So for this post I wanted to share some tips on how to save money while shopping. I admit that I am often a victim of overspending, and I know how easy it is to blow your entire paycheck without even thinking about it (especially if you work in retail). However, over the years I have picked up a few tips and tricks on how to not go overboard, and how to avoid the post-shopping spree regret. Lets get started!
Tip #1- Search for coupons
This is something I have done as long as I can remember. Before heading out take a few minutes and do a quick Google search, you will be amazed at what you can find. For example, if you already know you will be hitting up Forever 21, search for “Forever 21 coupons” on Google, and see if you get any hits. A lot of times you will. Also, sign up for store emails; as annoying as they may seem, a lot of times stores will send you exclusive discounts, and notify you when they are having sales. Also, many stores will send you a percentage off your next purchase just for signing up. Score!
Tip #2- Set a budget
Next time you are about to hit the racks, decide exactly how much money you want to spend and stick to that amount. Before even stepping into a store, I recommend going to your local bank or ATM and withdrawing exactly how much you want to spend. If you want to take it a step further, leave your cards at home to resist the temptation. Knowing you only have a certain amount of money to spend makes you less likely to splurge on things you don’t need, and forces you to be mindful of how much you are spending.
Tip #3- Know what you want to buy, and stick to it
It sounds simple enough, right? Yet it’s easier said than done. A lot of times when we go shopping, we end up buying everything EXCEPT what we set out for. Next time you are about to go shopping, do a quick scan over your wardrobe, and make a mental note of what you need to buy. Then, when you get to the mall, only go to stores that carry what you are looking for. It may even help to have a friend keep you on track; before you start shopping, tell your shopping buddy to keep reminding you what you came to purchase. Once you get what you came for, THEN you can pick up one or two extra items… if it is within your budget.
Tip #4- Ask yourself… do I really need this?
It is easy to get caught up in the moment while shopping, and a lot of things can influence buying something you will later regret. Whether it be a sales associate or friend talking you into buying something, or simply feeling pressure to buy an item because you don’t want to come home empty-handed, you shouldn’t buy something just to buy it. Also, another question you should ask yourself is whether you have anything to go with the clothing item you are about to purchase. Oftentimes I will see something in a store that I absolutely LOVE, but when I get home, I have nothing to wear with it… so it sits in my closet forever. Remember, a lot of times you like the clothing item most in the store, so if you are in doubt, put it on hold. If by the next day you can’t stop thinking about it, then go back and purchase it. However, if you quickly forget about it, then you made the right decision.
Tip # 5- Scan before you buy
Too many times I end up spending all of my money within the first three stores I visit, only to end up liking something more, or finding a better deal at a different store. To prevent this from happening, go to all of your favorite stores, and put what you like on hold. Don’t spend money until you have visited all of the stores you planned on going to. Then, after you have seen what each store has to offer, decide what you want to buy. Shopping this way may take a bit more time, but it makes up for it in the long run, and you will feel so much better knowing you got the best deal.
Tip # 6- Share the cost
Oftentimes, the first thing I do when I enter a store is ask whether there are any promotions going on, and usually there are. However, promotions often require you to buy more than one item, and if you aren’t planning on buying multiple things, this may not seem beneficial. However, if you are shopping with someone, you can purchase your items together in order to get the discount. Also, if you have a sibling or close friend who wears the same size as you, and you are both drawn to the same item, split it. This is something me and my sister do all of the time, each of us simply pays for half of the item, and we take turns wearing it.
Tip # 7- Shop clearance
This may seem like an obvious one, but I couldn’t not include it. I never leave a store without checking what is on sale, and for the most part, that is the first section I go to. Most stores make it clear where their clearance items are, but that isn’t always the case, so feel free to ask an associate where their sale items are located if you can’t find them.
Tip #8- Make sure you get what you paid for
Before you check out, calculate how much you total comes to, and make sure that total matches the one you are told at the checkout. Computers sometimes make mistakes, and sales associates can forget to add sales, so if your total seems too high, ask questions. Also, if you are a student/veteran, many stores will give you a percentage off your total, you just have to ask!
So that concludes my tips on how to save money shopping, I hope you guys learned something!
Now you tell me…
What are your tips for saving money?
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