Guest Post: 5 Simple Shopping Habits to Save You Thousands

Today, everyone is trying to save money wherever and whenever they can. With the upcoming holiday season just around the corner, it’s more important than ever to try and save while shopping – whether you’re in the market for holiday gifts or just for your everyday necessities.

Location, Location, Location

Location may be important in real estate, but it is often a big factor in how much you spend – or save – on items you are shopping for. In fact, in many cases, the very same item can end up costing double or more at one location over another.

By purchasing your items at certain retailers, you can really tend to stretch your dollar – allowing you to purchase, or save – even more. For instance, a case of soda that is purchased at a large warehouse store will typically cost much less than buying the very same thing at the corner convenience store.

Watch for Sales

It may sound cliché, but watching for items to go on sale can make a huge difference in the price that you pay. However, this is only the case if the item is something that you truly need. Watching for sales on items that will only be impulse purchases will be counterproductive and end up costing you more in the long run.

Likewise, you can also oftentimes find even further discounts on “open box” items such as electronics. Often these items have been returned by other customers undamaged, and many will even still carry the regular manufacturer’s warranty.

Use Coupons

Coupons are almost like getting free money – or at least free or highly discounted items. Not only can you purchase physical items such as food or toiletries using coupons, but you can also enjoy meals in restaurants and services for your home this way.

In today’s tough economy, product and service providers are hoping to bring in new and repeat customers by offering discounts with coupons. So, take advantage of these deals. Even saving an average of $20 per week on products and services that you regularly use will add up to a savings of over $1,000 per year.

Time Your Purchases

Whether you are searching for a new car or a gallon of milk, timing your purchases can make a big difference. It is a sure bet that if you need something immediately, you are much less likely to comparison shop and will often buy the first or most convenient items you can find – and this is rarely, if ever, the most cost effective way to go.

Think about the last time you were in a hurry and needed an item. It’s likely that you were pressured into purchasing the first one that came along, regardless of price. Therefore, try not to get into situations where items that you need – especially regular needs like food and toiletries – run out and put you in a bind.

Really Know What You Are Shopping For

Using a shopping list may seem old fashioned, but making a list – and sticking to it – is one of the most effective ways that you can save money by avoiding impulse and other unnecessary purchases.

More than half the battle of saving money comes in saying no to yourself at the checkout counter. Make it a habit to write down the things that you are shopping for – and then not to veer from that list. It will be much more cost effective in both the short and long term.

Sandra Harris is a writer for all things family-oriented. She also helps seniors find Houstonassisted living to help others live comfortably.

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