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Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Number 4 – Shop Smart

Number 4 – Shop Smart

If you want to save money – and prevent those end-of-the-month how-are-we-gonna-make-it-worries – learn how to shop smart.  Times are tough and money is scarce.  Now is the time to become a conscious consumer.

  1. Use lists.  When you go to the grocery store, make a list.  When you prepare for Christmas shopping, make a list.  When you are getting ready to go on vacation, make a list.  Take out a sheet of paper, write what you plan to buy, and when you go shopping, follow the list.
  2. Use coupons.  I use coupons at the grocery store – but only for items that I would have bought had I not had any coupons.  Be careful when using coupons, or you will end up buying stuff that you don’t need, just because you have coupons.  Also, be on the lookout for coupons that you can use at restaurants, gas stations, dry cleaners, etc.  If you don’t want to buy the Sunday paper, search eBay.  There you can find coupons for all sorts of items.
  3. Use a grocery store price book. If you really want to save money on groceries, you’ll want to stock up on items when they go on sale.  To do that, you’ll want to know rock bottom prices.  Click here to check out my free, printable grocery price book, which will help you track the prices of your favorite grocery store items.
  4. Use the internet.  This might sound like a no-brainer, but I know people who spend hours online, and then, when they want to buy something, just head to the nearest Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, or Sears.  Instead, they should first research – products and prices – using the web.  There are literally hundreds of sites which will help you compare prices, evaluate products, and find deals.  Here are my three favorite sites –
    1. Fatwallet – Has lists of great deals, coupons for online purchases, and awesome forums.
    2. SalesCircular – See what’s on sale, in stores, at major retailers.
    3. Pricewatch – For those who love technology – and saving a few bucks.
  5. Use common sense.  Never make a major purchase without doing some research.  Never buy something that’s not in your budget.  Never buy something that you can’t be proud of owning.  I use the $100-A-Day-Rule, which helps to prevent impulse buying.  Never shop for food on an empty stomach.  Never shop for a new car while your old one is being repaired.  Never buy something just because your neighbor has one.  Choose to be the smartest consumer in your neighborhood.
  6. Use cash.  This one might be a little counter-intuitive, but hear me out.  If you were to plan to use cash – and cash only – for the next six months, and promise not to allow yourself a credit card safety net, could you do it?  If the answer is no, then you have a problem.  I’m not saying that living the No Credit Needed life is for everyone, but I am saying that anyone who has his/her financial house in order should be able to live on cash – and cash only – if they chose to.  Many people say that they spend more when they use cash, but that’s only because they allow themselves a credit card safety net.  If you knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that when your cash ran out, that that was it, I’ll be you could learn, very quickly, to be responsible with cash.  (By cash, I mean paper money, checks, or debit cards.  In other words, funds you already have.)

Being a better, smarter shopper will help you keep more of your paycheck.  As times get tough, the days of frivolous spending are over.  It’s time for all of us to buckle down, use our brains, and make smart buying decisions.

4 thoughts on “Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Number 4 – Shop Smart

  1. I also use the “Do I really need this?” rule? If I can’t get a clear answer within 10 seconds, I leave the store and come back another day.

    It’s easy to “like” stuff and buy it. This is why it is important to think about the real benefit of what you are about to buy. I just “saved” $500 in my new bathroom like this simply by changing my decision on some items. The result is still great, and having $500 more in my pocket feels great too!

  2. I have been using the “cash only” method for about 1 year. As most of us usually do, I would throw away the pamphlets that the bank would send with my statements trying to get you to sign up for another account or other product they have, but recently I took my mail with me to a doctors appointment where I knew I was going to have to wait and while reading the pamphlet I noticed that my bank, Citizens Bank was offering 10 cents on every purchase that I made without writing a check. It is called greensense. They will pay me upto $120.00 per year for purchases made without writing checks. As most of my utility bills are automatically withdrawn and I use my debit card as a credit purchase for most of my shopping I will be earning money that I will use to pay down my debt. Just thought I would offer up some information that I have overlooked for a few months. So check with your banks and see if going paperless is profitable for you and environmental friendly as well. Thanks.

  3. At the grocery store, use coupons, buy generic (in most cases), and buy what’s on sale, even if it’s not exactly what you want. Most of the time the difference will be trivial and you won’t even notice the difference, except more cash in your wallet.

  4. When shopping smart or canceling services to save money, don’t be stopped because you feel the change only saves you a dollar or two. I always like to show my clients how small savings can add up to big money over time:
    Save $1 per day = $30 per month = $365 per year
    Save $50 week = $200 per month = $2,400 per year

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