to practice smart shopping is to acknowledge that a significant amount of our finances is spent on monthly shopping lists and a lot of times on unchecked unplanned impulsive buys. Granted that there is not much that can be done to avoid or reduce the number of things that are needed and sometimes, simply, desired; there is still a way to do all of it better. The marketplace as we knew it has evolved greatly in the last decade and we are probably experiencing the highest rates of consumerism yet.
The number of products, brands, shops, new inventions has been added to the marketplace at an explosive rate. No one forces our hand to reach for our wallets and credit cards but there are enough impulses sent to our brain that we end up being a slave to the marketing tricks. We have all had thoughts such as upgrading our phone, trying out new cereal, etc., run through our mind every time we walk through the mall or the aisles of the beautifully decked and decorated grocery store. But haven’t we all also felt a faint sense of anxiety or regret once we balance our checkbook or see the balance statement on the ATM receipt? It is okay to give in to your impulses sometimes and it is necessary to purchase the things that are needed. Experts will tell you that following are some tricks that will help you spend your money more efficiently while shopping:
- Rule number one is to never go shopping without a shopping list. Remember to stick to the list while shopping and not go beyond more than one or two items beyond the list, in the case that you forgot to add something to the list.
- When starting the exercise of monitoring your spending pattern, make a list of where your money goes. Make a list of what you spend on during a month; this will help you decide which areas you can cut back on.
- Do not be tempted by the store, go with the awareness that the store is designed to make you buy things that you may not need.
- Buy the items that you use regularly in bulk or on special deals instead of buying them when you have run out of it completely. This might cause you t buy it at a higher rate and from the nearest store, not necessarily the most economical store.
- Keep a look out for deals, compare prices between different stores and for basic grocery items check out the store brands.
- Last but not the least, it is okay to reward yourself every now and then with an impulse to buy the item that is pricey. However, do try to sleep on it and if you wake up wanting it, go ahead and buy it. Nevertheless, spending on a massage is a good idea as it will relax you and put in a better state of mind where you might be less likely to binge –buy things that you do not need to uplift your spirits.
On a final note, sites like retailmenot.ca help by stretching your dollars as far as possible by regrouping all the available coupons and discounts on the items you may be looking for.