In life, there are firstly things that we need, then there are things that we would like, and then of course there are just those things we come across and didn't even notice were missing from our lives.
That's ok we've all experience this at some point in our lives.
You know, those times when your out by yourself, or even with a couple of friends either at the local mall or at the supermarket. Then suddenly you find yourself in the immediate and unsuspecting danger of spending your last dollar from your monthly budget as you're surrounded by all the wonderfully looking foods, gadgets and pieces of clothing you had no intention of considering to buy and probably could very well do without.
Well guess what, this isn't the wild wild west, so folks; holster your wallets and purses, unhook your credit cards and check books and prepare to liberate yourself to financial freedom with this controlled spending guide.
How to Save Money When You're Out Shopping
Make a detailed Shopping List.
Before you do anything else in preparation to leave your home for any type of shopping, always make a detailed list of everything you intend to buy and stick to it. As a general rule, discipline yourself by not buying anything that is not already on the list, even if you forgot to include it. This will help you to control those snap up impulses we've all been so accustomed to when we're out shopping.
Budget Yourself by Only Taking the Cash You Need
Guess what; the laws of purchasing state that, you can't spend money you do not have. So before heading out, estimate just how much money you think you'll need to cover all your shopping expenses on that particular day. This shouldn't be too hard as you should always have a general guide of your consumption rate per monthly basis or on the case of shopping for the family you should also have a basic idea of how much you normally spend on a monthly/weekly basis to maintain enough food until the following month or week.
Prioritize yourself by first taking up the critical things you NEED in the household, followed by everything else and if by any chance during your shopping, you find yourself to run out of cash regardless of the fact whether you got everything on the list, consider yourself pretty much done for the day.
Compare the Prices of Everything
I can't stress just how vital comparison shopping is to save money when shopping. Most individuals whether on a tight budget of not, consider comparison shopping as the "Holy Grail" to economic spending.
Don't be fooled by the occasionally attractively looking price tags.
For Example: You've lost a few pounds after months of treacherous hours at the gym, on the treadmill or just exercising at home. Here's where you think to yourself "I've got this dinner coming up and I'd love to get something nice for myself to show off my new body". So you head off to JC Penny or your favorite clothing store to pick up something nice for yourself. Here's the thing; once you've identified the item you'd like to purchase, WAIT don't buy it just yet. Take the necessary information and call around to see who has the cheapest price. You can even ask the store clerk to place it on hold for you if its the last one left in your size and take the afternoon or even the day to complete your research. Sometimes you may even be able to find the item online at a number of websites such as Amazon and Ebay and better yet, if you've got a mobile phone with a data plan you can even do your checks right there on the spot to help you in making the best decision for your pocket.
Never Shop when you're Bored
Some of our most ridiculous purchases happen when we find ourselves out at the wrong place at the wrong time. If you're home alone, bored and just looking for something to get your juices flowing, NEVER go to the mall or shopping centre to hang out. Instead find something else to occupy your time such as playing an exercise activity or rearranging your room.
When In doubt Get Out
Whenever you're in the store and you find yourself contemplating on whether or not you should buy something, immediately put it down and leave. As a general rule: if you can't make a decision of, "do I really need this thing or not?" then chances are you probably don't. Nonetheless take a day or two and let your thoughts marinate on it. I bet you'll be thankful you didn't buy it in the long run.
Be Wary of the Seductive power of the Sales Pitch
Most inexperienced shoppers are often caught in the trap of purchasing an item they don't really need just because it the tag stated the item was cheap, 50% off or even going out of stock. Whether the item is cheap, very cheap or even almost free there is just no possible excuse for you to purchase something you never planned on buying and probably will never get the opportunity to use. Put your brakes on, go home and take a look around in the area where you think the item might be of some use and if you can convince yourself that its a worthy purchase then go back and get it.
Out of Season Shopping
Fact: Buying your bath suit during the winter seasons and purchasing that winter coat you always wanted during the summer months will save you a lot of money as bath suits are generally more expensive during the summer similarly with winter clothing during those cold winters. Always plan your shopping for clothing a few months in advance to find the best and cost effective deals for your budget.
Don't Throw out those Receipts
Always save your purchase receipts for future comparison. This will allow you be able to make a detailed comparison of your purchase history allowing you to better track your finances and monitor or curb your spending.
Try not to remove the labels and tags from new pieces of clothing purchased before you actually wear them, just in case you change your mind and may want to return it or sell it to a friend, neighbor or online.
So, use the above easy to follow tips and start saving big all year round.
If shopping online, don't forget to make your purchases through one of the Top 5 Best Cash Back Websites.