The following post is from Melissa Batai
Compared to our parents and grandparents’ days, shopping is now incredibly easy. We can wander into most any store and find what we are looking for (and find a lot of items we didn’t even know we “needed”). We can shop in the store, or we can shop online. We can comparison shop to make sure we’re getting the best price.
Sure, we have it easier when it comes to shopping, but that might be the problem. We have it too easy, and spending too much money is simple to do.
But there are things you can do to rein in your spending:
Take Yourself Off E-mail Lists
So many sales! All the latest information from your favorite stores delivered to your in box. Sometimes when you have a present that you need to buy or clothes that you need for work, these e-mail sales alerts can be handy. However, too often, they just ignite a desire to go shopping. After all, you can save 20%!
To avoid this temptation, take yourself off the e-mail lists. Yes, you may miss a coupon or a sale, but even if you have to pay more when you do go shopping, you’ll likely save money because you’re not shopping as much. Just say no to marketing e-mails.
When it comes to grocery shopping, unless you’re very disciplined, you’ll likely purchase a few impulse buys (or 10 or 20!). This is even more likely if you’re shopping with kids.
One way to severely limit the impulse buys is to shop online. True, if you shop online you’ll likely have to pay a delivery fee, but that fee may very well be less than you pay on impulse buys if you shopped in the store. In addition, if you shop online, you’ll be eliminating all of those small stops for one or two items that you make throughout the week that often find you leaving the store with five or 10 items. When you shop online, you’ll likely shop once a week, saving money even after you have to pay a delivery fee.
Stick to a List
Speaking of impulse buys, if you’re going into the store, make sure you have a list and stick to it. One of my favorite stores is Costco because we can get organic and allergy-friendly foods like rice milk so much cheaper than if we bought them at a conventional grocery store. When I go to Costco, I stick to my list, and I rarely deviate from it.
I hear many people say that they love Costco but decide not to renew their memberships because they spent too much money there. These people didn’t go into Costco with a list or didn’t stick to their list. If you impulse buy at Costco, you’re definitely going to feel the pain because everything comes in such big sizes.
No matter what store you shop at, stick to your grocery list, and you’ll save a significant amount of money.
I know, I know. Carrying cash is so inconvenient. But, if you pay in cash, you’ll likely save money. Why? The money is finite. You can only spend what you’re carrying with you. If you use a credit card, you can spend as much as is available on that credit card. Overspending is so much easier with a credit card, even if you try to be disciplined.
My Question for You
Do you use any of these strategies to save money when shopping? If so, which ones? What other strategies would you add to this list?