Whether you love it or hate it, we all need to shop. And if you’re like most people, you probably at some point struggle with buying more than you need and spending too much money. That’s why it really pays to take a step back and evaluate your spending habits.
Are you shopping wisely and in ways that get you the most bang for your buck? If you’re needing a little help, don’t worry. Here are six practical tips you can use to make shopping easier and cheaper — and ultimately save yourself money.
If you’re not using coupons by now, you’re definitely losing money. Coupons are an easy way to find big discounts on a wide range of items. Search for coupons online or find them in store magazines. Once you have your coupons, remember to take them with you when you go shopping (it’s easy to leave them at home). Go through them regularly, so you always know what you have and don’t let them expire before you get a chance to use them.
Buy second-hand items
There’s many items you can buy cheaply second-hand: books, furniture, clothes, toys and games, jewellery, and even cars. Whenever you want to buy something new, just ask yourself first: “is this something I can get second-hand?”. Browse auction sites online or even start frequenting your local thrift stores. You’ll save so much money buying second-hand instead of brand new. You’ll also often find items which are virtually new anyway.
These days most people own a smartphone and more and more of us are doing our shopping on them, too. Apps are a great way to make the most of your money while shopping. There’s so many useful money-saving apps that can help you in different ways: price comparison apps, voucher code apps, cashback apps, and this cheap shopping app, to name just a few. Download and try out as many apps as you feel will be beneficial to you.
Write a shopping list and stick to it
How many times have you gone shopping aimlessly and come back with things you really didn’t need? Whether you’re going grocery shopping or clothes shopping, it’s best to always write out a shopping list beforehand — and then stick to it. This way you know exactly what you’re looking for and won’t get so easily sidetracked by other items.
Before you make a purchase, shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal on a particular item. You can do this yourself by looking online or visiting different stores, but there are also price-comparison websites and apps that can save you a lot of time (and money).
Avoid using your credit card
Credit cards are certainly useful, but they also make it way too easy to spend money you don’t actually have. If you get into the habit of putting things on your credit card, you can easily wind up in debt. This is obviously not good for both your financial and emotional health. Hide your credit cards away at home and don’t take them out shopping with you. Make a point to only use them in emergencies.
Some final words
Shopping for bargains doesn’t have to be a struggle. Once you get organized with the above six shopping tips, you’ll find it very easy to save money. Of course, you may not choose the cheapest option all the time. Sometimes quality or convenience justify a higher price tag. But as long as you continue to make mindful and informed decisions concerning your spending, you can’t go wrong.