8 Shopping Tips To Save Your Money And Dignity

Shopping is therapeutic for many of us; the experience gets even better when you get something on promotion and avail a big discount. The money you save can be used to shop for more stuff, so it’s like you’re on cloud nine. Whether you’re buying weekly groceries or looking for wardrobe updates, there’s something about shopping that uplifts the mood. However, it is essential that you don’t exceed your budget while shopping, or you will encounter money problems. Excess of anything is bad, so be a smart shopper and pay no attention to the mantra ‘shop till you drop’. 

Here’s how you become a value shopper, never go broke, and walk out of a store with your dignity every time: 

1. Never leave home without a List

Ever heard of the phrase ‘shopping list’? If shopping is something you indulge in every so often, develop the habit of making a list before you head out. People who shop without a list usually end up buying stuff they don’t need and forget to buy the things they actually came for. At the end of the day, they wasted precious time and money for nothing. You should also conduct a home survey before jotting down that list. For instance, if you’re going out for groceries, check your refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, pantry, and food storage containers to know what needs to be replenished. 

2. Carry Cash to Pay

It’s easy to go over budget when you’re shopping with a credit or debit card. The shopping bill was probably much higher than you anticipated, but your card had enough balance to cover it so you let it slide. If this is how you roll, you are indeed one of those people who deplete their salary by the middle of the month, and then abuse their credit privileges. Over time, you will accumulate massive debt and reach out to a bankruptcy attorney as the last resort. If you estimate the total cost of things on your list and bring cash with little room to spare, you shall comply with a healthy budget by design. In addition, you can avoid embarrassment at the payment counter caused by a rejected card having insufficient balance.

3. Eat up before Shopping

Never pursue a shopping spree on an empty stomach. It is difficult to be in a good mood while you’re hungry; hence, when you go shopping without having a meal or snack first, you will be famished halfway through. As a result, you will be tempted to splurge on processed food that is rich in carbs, fats, and refined sugars. When you shop on a full stomach, the overall experience is increasingly relaxed; you can focus on buying the things on your agenda and stick to food items with good nutritional value. 

4. Don’t get sidetracked by random items on sale

Many people prefer to shop during big sale events, which is a good practice if conducted tactfully. When we go shopping, lots of things on sale are usually of no use to us. However, the incredible price cut coaxes us into eyeing it like a predator anyway. Moreover, if you’re looking at food items, do not forget to check the expiration date; most food items offered at a huge discount are running out of shelf life. For instance, if you live alone, buying a 30lb pack of mayonnaise that expires in two weeks would be impractical, unless you are hosting a big party within the next week. 

5. Bring your Bags

If you buy reusable bags on every shopping trip, you probably have them piled up somewhere around the house. The purpose of reusable bags is to promote sustainability, so you’re missing the point if you never reuse them. When buying a month load of groceries, bring all the bags you can because you’ll need them. Even though the carrying bags are usually inexpensive, reusing the ones you already have will save you substantial funds in the long run.

6. Compare prices

If you work part-time or minimum wage and struggle to make ends meet, it is best to seek the cheapest options available. It doesn’t make sense to waste money on luxury toilet paper if you’re basically living on instant ramen. There are numerous brands competing in all sorts of consumer products, so you’ll definitely find more affordable alternatives if you look for them. The most expensive option is seldom the best and the cheapest one is not necessarily the worst. The market competition extends to vendors in every consumer industry, i.e. an item sold for $5 somewhere could be available for $3.50 at another place. Compare prices to shop from retailers and wholesalers offering competitive prices for value products. 

7. Buy in bulk where practical

Many consumer items are cheaper by the dozen, which means you pay less when you buy more. For example, a 100ml shampoo bottle cost’s $10, but the same shampoo in 1000ml packing costs $65; the bigger bottle saves you $35 and lasts longer, which is a win-win. This strategy is particularly useful for big families, but others can benefit too. Most dry and non-edible goods have a long shelf life, so you can stock up for several months in advance. Make sure that you have adequate space to store the things you buy in bulk or greater quantity. 

8. Never shop with a spendthrift companion

One of the most dangerous shopping mistakes is to shop with a shopaholic or someone who doesn’t understand the concept of ‘living on a budget’. Perhaps this person justifies their actions with an abundance of money to spend, but that doesn’t help you. Shopping with kids is equally frustrating because they don’t read price tags and don’t care as long as they like what they see. Bringing a spendthrift companion on the shopping trip will be a bad influence or nuisance. Many people overspend out of peer pressure, so don’t let that be you. When you shop alone, you tend to finish the errand quickly with minimum distractions. 

Author Bio

John Adams is a paralegal and lifestyle blogger who concentrates on health/fitness, life hacks, financial management, and home-improvement. He encourages readers to fight for their rights and overcome obstacles holding them back. He believes that every person can improve the quality of his/her life by thinking positive and making better choices.

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