Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to save money while shopping, it always ends up the opposite of what you have planned before you left the house. Well, it’s not that hard to figure out, because “shopping” and “saving” are two terms in contradiction on principle. They’re like oil and water – they don’t mix. However, you can come up with a financial plan to curb your shopping expenses and actually save some money for a change. Now, we’re not talking 50% savings or something like that, we’re talking about realistic money saving tips that can cut back on your budget within the 10% range. If you’re lucky, then you can probably save more.
Here are 5 essential shopping tips that could help you save some money:
Tip 1: Make the Store Your Last Choice
According to experts, people make bad decisions because they forgot to ask the right questions prior to making the decision itself. Whenever we need something our instinct immediately kicks in and tells us to go to the one place where there’s plenty of it – the department or grocery store. That kind of thinking cost money instead of saving you money and what you’ve missed it that there are actually places where you can get it for free or borrow it. You could actually go to sites like Craigslist or Kijiji, signing up with some local Freecycle groups, and find some cheap or free items that people are about to throw away that you need. Or borrow from your neighbors or friends. That way you’ll definitely save 70% – 100% on spending money for this stuff.
Tip 2: Negotiate When Possible
Another trick you need to learn to hide up your sleeve is learning how to negotiate or bargain to get discounts or freebies. I know this is something that you’re not used to doing, but if other people can do it, then so can you. All you have to do is try with your small baby steps and soon you will be doing it like a pro. It’s common for stores to sell items for a much lesser price that are hard to sell as it is better to sell them at a lower price than let them rot in their inventory. You can take advantage of the situation by negotiating a big discount on bulk orders and the best thing about it is that you don’t have to know whether they’re selling off their items in order to save on their investment.
You’ll just realize it once they agree to your bargain. Amazing isn’t it?
Tip 3: Time Your Purchase
It wouldn’t hurt for you to check out the store twice a week and scout for weekend or month-end sales, now would it? When you time your purchases, then there’s a huge possibility that you might just save money each time you go shopping. Plus get a bonus on items that the store is more than willing to give away which you’ll get more for less.
Tip 4: Substitute
We are instinctively tuned to go to the store and buy the best product as our first action without even giving it a second thought; however, this is exactly what those TV ads wanted to achieve – to make you solely dependent on them for making decisions when it comes to purchasing goods. We forget that the brands displayed on stores are competing for sales and most of us don’t know that other less popular brands make their product as high or similar in quality as the top brands. Following that train of thought, we should conclude that item A can do the job effectively as product B, except that product A is cheaper. Now wouldn’t it make sense to choose the product that’s both effective and cheap?
Tip 5: Expand Your Shopping Universe
People have a tendency to find comfort zones and it’s not just during emotional times, sometimes you will find it in places you least expect. For instance, the website, specialty store, or the mall that you’ve grown to like and often come back to buy items you need to replace each week or month. Now there’s nothing wrong with being attached to certain things, but if you had a much better offer or choice, would you take it? Most people would. Find websites, stores or malls where items are being sold at a lesser price than the one where you go to buy stuff currently. You’ll be able to save money on bulk orders if you buy once a week or once every month.