It is not easy to always look for the less expensive items when you go out shopping for a number of reasons. One is that you always equate quality with the higher priced items in the store. You believe that the more expensive a product is, the better it is compared to others. Although this might have some merit, it is not always the case.
There are also instances when you are just too caught up in the moment that you pick up the item without even paying attention to the tag price. What’s worse is that you are so used to whipping out your credit card to pay for the items you buy. You then anxiously wait for the statement at the end of the month with your blood pressure in check because of the possible amount.
Personal finance encompasses a lot of topics and paying attention to the price tag of the items you purchase is just one of them. But it is a good starting point in getting a handle on your household budget especially with the way your expenses are racking up. You get to have a direct hand in managing and limiting the amount that goes out of your income.
This has never been more crucial as Forbes.com shares in a recent article that the average family in the US spends about $1700 just on clothing alone in a year. If you start adding all those impulse purchases and you can be looking at a big amount at the end of the month just for clothes. If you add up other expenses and you can have a big problem.
How to lower your costs when shopping
If you are looking at ways to help you shop with as little spending as possible or you just want to be smarter with your choices, here are a few things you can check out.
- Set your budget. There are some people who prefers to take a look at what they need first before putting their budget together. But this usually ends in a lot of compromise that could lead to minimum payments on card or worse, late payments on some financial obligations. It is important to put the budget together first before squeezing in the amounts of purchases you need to make.
- Take a look at your expenses. You need to factor in the basic necessities first before anything else regardless how less expensive the items are. It is important to have the funds to cover food, water, shelter before looking at the things you want to buy. Put everything in perspective in terms of priority and you will not have to worry about losing funds at the end of the month. This is a tough challenge as WSJ.com explains that household spending is a big factor in the economic output of the country and this challenging because it means the more you spend, the better the economy is. The idea is smart and sensible purchases to manage the budget while you spend.
- Consider the quality. It is always a good idea to look for less expensive items when making a purchase but you need to remember that the word “cheap” does not only refer to price. There are instances when the manufacturer was able to lower down the price because the quality of the product is not the same as the leading brands. This is something you need to check because you might end up paying more because the of the low quality of the product.
- Know your product really well. You need to have a clear understanding of your product if you are trying to look for less expensive items. The idea is to have a clear understanding of what you need so you can compare it with what is available in the market. Take for example a camera body that you need for your hobby – you need to know the unit inside out. This helps you compare the one that you need with the lower priced versions and even the pre-loved ones. It helps you make informed decision because you get to consider in other pertinent factors and not solely basing on the price.
- Ask around. Family and friends would be able to help you out if you are trying to look for lower-priced items to save money. This is because people in the same circle as you might have the same need and have found great alternatives to save cost and manage their budget better. It is as easy as asking them about it so you can benefit from their experiences.
- Trust your instinct. If you feel that something is too good to be true, it probably is. You need to trust your instinct when you feel something is not right. There is no logical explanation for these types of things but just know that there is a reason why your gut is telling you to walk the other way.
Tips to take advantage of low prices
If you are shopping out and looking to make as much savings as you can, here are a few things you can look into to help your budget stay intact. These tips can help guide you as you try to make better use of your money by spending it wisely.
- Buy in bulk. This is one of the reasons why there are a lot of people who seem to be coming out of the shop with more bags than they can carry. Buying in bulk often means bigger discounts and this is something you need to consider to shop smart. But when taking this route, you need to make sure that you get to use all the items before they expire. This is because spoilage tends to negate whatever savings you have and it can even make the purchase more expensive at the end.
- Use coupons. There are a lot of ways to get coupons and the real challenge is finding what you need and making it a habit of bringing the coupons with you when you shop. You just have to put in a little effort in printing and cutting them out so you can use them.
- Compare store prices. If you are buying a special item, it is best to start scouting for the least expensive one early on. You need to compare prices before you start shopping for that particular item. It is possible that some shops carry the same item with varying prices because of several factors like rent and taxes. This means that some shops could be selling the same product at a lower price than others. Be sure to price shop first before heading out to buy big-ticket items.
Less expensive items are not always synonymous to buying cheap knock-offs. There are instances that the two are one and the same where differences can only be seen in the packaging and presentation of the item. It is also possible that marketing plays a big part with the more expensive items as well as location of the shop. This is the reason why impulse purchases are usually not the best decision that you make when it comes to managing your finances.