5 Money Saving Shopping Tips

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Your weekly or monthly shopping trip is probably the expense that eats into your budget the most. If you have a family, your weekly outgoings – especially on food and other essential items – can start to spiral. It doesn’t have to be like this, and shopping trips don’t need to be something that you dread. With some planning and using a few tricks, you will be able to keep your costs down, leaving you money to spare to spend as you wish. Sound like something you’d like to know more about? Here are five money saving shopping tips. 

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is going to save you and your family money and financial hardship in the future. The cost of seasonal goods will fluctuate with their demand, but if you are planning ahead and start to buy the things you need for your holidays before time, you will save a lot of money. Don’t worry if people look at you like you’re crazy walking around with a Christmas tree in April. You are actually the smart one who is saving money, leaving more to spend on your family. 

You should also be instilling good financial habits into your children, too. This will lead to them having a healthier outlook on life, and they will be less likely to be reliant on you in the future. Their education is an area where you can look to reduce the costs they have to pay. Student fees can cause a large strain on the ability of young people to succeed in their course so doing what you can to help will lessen their burden. Parents can take out low-rate parent student loans from private lenders to help with the costs of college. 

Use Apps

Apps are a simple way to save money and there are a variety of different ways they do this. One is apps that compare the prices of different items and find you the cheapest ones. This will be more relevant for larger purchases such as electronics, vacations or insurance policies. They scour through the price lists of various different companies and then provide you with a list where you can choose the cheapest option that best suit your personal or family needs. 

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They can also be used to find great deals. Some apps allow shops, cafes and restaurants to sell the products they have left over at the end of the day for cheaper than the in-store advertised price. This is a great way to get your food items for much better prices. Not only are you saving yourself money, you are also contributing to making a more positive impact on the environment and the problem of food wastage. 

Stick to Your Shopping List

Make and organize a shopping list and stick to it. Don’t add items as you are shopping and don’t throw extra items into your cart or bag. Putting one extra item in forms a habit and while that one item might not cost much, over time doing this will add up. This requires discipline, as shops are built and designed to entice you to buy things. Be single minded when you go into a shop, keep to your list and fight the temptation to buy things you probably don’t want or need. 

In these circumstances, it’s also good advice to go shopping on your own. If you have a family and you are bringing kids along with you, they will spot things they spontaneously want. It’s hard to say no to children and if they are particularly good at tugging on your heartstrings, you’ll end up with a bag full of items you didn’t expect to buy. You could also consider shopping online if the option is available as you will be searching for the specific items you need, rather than being in a shop where the visual impact of advertising and product placement can be too much to resist. 

Avoid Trends

Following trends is a great way to spend your money and put yourself into debt. Most trends start as a way to make money, and if it wasn’t the initial intention, someone will seize upon the chance to. Having all the latest electronic goods will only serve to make your pockets emptier. Many of these products will reduce drastically in price within a few months and having a bit of patience will save you a lot of money. If you don’t really need something immediately, it’s good to wait. The same can be said for another hot trend, self-care. The amount of money that can potentially be spent trying to keep up is significant, consider the benefits of an at-home spa day instead of hitting the high-end spas routinely. 

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If you have children, then this is going to be difficult. Marketing leads to kids getting sucked into trends and it’s you who will pay for it. It might be the time to explain to your children that they don’t need every new thing available, and that same thing they love now, they’ll hate in a few months’ time. 

Shop Around

Do you have a favorite store that you go into no matter what? Then they are probably making you pay for your loyalty. It pays for you to shop around and find discounts and products at cheaper prices. Don’t just stick to your normal store. Take advantage of the many options available. This goes for most products, too. Stores are in competition with each other for your custom and the easiest way to entice you is by offering lower priced goods and more deals. If you are finding it hard to break your loyalty, then see if a loyalty card is offered. 

This extends to using the internet for shopping. Online it is much easier to find goods that are cheaper. You don’t have to wander from shop to shop and all the information is there at your fingertips. When you find an item, don’t buy it immediately, search and see if you can find it any cheaper. Modern shopping is set up for you to take advantage of as many offers as possible. It’s also worth remembering that you will pay more for brand names. However, there are many unbranded products that are exactly the same and are sold for far cheaper.