It’s amazing how frequently money can leave our accounts. It may be for mortgages, car insurance, holidays, utility bills and groceries. The more we have to pay out, the more we need to budget.
When it comes to shopping, there are fortunately different strategies we can use. They can help us be wiser with our spending, and make our money go further. We will now look at six of the key methods right now.
1. Search For Online Discounts
Many people like to save time by doing their shopping over the internet. When they use price comparison websites, part of the work has been done for them. Many companies offer financial incentives to encourage people to buy. They could be anything from discounts for first-time customers, or reduced prices if someone takes out a store’s credit card. Added to that are members’ rewards and cashback deals. There may also be price reductions when you subscribe to a newsletter, or even a birthday discount too.
There is also another way to access bargains online. Many people find discount codes by accessing special websites that specialise in coupons and deals. They could be for computers or air travel, children’s clothes or hair care. Some of these companies even offer downloadable apps that can be used on peoples’ smartphones or tablets.
2. Time It Right
If you do your shopping when the kids are around, you may end up buying them toys or sweets to keep them happy. A great time to buy clothes is at the end of season sales: the stores will be keen to clear their stock and replace it with their next promotions. If you go grocery shopping it’s advisable to arrive one hour before the store closes. Anything perishable such as cakes and bread may have been moved to the discount section. Buy all you need, plus anything that you can freeze.
Shops are also compelled to drop prices in early January. This is because many people will have had enough of shopping for Christmas. One time you should never go food shopping is when you are hungry. If you do this, everything will look tasty!
3. Check The Food Labels
Whilst the packaging may say a product is fat-free, it may be high in sugar. Another may say ‘low in sugar’, but still be packed with calories. Always read the labels before you buy, if you want a healthy diet. It’s also worth checking out the stores’ own brands rather than the big-name products. Some of these may be equally as tasty.
Sadly it’s unwise to trust grocery stores. The words ‘best buy’ or ‘farmers’ choice’ may simply be words added by their marketing department. Not everything placed to look like a deal will be cheaper. Use your calculator if you have to, and make sure you’re getting the best value for money.
4. Don’t Be Lazy With The Fruit And Vegetables
If you choose beans that have already been cut or carrots that are peeled and ready for the saucepan, you will be paying for the privilege.
If the fruit or vegetables are being sold unpackaged, spend the time in the store putting them into a bag. Anything pre-packaged will cost you more.
5. Stick To The List
If you plan on only spending $10 for some urgent groceries, only bring cash with you. This will mean you can’t be tempted to purchase something unnecessary. An added incentive for parents is to set a good example for their kids. They will learn from you how to manage their money in the future.
Shops sometimes offer ‘three for the price of two, or buy one get one free’ (BOGOF) deals. They are designed to make you buy something you wouldn’t normally, or to get more than you require. Always be sure to buy the correct quantity you need.
6. Create A Game Plan
If you produce a weekly menu in advance, this can help you know what to include (and exclude) from your grocery shopping list. It’s a great way of reducing food wastage because you can assess the ingredients required. If you are buying a large carton or jar, you can plan two meals to use up the contents, rather than throwing half of it away.
Rather than being an impulse buyer who loves retail therapy, it’s possible to become a wise steward of your money. It can create a feeling of great satisfaction when you use these strategies, and the savings can be used on other things.