8 Tips to keep your shopping trips under budget
The easiest and quickest way to save money is to simply not spend, but there are some things that you just can’t avoid spending money on, like clothes and groceries. Rather than go without the essentials in life (and the odd luxury, we all need to treat ourselves sometimes), find ways to buy the things you need as cheaply as possible. These 8 tips to keep your shopping trips under budget will help you do just that.
1. Shop your cupboards first
Before you head to the shops, have a look around the house to check that you don’t already have the same item you plan on buying. So often people make the mistake of heading straight to the shops when they think they need something, only to find the exact same item that they already owned sitting in the back of the cupboard a few weeks later.
2. Compare prices online before leaving home
It’s always a good idea to research an item before you buy it, and that includes shopping around for the best price, especially if it’s a big ticket item. The internet means that you no longer need to spend weekends hopping from shop to shop to find the best deal. Typing the items you are after into Google (try searching the model number of the item if you have it handy) will usually bring up the retailers that sell the items in your country. The search will give you links directly to the items on each stores website, allowing you to quickly compare prices between retailers.
3. Take water with you
Avoid spending money on bottles of water every time you hit the shops by taking your own with you. Be sure to also pack some snacks if it will be a long outing (especially if you have kids).
4. Shop at the right time of year
There are certain times of year when some things are always going to be cheaper so this is the time to stock up. Stationary will always be cheapest in January during the back to school sales, and clothes are always best bought one year ahead during the end of season sales. If you are buying clothes or shoes for kids, buy one or two sizes bigger than what they currently wear are store them away for next year.
5. Give experiences as gifts
Gifts can be expenses and often you are buying something just for the sake of it, the recipient might feel as though they just don’t need anything new. Giving experiences instead of physical gifts is perfect in this situation. Try searching daily deal sites such as Living Social, which often offer heavily discounted experience vouchers, just search your city or the city of the recipient.
6. Stick to a list
You might be used to using a shopping list every time you visit the supermarket, but what about each time you go clothes or gift shopping? Writing out a list, and sticking to it, is vital if you want to save money and stay within your budget no matter what you are shopping for. Sticking to your list means you are more likely to avoid impulse purchases, which are more often than not purchases you are going to regret as soon as you get home.
7. Search for seconds or slightly damaged items
If you know where to look, you can often find seconds or even slightly damaged items for a fraction of their original price. As long as the issue is something that is not too noticeable and the item still does what it’s supposed to, it could be well worth the saving to instead buy something that is slightly imperfect.
8. Steer clear of your favourite stores
They are your favourite stores, so why would you stay away from them? For one simple reason, you are likely to spend money on things you don’t actually need. Kmart is one of my favourite stores, and I can guarantee as soon as I step foot inside I will find something I absolutely have to have, yet I didn’t actually know I needed it before I entered the shop. If you know you will be tempted to spend money on things that are more of a want than a need, just stay away.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE TIPS TO KEEP YOUR SHOPPING TRIPS UNDER BUDGET? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.