10 Tips and Tricks for Smart Shopping

Amid the busy summer months and with the holiday season fast approaching, it is never a bad idea to think of new ways to save money. Whether you are looking to find a great deal on an appliance or cut down on your weekly grocery bill, here are 10 creative ideas for smart shopping:

  • All-cash approach: When you go to the store, always bring a specific amount of cash so that you are not tempted to spend more than the amount you brought. This approach will help you narrow down which items are the most important and allow you an easy solution to sticking to your budget.
  • Buy store brands: Buying store brands as opposed to name brands can be a great way to save money. A lot of times, the name brand and store brand products are made from the same manufacturer, but the store brand is always cheaper. You still get your favorite facewash and midnight snack, but for a fraction of the cost.
  • Plan for big items: Do not purchase a big item (car, vacation, etc) on a whim. Take the time to do proper research on the expense and map out all your options. This way, you can find yourself the best deal out there without getting caught up in any unnecessary fees.
  • Make a wish list: For items that you want and do not necessarily need, make a priority list starting with what you would like the most. Creating a list will help you stay organized and focused on purchases that you are more excited about.
  • Buy things off-season: Buying big-ticket items off-season can be a fantastic way to save money while preparing for the upcoming months. If you are looking to purchase a kayak, buy one in the winter. If you are looking to save on holiday decorations, buy last season’s stock in the summer.
  • Shop in-stores: When it comes to appliances and other large purchases, shopping in-stores can be very beneficial. Meeting with someone in-person who is knowledgeable about the item will allow you to pick out the perfect appliance for your situation. Often, there are more deals in-stores as well, especially at smaller businesses.
  • Stick to classics and avoid trends: It is easy to want to make a purchase based off the many ads plastered across social media. However, just because an item is trendy, does not mean it will be useful long-term or will be worth the money. Sticking to classic, reliable items can help ensure that your money will go to good use. If you still want the item after a few months, it will most likely be on sale.
  • Read reviews: Reading reviews is especially important for online shopping. A product may look and feel completely different than its advertisement. If an item has several bad reviews with the same theme, you know to get a different product/brand entirely. Reading reviews will also help you avoid scams.
  • Do not shop online when you are bored: Shopping online when you are bored can lead you to make purchases that you would not have otherwise. It is the same thing as grocery shopping when you are hungry. If you still want the item when you are not bored (or hungry), then you know it is the right choice.
  • Try using sites like Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace can be a great way to find used items in your area. Sellers are usually accommodating and interested in negotiating. Thrift stores and tag sales are another good option for looking for used, discounted items and can help you save.

Happy (smart) shopping!

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