10 Skills for Smart Shopping

A woman shopping for clothes while comparing prices on her phone.

Want to be a smart shopper and spend less? Master these tips and you will be saving money in no time.

  1. Make a spending plan.  Ultimately, you shouldn’t spend money unless it’s in the budget, so buy all necessary purchases before you think about getting any luxury items.
  2. Online shopping.  Use websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, Shopping.com, Amazon or MSN Shopping to research multiple retailers’ pricing, product reviews and retailer reviews, as well as estimated shipping costs.  Also, check for perks such as free shipping, rebate offers and online coupons.
  3. Find the best deal.  If you have a smart phone, download an app to read barcodes and tell you the best prices and deals for that item.
  4. Items displayed in a glass case often seem more valuable and prestigious.  The truth is, these items typically have tremendous markup (jewelry, for example).  It is worth it to shop around before making a purchase.
  5. Shop out of necessity, not as a pastime.  It’s tempting to go with a friend and make a day of it at the mall.  When shopping with a friend, avoid the temptation to keep up with their purchases.
  6. Sales don’t mean it is okay.  A good deal can make an item sound more useful or necessary than it really is.  Don’t buy things you don’t need just because they’re on sale.
  7. Think before you act.  If you see something you really want that’s not on your list, wait a few days before buying it so you can decide if it’s really a good idea.
  8. Double-check prices at the register.  Check the scanned price showing at checkout to see if it is the same as the price marked on the item or the store shelf.  Some stores will give you the item for free if the scanned price is incorrect.
  9. Consider season passes.  Amusement parks or similar attractions typically offer a season pass.  If you visited the same park two or three times last year, calculate the difference of the cost for a season pass versus purchasing individual tickets each time.
  10. Review your cellphone plan.  Check your phone bill and cancel any optional service that you don’t really use, such as three-way calling and call waiting.

It’s important to be in control of your money and shop wisely.  Your own personal and confidential Money Coach is there for you when you need unbiased and objective financial help.  Give us a call at 888-724-2326.  We’re here to help.