How do you shop these days? Do you go around buying everything that you want without thinking too much about the act? Times are hard, so it calls for smarter moves and smarter consumers. You can’t just go around buying the things that you want without planning ahead. If you do that, then you end up paying more than what you actually have to. There are plenty of smart shopping moves that you can do as a modern consumer.
To move towards being a really smart shopper we have listed here some of the best shopping moves that you can keep in mind.
Use a Shopping List
This is actually a time-tested idea, one that your grandmother probably used in order to keep her shopping costs down. When you shop make sure that you have a list of all the things that you have to buy and make sure that you stick to that list. By having a list you can stay away from buying out on an impulse which is the cause that could drive up your shopping costs. A list should contain all the things that you need to buy. That means spending time in coming up with the list. You have to check your house for everything that you need. The best way to do this is to go from room to room and note down everything that you need to be buy for each room. When you have a list make sure that you stick to it.
Set Your Budget
When you have a list of the things that you need to buy, you can actually come up with a realistic budget that you can set. If you are a price-conscious consumer, then you would have an idea on how much each item on your list would cost. You can set down the cost of each and have an idea of how much you would be spending for that outing. You can put in a little extra to that budget just to be sure that you will be able to cover for any errors that you might have had in estimating the costs of the items. Like the list for your shopping, the important thing about your budget is that you need to stick to it. A great budget would be pointless if you don’t use it at all.
When you go out shopping, make a habit out of using cash for all of your transactions. Research has shown that consumers spend way more when they start using credit cards when they go shopping. There’s just something about using plastic for paying for things that makes people spend more. The simple act of using actual cash to pay for things can go a long way in cutting down shopping costs. When you have set that you would only use the cash that you have to pay for things, then that helps towards making you more disciplined. You would only buy the things that you can really afford when you pay for it in cash.
Have a Schedule
Another cause of driving up your shopping expenses would be the fact that you could start meandering around when you are shopping. That leaves more time for you to go window shopping which in turn could increase the likelihood that you will become tempted to buy things that you see. You need to set a time period for you shopping. You have to set aside a specific amount of time for you to do it. Let’s say that you decide to spend two hours on shopping. You should stick to that time frame. When you do that, there is lesser chance that you would walk around and end up buying more than what you intended.
Pick the Best Time
In connection with having a schedule when you go shopping, you need to set a specific time for you to do it. You need to pick a time when you would not be stressed out. When you go shopping when the malls and the supermarkets are the busiest, then you will really be stressed out, so you don’t end up buying the things that you really need because you just get the feeling that you want to get it over with. You should pick a time when the stores are not so busy when you go out shopping.
Do Your Shopping on Your Own
Do you normally do your shopping with someone? If you do, then it’s a safe bet that you normally end up spending more than what you have planned. That’s because shopping companions are like partners in crime. They tend to make you spend more and they encourage you to do it. This is even more of a problem when you shop with your children. They will ask you to buy them things that are not included on your list, so all of your planning would get ruined. That’s why it is actually better if you were to shop alone. You can stick to your list, your budget and your schedule if you do not have anyone accompanying you when you go shopping.
Never Shop When Hungry, Bored or Upset
You should never go shopping when you are under certain conditions. For example, you should never go shopping when you are hungry. When you do so, your mind will be preoccupied with food and the tendency is to buy food items that you don’t really need just because it looks so tasty. The same thing is true when you are bored. When you go shopping simply because you are bored, then you will end up buying items just because you find them amusing. You should also refrain from shopping when you are emotionally upset.
Do You Really Need it?
Even if you have a list of the things that you need to buy, it would still help if you were to question whether you really need an item before you place it on the cart. There are many instances when we think that we need things, but in reality that’s just us assuming that we have to buy it. By questioning yourself you would be able to find out if you really need it or not.
Salespeople Are There to Sell
When you ask a salesperson something about a product, you should expect them to answer in such a way that would encourage you to buy their product. That’s their job. It would be foolish to suppose that they would be giving you an impartial view of the product.
Never Buy Just Because Something is on Sale
How do you react when you see something is on sale and that you can get a 70% discount? Most people would become excited and they start thinking if they should buy it or not. But just because something is on sale does not mean that you should buy it. A lot of consumers are duped into buying because of the marketing appeal of putting something on sale.
These are just some of the reminders when you go out shopping.