A lot of people need a few important reminders of how to shop smart. As many of you know, I became something of a serial shopper, and it became a problem for me (my purchasing began to become contagious). I knew that I needed to create a healthier relationship to purchasing and over the course of a year, I did just that.
Nowadays, I don’t store so much but I know what makes for a successful shopping trip. Allow me to share my four secret smart shopping tips. I hope they help you shop smart.
Don’t just read this on your way to your next shopping trip, make sure to really understand these savvy shopping secrets to cut your wasted expenses!
1. Shop with a list.
This is my number one suggestion for good reason. Lots of men and women overspend or buy things they do not want, do not need and never wind up using because they have not prepared correctly. That is your hard earned money and precious time that you are spending; well worth a couple of minutes of preparation, right? Therefore, before you set off on your shopping trip, prepare. Review what you have in your cupboard, cabinets, home, or garage, then compose a list of those ‘gaps’ you’ve got. Make sure they’re real needs, not frivolous wants. And don’t forget to stick to that list when you go shopping! That list is not going to be any fantastic crumpled up on the bottom of your bag or jammed into your pocket. Use it and buy!
2. Establish a budget.
Lots of men and women overspend on things they do not want, need or use since they had no parameters around their spending. You will need to decide on a ballpark figure (or a more exact one in case you’ve got the specific research on what you’re shopping for to encourage it) on what you will spend on this trip, what’s comfortable for you to invest and what makes sense for you to invest on this shopping excursion. You want to feel good about this shopping excursion long after the ink has faded on the reception, right? And one way to do this is to be certain that you don’t purchase more than you can afford. Establish your budget and stick to it! Whatever your budget $50 or $500 or $5000; stop shopping as soon as you reach that limit.
3. Pay with money.
The research is clear: we spend 20-50% more when we pay using a debit or credit card. There is something about that card which can make us feel like we are using Monopoly money, play money. Like it is not real. Regrettably, those credit card charges are extremely real! So once your shopping list is ready and you get a realistic budget you can stick to, withdraw your money in cash and use just that money for this shopping trip. Paying with money feels more “real”, and that is what we need — to reconnect you to the shopping experience so that you only purchase things you genuinely want and will use. You’ll save yourself a fortune and those impulse purchases will look far less alluring!
4. Establish a timeframe.
This is one that not many talk about. Do not allow yourself to meander around a shopping center aimlessly. Set a particular time frame you will complete your shopping in, and after that time is finished, it is time to go home. Your time is too precious to spend waltzing around anyway. Once you have purchased everything you need (and nothing you do not ), stop shopping and turn your focus to something else for the day.