Simple. Be PRACTICAL.
Practical, meaning, the price that you pay for an item is worth it. You want to get the most bang for your buck.
Below are my guidelines when I shop for just about anything.
1. Make a list and budget.
Before you even go to the store, make sure that you write down on a sheet of paper the list of things that you need to buy and don’t forget to BUDGET! This way, you won’t be overspending money from your impulsive purchases. So, make a list, budget and STICK TO IT (well, at least try to).
2. Be open.
Meaning, you don’t have to buy just the name brands and you don’t have to buy just the cheap stuff either. Mix and match. Don’t be afraid of trying new things. This is true for food, clothing, house,cellphone plans, services…on almost anything! Collect and collect and then select. Compare brands. Compare services. Compare prices.
Toiletries for example. Personally, I have tried almost all of the tissue paper brands out there and I am sticking to the store brand which I think is the most practical and the cheapest. On the other hand, I prefer to buy branded toothpastes rather than the generics.
3. Use cash.
Yes. That’s right. When you shop, use cash. You’ll be more aware of how much money you ACTUALLY have compare to just swiping that credit card. This will help you prevent from racking up debt at the stores.
Although I don’t use this very often (I am lazy to clip them), I can see the many benefits of coupons. A little savings and discounts here and there can save you money. Afterall, a penny saved is a penny earned.
5. Sharing is caring.
What I meant by this is that you should find shopping buddy/ies that you trust. There are benefits to this. First off, your buddies can tell you if the brand that you are buying is good or not, if the dress that you are trying flatters you or makes you fat. They give unbiased opinions and advises to your purchases. Second, you can actually split the cost of bulky items with friends. This is very true with non perishable food packed in cases. And third, shopping together, forms a bond with your friends. I consider myself very lucky to have such amazing shopping buddies.
I am not sure if you are already doing these but if you have new ideas or guidelines, you are more than welcome to share it with me. Have fun shopping!