How To Deal With Rising Costs by Using Smart Shopping Techniques

Nothing kills a budget like overpaying for an item yet many
consumers still continue to shop the wrong way. They allow
rising costs to eat up more of their weekly paycheck without
finding new ways to save money. They get into deep financial
trouble and don’t curb their spending which makes it more
difficult to afford their basic necessities.

Mortgages are the biggest monthly expense we have but as loan
rates rise, those consumers who stuck with low fixed-rate
loans are enjoying the stability of a predictable monthly loan
payment while those who thought they could use an adjustable
rate to trade up to a more expensive home are now scrambling
to pay mortgages that have nearly wiped them out. They
wanted to save right away and didn’t plan for the future.

Food is the second biggest monthly expense most consumers have
and there are many ways to save money without giving up the
foods you love. By targeting loss leaders, making full use of store
discount cards coupled with strategic coupons, you can build
up your own in-house mini grocery store while cutting up to 75%
off your food bill.

But it’s not just the large purchases that need to be examined.
Everything from cutting utility bills to saving money on gas can
be lowered by shopping wisely. For every degree you cut
your fuel consumption at home, you shave 2%-3% off your
monthly bill while using the internet to find the cheapest gas
stations in your area can cut your fuel bills by another 10%.

When it comes to saving money, it’s the cumulative effect of
shopping smart and taking advantage of store discounts that
increases savings. A few dollars here and there can skyrocket
your savings after just a few months. But in order to achieve
this, consumers need to avoid impulsive buying habits and focus
on items they came to buy. Stores on the other hand, do their
best to put a wrench in this plan. They try to add a bit of
pizzazz to a boring shopping trip by using technology to avert
our attention from the task at hand with things such as big
screen TV’s, IPods, and computers. Consumers need to avoid
shopping with emotion but with a list and a desire to get the
best deal for their family.

Smart shopping is not just restricted to what we buy but how
we buy. Certain psychological factors influence the way we
shop. The “Shoppers High” comes from finding big discounts,
catching that unexpected sale, or even grabbing an item before
it’s gone from the store shelves. Consumers need to avoid
shopping with emotion but with a list and a desire to get the
best deal for their family.

In order to avoid rising costs, consumers need to be aware of
prices from a variety of stores so they can find the best deal.
This can be done by setting up a price book. A price book is
the smartest way to shop and makes it easy to arrange your
shopping trips. Saving time can save you stress and help you
focus on shopping smart. As long as you are prepared and have
the information to save money, you can fight rising costs.

Smart Shopping In The Sales – How To Spot A Bargain

It is easy to get carried away when out shopping in the sales, with sometimes huge reductions of up to 80% off the recommended list price. We all love to spot and have a bargain, so the bigger the reduction the better the bargain so we think! So how can you spend your money wisely when shopping in the sales? There are a few golden rules that you should apply:

Things you should do

  • Limit the amount you will spend on your shopping trip
  • Invest in quality pieces with a long shelf or hanging life
  • Consider how many times you may use the item
  • Buy items out of season or last season ranges which are much cheaper
  • Ensure the item is returnable if you change your mind or it does not fit the purpose
  • Invest in quality every day basics such as tights, socks, umbrella’s and underwear
  • Consider buying home necessities like bed linen, cups and electrical items.

What NOT to do when shopping

  • Buy items that do not fit or need alterations (you will never get round to dealing with this)
  • Buy something just because it is a bargain but you are unsure as to whether you will use it
  • Waste money on choosing items for other people you are not sure whether they will like it
  • Get taken in by high fashion that will date in a few weeks
  • Buy items with a short shelf life that will expire before you have had chance to use it
  • Buy poor quality items just because they are ridiculously cheap ~ there is a reason why it is so cheap.
  • Get mesmerised by the latest gadget (often overpriced to start with and often prices drop dramatically after first year of production)
  • Choose the wrong colour because that is all that is left on the shelf
  • Use your credit card as it gives a false sense of financial security.

If you stick to items that you know you need, then you should not go far wrong. Think twice before purchasing an item and ask yourself the question “do I really need this”?

When purchasing an item which costs £50.00 bear in mind how many hours did it take you to buy the item, is it still worth it? Remember, it is only a bargain if you had planned to buy the item before the sales and you really need to purchase it.

