Did you know that people get more money-conscious each generation?
This might be because of the increasing prices that aren't proportional to the increase in wages. This forces many to become a savvy shopper - one who's able to find the best deals on things they need.
If you find yourself living beyond your means, this is the time to save money and stop buying things you don't need. This is where being savvy comes in - it will help you cut back on expenses.
To become one, read our tips below and see your financial life change.
Before going to the store, create a list of the items you need to buy, and then buy only those items on that list. Going without a list is a bad idea -- people tend to buy things left and right as long as they think they need them.
Creating a list beforehand helps you slash down the decision-making time at the store. It also allows you to avoid looking at the other products on the shelves.
You can decide in your home whether you need an item, then go straight to the aisle that has it. If you do the deciding at the store, chances are high that you'll end up buying it even if you don't need it.
It also helps if you create the list as you run out of stocks or as you find the need for an item. This way, you won't forget an item and you won't spend a long time at the store trying to remember it.
Do you think you might need a new microwave soon? Think again and consider whether you have other options first.
For example, an item you don't use doesn't need replacing at all when it breaks down. You might also consider having it repaired instead of buying a new model.
In some cases, though, it's more budget-savvy to buy a new one. In instances like this, make sure to consider other options, too, such as looking at lower-priced models.
For other items, such as medicine, you can look at the generic brands and see if these will work for you. If you have the time, you might even create the items you need yourself. A DIY ottoman, for example, is doable as long as you already have the materials and tools and you won't spend more buying them.
It might be worth it to look at several stores in your area to see if you can score a deal. The difference in prices might not be too big for smaller items, but it's possible to save big on larger purchases.
However, saving isn't only about buying the least expensive options. In grocery shopping, for example, you might end up spending more if you buy from a store farther away selling lower-priced items. If the prices are negligible, you can save more on petrol if you frequent the nearer one.
Buying bigger-sized items or buying them in bulk can save you a lot, especially if you use these items all the time. However, you must be smart about choosing which items to stock up.
You may stock up on items like coffee, tea, toilet paper, and other items you use every day or often. If you eat a lot of potatoes in a week, go for a bulk discount rather than buying in smaller amounts.
Some items, though, aren't good for stocking up, such as those you don't use often or perishable ones. Letting food go to waste because you weren't able to consume it all isn't good for your finances.
For example, buying too much baking flour for a one-time pudding recipe isn't you saving money. It's you spending too much on things you won't need and will end up throwing away.
Paying with cash allows you to feel the effect of buying an item on the state of your finances. Most people would even say it hurts more than swiping their debit or credit card.
When you see how much you're spending, you're most likely to cut back and stop overextending yourself. After all, no one wants to see money leaving their wallets, but you might be more flexible to swiping your card for a purchase.
Aside from researching on which store offers the lowest price on a certain product, you also have to research which product and model to buy in the first place. Say you need an oven; do you go to a store and then decide which one to buy there?
This is a huge mistake that many people make and it costs them a lot. Not only will you be more vulnerable to sales talks, but you also won't be too sure about your purchase.
Research high-ticket items at the comfort of your home first, set a budget, and see which ones are a good value for money in terms of durability and function. You might have to spend more time, but this is important as you want these expensive items to last.
If you buy a cheap one you'll need to have repaired or replaced every few months or so, you're going to spend more.
How many times have we bought an item only because it's on sale and then regretted it? It's unfortunate, but sales do work - they entice people into thinking they're getting a good deal on an item.
One way to counter this thinking is to remember that when you buy a £500 item with £100 off, you're not saving £100, you're spending £400. The only exception to this would be if you needed to buy that item in the first place.
Here's a scene: you need a new TV because your toddler decided it would look better face-down on the floor. The first thing to do is to include it on your list, research for the best model to buy, then check where it's cheapest.
Then you see the same model you've been eyeing with a marked down price, which will allow you to save a few hundred quid. According to your research, this is a good deal, so will you buy it right there and then?
Yes, you may; only this scenario would justify buying an item because you saw it's on sale.
This is another reason why a list is important - it will allow you to be savings-savvy. Let it serve as a reminder to buy only the things on it, with a sale or no sale.
If you find yourself wanting to buy a new item, wait for a couple of weeks or so first and see if your need for it will go away. Use this time to think hard whether you need that item or not; sometimes, you'll find it's a bad idea after sleeping on it.
You could also see if that item would have been a great help during the weeks you've been contemplating. If you can justify your need for it even after some time, chances are it's a necessary buy. Put it on your list, do some research, and buy it the next time you go out or wait for a sale.
Also, you might find a great coupon later on. Take time to do some research and look for discount deals.
Stores have several reasons to throw a sale: end of season, holidays coming up, anniversary special, Black Fridays, or only because they want to. Watch out for these sales in your favourite stores, and as long as you can put up with the crowd, go for it.
Take note of when stores offer discounts and promotions and see if you can wait until then to buy an item. Also, go back to tip #6 and research first - take note of the original price of the item, so you know if the sale is a good deal or not.
Remember to bring your list with the prices you researched to keep you focused on the things you need. Keep in mind our tip #8 as well!
Haggling isn't always possible as the prices are often non-negotiable, but if it is, don't hesitate to do it. This way, you're getting the items on your list at a price lower than you would have paid for. If that doesn't make you a money-saving shopper, we don't know what will!
There's no harm in asking for the best price possible, especially if this is a popular practice in your area. Even a simple question asking if the item is going on sale in the future might net you a discount.
For better results, don't demand it, but ask in a nice way if the price is still negotiable. Being nice can get you far in life, social occasions, and even in haggling.
The tips above would also apply to shopping online, but here's one more trick you can do to save. Before you check out those items, see if you can get a discount by putting a code in the coupon box. You might be able to use one from coupon websites, which gather coupon codes for most e-commerce websites.
It also helps to subscribe to these kinds of websites for your favourite shops. They would also alert subscribers of ongoing promotions and coupons for physical stores. Some websites will also provide store-specific coupons and other exclusive deals.
Check if you could use some coupons on the items on your list, and then print them on your way out.
Being a savvy shopper means getting your hands on great deals for the items you need. Check out our website for the best retail offers, discount codes, and coupons.
If you have questions about our service, don't hesitate to contact us now. Let's talk about how we can give you even bigger savings.