Smart Shopping Tips that Reduce Overspending

Last Updated on August 13, 2021

There are some quick and easy ways to help you change your shopping habits without having to use sheer willpower

It doesn’t matter whether you are shopping for a gift, clothes or if your window shopping always turns into large purchases. Here are some shopping tips to get more value for your money and reduce the chances of buying unnecessary stuff.

1. Don’t go shopping when you are hungry

You’ll shop with your stomach and end up buying more than you really need. Supermarkets are always filled with special deals and it can be tempting to buy the bigger box but often buying excess food results in food that never gets touched till it’s expired.

Likewise, when it comes to electronics or clothes, some deals may be amazing but if you aren’t going to wear the same shirt in 10 different colours, then don’t buy them in bulk.

2. Figure out what you need to buy in advance so you can benefit from seasonal discounts

This is especially useful for gifting periods. For instance, if your friend’s birthdays fall in January or February then get their gift during the end of year sales. That way you can buy them more things with the same budget. Likewise, if there are some toiletries you use regularly, you can benefit from big yearly sales that departmental stores have. Just be sure to take note of the manufactured or expiry date.

3. Know what you need to buy even before you hit the shops

To prevent yourself from buying unnecessary things or succumb to impulsive buys, prepare a list. Be clear of what you need, check your inventory at home, write it on your list and stay focused while you’re shopping. You’re on a mission and if you complete the mission well, you will end up with a credit card bill that you can actually stomach.

4. Look at the prices in the stores (online or physical) and check the prices on other competitors websites

I often find shampoos sold at the store to be more expensive than on certain websites. But of course, take note of any shipping or currency conversion fees before you make up your mind.

Some sites lower their prices artificially to entice you, but you end up paying the same or more when the additional fees are included at checkout. Yet most of the time you’ll find a competitor with a much more affordable price.

5. Know it before the sales start

You don’t have to be a psychic to know when the sale starts. Here’s a quick tip – keep an eye on the store’s layout. Most stores usually arrange clothes by colour themes or by seasonal looks. This is a strategy designed to drag you deeper into the store.

However, a few days before a sale, these items get re-sorted by the type of items such as tops and bottoms. So if you notice this reshuffling, wait before making your purchase. In some cases, you might be allowed to reserve the items and come back for them in a few days when the sale kicks in.

6. Trick online merchants into giving you discount codes for online shopping.

Merchants have mechanisms built in their websites to track that you were interested in certain items. Especially if you add items to your shopping cart but don’t checkout. If you fail to finish your online order, these companies often send you codes to tempt you to come back. Stores like Asos, Zalora and even local boutiques stores today do the same.

Here are the steps to try out:

Step 1. Sign in or sign up for an account.

Step 2. Add items into your shopping cart. Generally higher-value items work better for a bigger discount code.

Step 3. Leave the site.

Step 4. Check your email. You might just find a code or offer landing in your inbox the next few hours or up to 2 days.

Step 5. Log back in and use the code. Before you do that, make sure you’ve removed anything unwanted from your shopping cart before paying.

7. Try on your new clothes at home and strut around.

Return anything that doesnt bring you enough joy. We sometimes buy items online or in a store on a whim but end up realising it doesn’t suit us. If you don’t love it, return it. The last thing we need is to end up with cheap, discounted items that we don’t want or need. A life bogged down by many frivolous purchases take away from investing in the important things.

We hope these tips will help you to save more money. Keep track of your spending automatically with the help of Planner Bee’s automatic transaction categorisation capabilities. Compare your spending over the time while you learn and apply these tips.

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