When you save money while shopping, you are either getting more for less or paying the best price for the product you want to buy.
Why is this necessary? Why do you need to make a concerted effort to save money while shopping?
These questions can best be answered by another question – Why would you want to pay more money for shopping when you can actually buy all the products on your shopping list at a cheaper price. All it requires you to do is put a bit of effort into the proceedings and explore various ways to save money when you shop.
While the money saved might be minimal at best, if you can keep at it, these small amounts can become a substantial nest egg after some time. Say you are saving X amount of money on your grocery shopping every month. You’ll find that it becomes a pretty big amount as these grocery savings keep adding up month after month.
So what should you do to save money when you shop? What are the tactics you must use to ensure your shopping expeditions do not burn a hole in your pocket?
Let’s take a look at 5 great ways that help you do just that:
1. Prepare a Shopping Budget
There are plenty of money mistakes that even the most astute individuals make and not giving primacy to a shopping budget is just one of them. Working out a budget for shopping is a challenge because there are a lot of grey areas. For one, you must have clarity on the quantity and quality of items you wish to purchase, their pricing and whether you actually need to buy a particular product or not.
But you still need to work out a budget and put a figure on the amount of money you are prepared to spend when you go shopping. That’s because shopping is a black hole. No amount of money you spend will ever be enough. This is why you need to prepare a budget to put a cap on your spending. It allows you to control your expenses as it also helps you get an idea of your spending capacity. It keeps you from going overboard with your spending.
2. Price Comparison Before you Shop
This will help you flesh out your budget. Before you actually shop for a list of products, wouldn’t it be great if you have a clear idea about the cost of these products, and which sellers are offering these products at the cheapest rate. This information can help you recalibrate your budget and your shopping lists. By knowing the cheapest price of the product, you might find your initial budget has gone down by a long way, so you can add more products to the purchase list.
The great part about price comparison is there are plenty of sites offering you this facility. Their sole purpose is to give its users information about the pricing of a particular product on various online shopping stores. There is a chance that you might not want to buy a product online and would prefer the offline route, but you still get an idea of the product price, which is a great help.
3. Tap Into your Social Media Network
That’s where all the action’s happening. Did you know that 37% of consumers research brands, products and services on social media? One reason why this happens is because social media is founded on the concept of personal engagement. A friend on your network might recommend a particular product that’s available at a particular store, or you can come across brand offers on a particular brand’s social media page.
You could even ask for references to products with the cheapest price from your network. Coming from the people you know, these references will be something you can trust. You could even follow accounts of individuals who’ve mastered the art of saving money when shopping and are willing to offer you important tips on the same. There are plenty of experts on social media whose knowledge is just waiting to be tapped.
4. Shop Online
Online shopping sites sell everything right from grocery items to the most expensive electronic goods and everything in between. You can shop for the products you need from the comfort of your home. What’s even more important is that many of these sites offer you some terrific discounts that the brick and mortal sellers don’t and for many reasons, cannot.
Let’s touch upon price comparison sites again – you can not only compare prices of products on these sites, you can also make your way to the site of the specific online seller selling the product and buy that product.
At the cost of making this point sound like a plug for price comparison site, I still want to say that using a price comparison site is one of the better ways of shopping online.
5. Try Once, Try Again, Try Harder
Whoever told you it’s easy to save money when you shop was either joking or didn’t know what he was talking about. It’s a difficult task and you might find yourself going above and beyond the designated shopping budget on quite a few occasions. But, it’s important not to give up. Keep refining your shopping strategy and try to keep a lid on impulse purchases. There will come a time when saving money while you shop won’t look like a chore anymore. It will happen naturally.
Saving money on shopping is a work in progress and even if you think you’ve got the hang of it, you need to keep getting better and better at it. And yes, why not spread the word while you are at it. You might have recognized the importance of saving money when you shop, but there are others who might not have got the message.