopping list.
When in doubt if you really need an item, leave the store and come back for it the next day. You might get home and decide you didn’t need it anyway and would be glad you saved your money and if it turns out you still want it, you can always go back the next day to get it.
12. Haggling Is Okay
If you feel an item can be sold cheaper probably because of some faults or maybe you have seen it at a cheaper price at some other store, do not be afraid to talk to the salesperson about it.
Most times, they can even offer you a discount on some items and thus you can save a bit of money in the process.
13. Buy Only Things You Love
Buying items you love guarantees you better product satisfaction and reduces the overall chance of you having to get a replacement for that particular product.
I have found myself having to buy two similar items, just because I didn’t like the first one but it was the only one available the day I went to the store.
While getting a similar item might be okay for some people, others would always prefer a particular brand and if they don’t get it, chances are they would go back to buy it again.
If you are someone like that, just stick with buying items you love because it is better to shop smart than to shop twice.
14. Shop Smart By Checking Product Review
This is a great hack when buying electronics, gadgets, and even furniture. If you are not sure if a particular product is right for you, check the product reviews online.
This can help you eliminate the chances of buying products that won’t meet your needs. I had a similar experience a few weeks back when I wanted to buy a particular product, after checking the product review, I immediately changed my mind and opted for another brand.
If you don’t have much information about a particular product, then checking product reviews is one of the best ways to ensure a great buy and shop smart.
15. Don’t Always Go For Name Brands
A lot of us do this all the time, you want to get a phone and immediately you get into the store, you ask to see their iPhone collection. While this is not a bad thing, products from name brands are relatively more expensive than their counterpart from a regular brand.
Choosing a regular brand while making your purchases can save you a lot of money. So wouldn’t you rather get all the perks that come with a great product but at a very reasonable price?
16. Shop Alone When Possible
As much as shopping with true friends is a lot of fun, it can also cause you to spend more and make unnecessary purchases. One of the ways to shop smart is to shop alone.
This way if your friends start pleasure shopping you won’t be tempted to join them but if you have friends that can stop you from buying things you don’t need then you can take them along.
If you have kids, it is more difficult to not shop with them, so make sure they are preoccupied with probably a snack so they don’t just throw anything into the cart.
17. Sign Up For Email Newsletters From Your Favorite Stores
Most retailers and stores offer email newsletter subscriptions. They typically offer weekly saving specials that give you great deals on some of their products. Although this comes once in a while, opting for these emails is a great way to know products available on sale and save you some money.
So, shop smart by signing up for newsletters from stores where you shop often today.
18. Go Thrift Shopping
This might be a sensitive issue for some people as they are biased about thrift shops and buying used items, but you would be surprised to know that a lot of items at thrift stores have never been used and some even have their original price tags on them, so you can see how much you saved.
Some items from thrift shops come directly from big retailers as part of a donation, or they offer thrift shops low prices for leftover items. Thrift shops sell used goods such as clothing, books, music albums, DVDs, toys, and furniture.
Since thrift shops are mostly used to raise money for charitable organizations, not only will you get a great buy and save money but you will also be helping people in the process.
So, try it today and you will be amazed at what you will find.
19. Keep Your Receipts
As much as you are always tempted to throw out your receipt as soon as you get home from the store, keeping them is a great way to track your spending and keep watch on the things you spend most of your money on.
I’ll advise you to go through the receipts of your spending for the month at the end of that month. This would better put things into perspective for you and help you plan your spending for the next month better.
Another upside to this is that it gives you lots of chances to change your mind even after you’ve made your purchase.
20. Learn To Do Minor Alterations by Yourself
While this may seem like a lot of work, it is a great way to save money. Learning to make minor alterations on your clothing can save you an unnecessary trip to the tailor and the best part is it doesn’t take up a lot of your time.
So, instead of spending $5 to sew on a button, why not do it yourself and trust me it feels good.
21. Don’t Shop When You Are Bored
A lot of bad purchases happen when you shouldn’t even be shopping in the first place. Some people make the mistake of shopping when they are bored and this is the perfect recipe for a bad buy.
So instead of running to the store when you are bored, while not do other fun things that don’t involve you spending money you didn’t budget.
22. Buy The Basics When Buying clothing.
Let’s be honest, you would probably wear a black jacket more than you would wear a bright yellow one. Of course, the yellow one might look better but it would most probably end up collecting dust in your closet.
When shopping for clothes especially on a limited budget, going with the basics is always the right choice as you can always dress them up or down with accessories.
23. Don’t Shop Drunk
I know we probably don’t have to say this, but you would be amazed at the number of people who drink and shop.
A survey published by The Hustle, in which 2000 alcohol consumers were asked about their shopping habits, concluded that people on average spend around $500 a year on drunk shopping. Now that’s a lot of unbudgeted cash.
It’s a fact that alcohol is a major component in many stupid decisions, like spending money when you shouldn’t. So if you want to shop smart, avoid shopping under the influence of alcohol.
24. Buy Multiples Of Your Favorite Items
Buying multiple of your favorite clothing items is a great way to shop smart, so when you find the perfect size for an item you wear a lot, you should always buy a few more.
There are just some essential items that you cannot have enough of such as white shirts, blue jeans, and your favorite pair of underwear. This way, you always have an extra pair in case of emergencies.
25. Buy Only What You Can Afford
Whatever the case may be, buying something you cannot afford no matter how nice it looks is always a bad idea. If you need a dress but the one you want is too expensive, then try another brand. You just might find something else that looks just as good but at a cheaper price.
Remember guys, the idea is always to shop smart and save money.Tags: shop shop smart shop smart shopsmart shop smarter shop smarter shopping shopsmart