The smart moves you use when you do your grocery shopping may not necessarily apply when you go hunting for, say, the perfect coat for the cold season. However, some foundational shopping tips are very useful no matter the type of product you’re searching for. Here are some of the essential and budget-saving pointers that you should always keep in mind when you’re out and about as a consumer.

“Buy what you don’t have yet, or what you really want, which can be mixed with what you already own. Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.” — Karl Lagerfeld

 Satisfy Your Thirst and Hunger First before Buying

A study showed that buying groceries on an empty stomach may be more likely to get you checking out of the counter with the kind of food you’re trying to avoid. Also, avoid being hungry or thirsty while out on an errand as you may end up buying things you never planned to get due to a reaction to the imbalanced state of your body. Furthermore, avoid timing your purchases with mood swings. You run the risk of spending more money or time when you go out and shop when you’re bored, lonely, or emotionally unwell.

 Always List Down Items

Not only are you likely to buy what you actually don’t need or even get to use, but you are also likely to make unnecessary repeat trips to the store if you go out and shop without a list in hand and miss buying one essential item. The latter will be costlier as you’ll spend extra on gas or fare. Plus, you dangerously expose yourself more to the risk of making unplanned purchases such as clothing sale. You are also likely to encounter the arrival of new stocks at your favorite store, which could lead to impulse buying.

 Try to Wait Until Sale Season

As much as possible, time your shopping during markdowns, especially if what you need isn’t something that you have to use ASAP, like clothes or pantry stock. Note when your favorite shops usually put up a sale and wait for the period to arrive before getting the item in question.

 Consider Using Substitutes

This is especially true when your budget is tight and you want your financial resources to go a long way. You can ask yourself if you really need the item and if you already have something back home that can serve the purpose. Or, you can consider improvising with similar but less costly alternatives or get the more budget-friendly option that also has decent quality.

 Use Cash

You can use plastic for large purchases, like appliances and furniture, but strive to pay in cash for items that don’t cost as much. A study observed that consumers are likely to pay 20-50% more than they usually do when they’re shopping with credit cards. When you use cash, you’re less likely to go overboard with your purchases; you always stick to the budget. Using cash also underscores the necessity of drawing up an actual budget for your purchases so you’re sure you can get all that you need without running out of money in the middle of your shopping jaunt.

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