When you go out and try to buy the things that you need at home or for work, you always want to shop smart and make the most out of your money even if it is for holiday shopping. But there are a lot of people saying different things on how to achieve just that. There are some who will tell you that there are specific days in a week or time in a day that you should shop because it brings good luck.
There are also some people who will insist that you buy only from specific shops so you can get the best deals in town. There are also extreme shoppers that camp out the shops days before a new product is to be sold. Nevermind that they have to sleep in a tent enduring the the cold as long as they are able to score the latest gadgets in the market. Statista.com even shares that digital shoppers in the country has amounted to 191 million already.
These are extreme characteristics of shopping and the ones that you can do away with. You can still shop smart without having to memorize specific days of the week to get the best deal. You just have to remember a few simple things that can help you make the most out of your shopping trip and stretch those funds even more.
How to be a smart shopper
The time will come that you have to go out and shop for things that you need and at times want. Here are a few things to make that trip worth your while.
Being passive on deals
Shopping smart means being able to buy the things that you need at a low price without giving up and sacrificing quality. You might be able to save money when you bought that washer that was half the price of another washer but you might find yourself looking for a new one after a few months because the one you bought broke down easily.
There is a fine line between being cheap and being frugal and sticking to quality items is one of them.But admittedly, the better the item is, the more expensive it gets. One way to get around this is to look for deals that shops give out on a regular basis. If you patronize a specific shop, you might get a hang of when they give out deals that lowers the prices of in-store items.
It can be every payday or even during special occasions like Christmas and Thanksgiving. The idea is to know when to shop so you can get that washer at a discount so you do not have to sacrifice quality just to get a nice item. Learn when they give out deals and discounts and plan buying the items that you need around that time.
Forgetting to negotiate prices
There are people who are ashamed to try and negotiate the prices of the items they are buying because other people might look down on them. They feel that other people might mock them because they are trying to get a lower price for an item. They might feel small compared to those that are buying based on the retail price of the products.
But you need to reflect and assess and why you need to be affected with what other people think. Do you owe them any explanation on how you plan to shop smart? Remember that the worst thing that could happen is that you get a no for an answer. Who knows you might stumble into a discount just by asking.
On the day research
One of the life skills that you need to cultivate in your budget is planning your purchases ahead of time. As you do this, you also need to allot time in looking at prices and not just the specifications of each model. Say you are again faced with the task of buying a new washer, you need to look up first the brand and the model that you will buy based on your need.
Another things you need to look at would be the price. Different stores might offer the same item at different prices. You do not have to trouble yourself as to why but you need to concentrate on the where. Although there are items that are best bought in full price, it does not hurt to look for the store that carries the item that you need with the lowest price. You might also want to broaden your search and look at online stores and compare their prices with the shops that you frequent.
Choosing the wrong items to purchase in bulk
It is common knowledge that when you buy more, the less you pay for the items. This is why some people would choose to buy a kilo of sugar compared to just 500 grams because they get to buy cheaper. This is also why some people get to negotiate a discount when they are buying more than one item in certain shops.
But even though you get to save money by buying more, it does not mean you should do it every time. Investopedia.com even shares that it sometimes cost people more than they know. You need to take into account the item that you are buying.If you are buying that buy three take one orange juice because per box comes out cheaper, will you be able to consume all of them before expiration date? If you lose one or two boxes then your purchase comes out more expensive because you only get to drink two instead of four.
Looking past loyalty programs
If you frequent a specific shop or use a specific credit card that matches your needs, chances are you are already racking up loyalty points or rewards that you can use to shop smart. Check to see what you have already accumulated over the months to see if you can use those points for a discount. You might even be able to get free items with a loyalty program.
The idea is to cash in on frequency of use or for patronizing shops in your area. They will be happy that you are coming back to their shops or lenders appreciative that you use their credit cards.In return, they give you rewards so they can keep your business. Do not let these rewards or points expire and use them to get an advantage when shopping.
What to remember when you get to the store
When you are already in the store, here are a few more things to remember to help you shop smart.
- Do not use your emotions when shopping. Your emotions can ruin the way you will shop and you need to keep it in check. If you are coming from a break-up and start shopping, chances are you will be buying new furniture for the house because you do not want anything in the house that will make you remember your ex. If you are happy because of a raise, you might start buying things you do not need only because you have more income.
- Separate your want from needs. You might come into a shop looking for a washer but you get swayed by that shiny new TV and you buy it on top of what you need. You end up happier with your purchase but more in debt especially when you used your card to buy. Once you get your monthly statement, you might have to roll-over balances to the next month and accrue all those fees and charges.
- Work with a budget. Once you have done your research and figured out the shop that offers the item with the lowest price, stick to your budget. Once you get into the shop, you will get offers to buy that item that is slightly higher in amount with better features and you might feel tempted to buy that “better” item. But remember that those staff are trained to up sell items to get more out of you.
You need to shop smart to be able to stretch your money’s worth because that is your hard-earned money. It will also help you manage your budget better and contribute to reaching your financial goals.