In today’s modern society, shopping has become an important part of many peoples’ lives. Malls now replace town squares as central drawing points in the community. Shopping is considered recreation by some, an emotional outlet by others. A bumper sticker that says “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping” reflects the mood of our culture: we have practically elevated shopping to an art form.
Regardless of whether you love to shop or do it only out of necessity, here are some pointers for getting the most out of your money:
Today Charishma brings you some shopping tricks and techniques. Thank You Charishma.
1. Shop alone — and after eating
One simple recipe for avoiding impulse buying: Do your shopping after a light snack or meal and leave the kids at home.
If you aren’t hungry, yummy-looking foods will be easier to pass up. And if your children aren’t with you, they won’t be clamoring for all the goodies at eye level.
With your stomach full and your hands free, you’ll find yourself with both the time and energy to do real comparison shopping. So have your partner stay with the kids while you head to the store, list in hand, ready to scan the aisles for what you need as well as special deals.
2. Understand how stores work
A basic understanding of merchandising can help you avoid overspending. These simple habits will go a long way toward keeping your budget in check:
• Walk briskly toward what you came to buy and avoid distractions along the way. For example, have you ever noticed that the diapers and milk are often at the back of the store? You’re forced to walk past a lot of temptation to get to the items you need most often.
• Products are displayed at the ends of the aisles in order to catch your eye. Think carefully about whether what you see there is really necessary — or a bargain — before you toss it in the cart. Many “featured” items are not bargains at all.
• As you peruse the aisles, bend over to check the prices on the bottom shelves and compare them to the cost of the items at eye level.
• Avoid buying the items displayed by the register. The magazines at the checkout stand cost much more per issue than they would if you had a subscription, and cookies in little packages cost more than a from a box. Almost everything near the register is there to inspire you to buy on impulse, not to save you money.
Tip: Make fewer trips to the store and you’ll find yourself with fewer chances to pick up a few extras you don’t really need.
3. Buy house brands or generics
The less-costly house brands are often so similar to national brands that you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart without the packaging. Read labels to compare nutritional value and you’ll quickly see how little difference (if any) there is.
4. Check the unit price
As you cruise down the aisles comparing products, take note of the unit price that appears on the store shelf just below or above the product. The unit price tells you what the product costs per ounce or some other consistent unit of measurement.
Whether the package is tall, short, or squat, you’ll know in an instant whether it costs more or less than other sizes of the same food. Don’t be fooled by packaging — compare per-unit prices, and buy the item that offers more for less instead of the one that looks like more for less.
5. Use savings cards and coupons
Check your supermarket’s weekly flyer or ads for coupons on items you buy regularly — but also take advantage of your store’s savings card. Many supermarkets offer savings-card programs that entitle you to special bargains or cash-back dividends on your purchases. Just present the savings card (or your ID number) at checkout, and depending on how your store’s program is structured, you’ll get savings on the spot or a dividend at the end of the year.
6. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is a no-brainer if you’re feeding a big family or the whole preschool. But you can still benefit from these discounts if yours is a smaller family or you have limited storage space. Here are some ideas for making the most of oversize buys:
• As always, arrive at your bulk-shopping store with a list. This will help you avoid buying a TV, watch, barbecue, or package of 200 gel pens just because it’s such a good deal.
• If you do purchase perishables, separate large packages into smaller ones as soon as you get home
7. Buy from the source
Get produce from a local farmer’s market (Hopcomms in Bangalore) and you can avoid the store markup on fresh vegetables and fruit.