Got a big holiday coming up? Debts to clear? Maybe you’re just looking to be a little more frugal? Whatever the reason behind the penny pinching, here are some simple ways to help you shop smart and save money.
Use cash or debit cards
Credit cards are ideal to fall back on in an emergency, or in the face of a temporary cash flow problem. That said, you shouldn’t let their convenience lure you into using them for day-to-day expenses. Using cash or debit cards instead is a simple way to set yourself an automatic spending limit, avoiding the trap of unwanted debt and nasty interest fees.
Have a cool off period
We’ve all regretted an impulse buy, but if something catches your eye in a shop window, it’s unlikely to sell out within a couple of days. Take that time to mull it over, and if you still want it, you can go back and get it. This way you ensure you’re only spending money on the things you really want or need.
Use discount retailers
Designer labels don’t come cheap, and even some high street shops can be pricey these days. There is a way to get big name goods without the big price tag, however, and the secret lies with discount catalogue stores. Studio is one of the best-known examples, and this Studio 24 catalogue review breaks down some of the labels you can expect to find for less, as well as their Buy Now, Pay Later scheme, which helps to spread the cost.
Be wary of special offers
BOGOF! Half price! When it’s gone it’s gone! This kind of sales schtick is hardly new, and yet we’re all guilty of buying into it. Just remember, it’s only a bargain if it’s something you wanted in the first place.
Take the time to browse
Looking something up online is a great way to compare prices from different retailers, but also to check out reviews. After all, if you’re forking out cold, hard cash, you want to be sure it’s a quality investment.
Lists, lists, lists!
Organisation is your friend when it comes to smart shopping. So, take stock of what’s already in your cupboards, draw up a weekly meal plan, and write out exactly what you need. Arming yourself with this knowledge every time you hit the shops is a sure-fire way to avoid needless spending.
Embrace the second-hand market
Pre-loved doesn’t have to mean poor quality. There are some fantastic deals to be found for all sorts of goods on the second-hand market. You could even sell some of your own stuff to fund your next shopping spree – everyone’s a winner!