Enjoy the sales because they can be great fun and consider wearing flat shoes.  You might also like to schedule in a light lunch with a friend.   Above all, spend your money wisely.

Smart Shopping For Single Moms

One specific trait that single moms naturally acquire is smart shopping.  It is an innate characteristic hinged on a mother’s survival instincts.  We instinctively learn to take care of our offspring and provide them the best when there is no one else to depend on.  Despite my limited financial capabilities, my kids have never been deprived of the good things in life, although less frequently than lucky children born from affluent families.  Still, I feel it is sufficient to have given them self-esteem and confidence when interacting with their peers.  I was able to get them an IPod music player, they have decent cell phones, and they have experienced eating expensive food.

How do we do it?  It’s all about smart shopping combined with good financial management.  It’s normal that children want cool clothes or gadgets and we do want to be able to give it to them.  Of course, I don’t believe children should be given whatever they want.  But I do believe in giving them rewards to motivate them in their endeavors.  It develops confidence and teaches them to work on their goals.

Purchasing these rewards on a limited budget is where smart shopping comes in.  It is possible to purchase expensive items at huge discounts.  You can either buy them brand new at a discount or get them used.  When I say used, it means choosing a second-hand product that has been taken cared off very well by the user.  And I also make sure we get it no more than as a second user.  Thus, we only choose items that have complete accessories (with the original box if possible) and only from sellers with impeccable feedback.    Sometimes we even get lucky and get brand new items at incredible prices in online auction stores.  There are reputable sellers who can give good discounts in these stores.  They are usually dealers who are letting go of old inventory or those who luckily get the items at large discounts and sell them for minimal profit.  So, if you are one of those who doubt the online auction stores, don’t rule them out.  With diligence and prudence, you will find great savings.  Just remember to scrutinize sellers’ feedback – we choose only sellers who have at least sold 50 items with no problems reported on any of them.

As for brand new items, I always search extensively online for bargains and coupon codes that can give large discounts on our purchases.  You will be surprised at the savings you can get searching the web.  I have also made it a practice to schedule bulk of my shopping during store bargain sales or when I am within the area of outlet store.  I don’t mind the inconvenience of shopping among crowds nor picking out the items among heaps of clothing or other items.  It is the price I pay for giving the best to my family under limited budget.  So far, it has worked well.  My kids have had the privilege of enjoying quality products despite our circumstances.

As a single mom, I have learned ingenuity and diligence to be able to take care of my children on my own.  It does involve sacrifices that I am more than willing to take to keep my children happy.  And I have no doubt that every single parent out there feels the same way.

Smart Shopping Within Your Reach

Being smart is essential in handling your money. The same applies whenever going shopping. To be a frugal shopper, it is important that you think of your money’s worth first. Here are some tips to effectively smart shopping:

o Plan your purchases. Frugal shopping is nil without planning ahead.

o Organize your list. – include in your lists the occasions in the whole year. Keep this list with you all the time and check it

o Research well. Include in your research the times when there are sales and cheaper items you can buy. Learn what you need, what are available and what are practical for your purchases.

o Shop early for the holidays, you know very well how much higher prices rise on holidays like Christmas season. Buying the presents for your family and friends before the Christmas rush starts will leave you with big chunk of savings.

o Identify your budget and be firm in staying within it. Create your own budget for the year or for the month. It may be hard to always stick in the budget limit you have so it will be wise to give yourself some allowance for your frugal shopping or impulse buying. Make sure that the allowance is reasonable.

o Look out for discount sales. There is nothing wrong in checking out discount sales in department stores, closeout and clearance sales. You will be surprised how much you save from these sales than when you buy the exact item from another shop that is not on sale.

o Never buy the first item you check. Planning on what you buy can sometimes be a disadvantage for you when you rush to the mall and pick up the first item in your list without minding the tag on the item. Be sure to check if you are not paying too much for your shopping. It will be a lot better if you can check out items you plan to buy online and have time to compare prices. Getting the best quality with the lowest price is possible when homework is done!

o Know your consumer rights. Be sure to know the warranties and guarantees you get with the purchased items. You can save a lot whenever you will be given that free home service repairs especially on appliances and furniture items.

Setting your budget for your shopping needs is a fun way of saving money. Once you get used to the habit and the process of keeping your budget and your spending limit in mind first, it will just be as natural and easy!