Don't Shop on an Empty Stomach, and Other Shopping Tips to Save You Money
Most people know not to go grocery shopping when they're hungry; you end up buying more than you intended to buy and spending far more than you had planned. But there are several other commonsense tricks that you can use to buy what you need and save money. Interested? Here's how.
Make a List
Just making a list--and then actually sticking to it when you're in the store--can cut out nine tenths of all impulse purchases and save you money because you aren't buying things you don't really need. Even better is when you know the approximate cost of everything you're purchasing and bring just enough cash to pay for your purchases, plus tax, and no more. This leads us into the second smart shopping tip:
Don't Buy On Credit
Spending money you don't have, via credit cards, is one of the biggest no-no's for spending less. If you only spend the cash in your pocket, believe me, you'll cut your spending by half or more. Many people rely on credit cards for making purchases of everything from milk and eggs to gas to clothing; the idea of leaving the card at home is going to be a bit difficult for them. But it's worth trying, if only for a couple of weeks, to see how much you actually end up saving when you don't have practically unlimited 'invisible money' to spend.
Don't Buy Brands
There are certain cases where a brand-name food really is better than the off-brand, and in that case, it's usually a good idea to go ahead and lay out the money for the brand. But in most cases, you can find off-brand or 'store brand' versions of anything you really need. The store brands are almost always cheaper, and in most cases, they work just as well as the store brands. In fact, some of them actually taste better!
Shop Sales/Know a Bargain When You See One
Shopping sales--that is, things like waiting to buy your meat until your local grocery has it on sale--can also save you money. But there is one important caveat; you must know when a bargain is not a bargain. Purchasing something at 50% off is no bargain if it's money you wouldn't normally have spent, or an item you don't generally purchase. A bargain is only a bargain when you're saving money on an item you would buy anyway.
Finally, the old adage 'ask and you shall recieve' holds true in smart shopping, as well; sometimes you can get a better price just by asking for one. We're not talking about used car lot haggling; it can save you money, but most people aren't comfortable with such agressive negotiating. Politely asking if the store can give you a better price, on the other hand, is subtle and pleasant enough that most people feel comfortable doing it.
Remember that the best way--the only way, in fact--to save money is to *not* spend it. Anything that helps you to keep from spending money will help you save money.
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author: Keesa DuPre
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