Across the globe the economic slowdown clock is fast ticking! The financial crisis that originated in America is spreading like a pandemic. Everyday the talk is about how rising costs are eating into spending power of consumers.
For a 'smart shopper', bigger shopping trolleys are an indicator of higher happiness. A smart shopper is undeterred and will not let any crisis dampen shopping plans. Christmas shopping, grocery shopping or holiday shopping - frugal shopping tips can sure help you! It can be challenging and equally thrilling to cut down expenses and yet continue to enjoy life as always. Check out effective grocery shopping tips and shopping advice.
Shopping with care
Shopping means different things to different people. Shopping often symbolizes freedom and a break from the rigmarole of life. The joy of Christmas shopping for gifts is to be experienced to be understood. Grocery shopping is usually a compulsory family activity reserved for the weekend.
The financial downturn has already shaken shopper's confidence and upset people's attitudes. However hard one tries, it's difficult for anyone to remain alienated or feel untouched by impacts of economic meltdown. Till a positive change in economic climate, a change in shopping behavior will help. The remedy would be a cut back on expenditures through frugal living - spend wisely, intelligently, economically and save smartly.
Save money while shopping
Groceries shopping, holiday shopping or Christmas shopping, complete shopping homework before venturing out. Eventually, the aim of the exercise is to restrain impulsive buying and indecisive shopping.
- Where am I going to shop? Take into account the traveling distance required to reach the shopping destination. Find if the shopping mall or the shopping area caters to your shopping requirements. Look for options to cut down on traveling expenses. Prefer a shopping destination that is close-by and involves less traveling. Save on gas or commuting costs. Check if self-driving by own vehicle or availing public transport services to reach the destination is economical. You can also consider car-pooling options and Internet shopping where feasible.
- When to shop? Determine shopping period and frequency. Take a look at shopping list and segregate items into weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly period. Check if any alterations can be effected to reduce expenses. Prepare shopping schedule accordingly.
- Is it a want or a need? Take a notebook and prepare a list of what you want to buy person-wise and for the entire family for the month. Differentiate between wants and needs. Give priority to needs. Put wants on hold. Look for great bargains and sensible discounts.
- Should I pay cash or make card payment? Think of the most feasible mode of payment. Reserve disposable income for necessities. Use cash or card diligently and avail special offers and discounts. Do not miss to redeem accumulated card points where possible. At the same time, pay card bills on time and avoid late fees and above the credit limit charges.
- What is my household budget? Household budget preparation is a crucial pre shopping activity. It helps to track money flow, cut back on unnecessary expenses and increase savings. Besides providing for monthly committed savings, a household budget should ideally include all possible monthly expenses like repayments of loans, daily expenses, traveling expenses, entertainment expenses, utility expenses, medical expenses, child-care related expenses as well as miscellaneous expenses.
- Committed to budget? A sincere commitment to stay within budget and adherence to a disciplined and organized shopping is important. Commitment becomes a practice, an established custom. Soon it helps in cultivating a frugal habitual shopper behavior.
Frugal shopping is not about making sacrifices and feeling deprived. On the other hand, it is about smart shopping. The mind of a frugal shopper is always on the lookout for ways and means to reduce shopping expenses. The frugal shopper is keen to take advantage of money-saving opportunities. Highly receptive to tips and advice on frugal shopping, the hunt is on for finding maximum value for every dollar spent. The aim is to save money on every buy.
- To shop within means
- To reduce expenses and spend wisely.
- To reduce debt and repay debts.
- To avoid waste.
The money so saved can be reserved for varied uses such as going on a holiday, for retirement or buying gift for a dear one. A frugal shopper with an alert mind and an eagle's eye looks for thrift purchase options. Remain updated about shopping stores that genuinely sell goods at cheap rates.
Frugal shopping tips for women
Women love shopping for variety of reasons Women and shopping are inseparable. Women shop not only for themselves but also for the entire household. Statistical data point out that women shop 2.5% more than men. But, with the economic downturn, till better times reemerge, many aspects of life will not be as before. Take a look at frugal shopping tips for women. Find great ways for shopping, how you can save money to buy things you need as well as want.
- Commit to savings. Then allocate money for shopping.
- Reform shopping attitude. Go value shopping.
- Prepare a comprehensive, realistic budget.
- Prepare and conform to shopping list.
- Know when to shop for what.
- Let not others influence personal shopping behavior.
- Prioritize individual shopping requirements of family members.
- Talk to kids before going for shopping. Explain benefits of frugal shopping.
- Stack coupons and remember to use before due date.
- Gather information about places where friends and neighbors shop.
- Compare store prices; look to buy more for less.
- Do your homework well before on-line Internet shopping.
- Paying cash instead of card curtails unwanted purchases.
- Don't buy items that can be recycled and reused.
- Combine birthday celebrations and save money.
Frugal grocery shopping tips
No deprivation required on the nutrition aspect for a rational grocery bill. Use grocery-shopping tips and find how big a saving you can make. You can easily save anywhere from 15% to 50%.
Top of the Page: Frugal Shopping Tips
- Put down a reckless buying attitude. Always check expiry date before buying packaged items. Also, use fruits and vegetables when there are fresh.
- Do not buy vegetables, fruits or eatables just because it's available in a particular season. Look for items, which the entire family enjoys.
- Kindle your gardening interests. Try and grow as many vegetables as you can.
- Prefer unpackaged food items as the cost of packaged goods is inclusive of packaging costs.
- Look for 'good deals' on grocery items - absolutely necessary for your household.
- Plan meals for the entire week. Improve culinary skills. Try variety of recipes. Expand cooking expertise. There are many ways to use pasta, canned goods, sauces, frozen fruits and cereals.
- Always, consider grocery items at home and plan meals accordingly. You will avoid wastage and also eat fresh food.
- In case a particular ingredient is not available, learn new ways of substituting.
- Switch over from brand products to generic products. Generic products are also of good quality at a substantially lower rate when compared to brand products.
- Check if a co-operative society functions in your area. You can avail discount for members.
- Adopt USDA's dietary guideline. Build diet around whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy items.
- Cheese, poultry, dried peas, beans, lentils, certain fish varieties; eggs are less expensive and good sources of protein. Cut down on meat consumption; go for other excellent sources of protein and save money.
- Buy lean meat in bulk. Divide and freeze. You will save while purchasing in bulk.
- Make a list of items that are extensively used at home like shaving lotions, toothpaste, bath soap, laundry soap, detergents, body spray etc. Buying now and stocking for a quarter can be cheaper.
- Likewise buy and stock freezer storage items when there is a discount, e.g. cheese butter, yogurt etc.
- Bring down consumption of junk food. It is good for health and you will see a substantial saving in grocery bill.
- Take advantage of shops that sell items below costs. Know when, where and which grocery shops that are close-by advertise discount sales.
- Avoid grocery wastage. It can substantially reduce grocery spending by 10 to 20%.
- Leave your contact details with shops most frequented. In case of discounts or sales, the shops can add in their list and send e-mails or inform over telephone.
- Check the bill before leaving the premises of the shop.
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