Ten Tips for Becoming a Smart Shopper
1 – Do Your Research.
This is especially important for big-ticket items such as cars, furniture and home appliances. A little research done on the Internet or by using consumer research magazines could save you a bundle in a number of ways. For example by researching different retailers, both online and on the high street, you could save money on the purchase price in the first place. However, there are other ways research could help you save such as buying a more economical washing machine. This could save you money in the long run through the use of less power and less washing powder.
2 – Shop Around for Insurance
Don’t be complacent by sticking to the same insurer year after year, especially with car insurance. It pays to shop around for the best deal, you could save hundreds.
3 – Change Your Provider
The same thing applies to your utility providers and your mobile phone network. Shop around and look for a better deal. Don’t be afraid to change to a new supplier if your current one isn’t willing to make the effort to keep you as a customer by offering you a better deal. There is always an alternative.
4 – Be on Top of Your Game in the Supermarket
Be a little more diligent when you do your weekly shop in the supermarket as you could save quite a bit of money by swapping brands occasionally. Don’t just dismiss the idea of buying the supermarket’s own brand. In a lot of cases, the quality is just the same but the price is a lot less. Also, look for items with less packaging. If the supermarket doesn’t have to pay for packaging in the first place then they won’t pass the cost onto you. Don’t just go by the price on the box or tin. Take a calculator with you and work out the price per 100g or whatever makes sense. You could save money by buying larger quantities.
5 – Buy Things Near to their Sell by Dates
Another tip when you are in the supermarket is to look for produce that has been reduced because it is near its sell by date, especially if you intend to use it straight away anyway.
6 – Look for Special Offers
This applies in lots of places but is especially relevant in supermarkets. Consider hunting out special offers for items that you normally buy anyway, such as ‘buy one, get one free’ offers. It may mean you have to swap brands or maybe have to freeze some things but you have got some of them for free anyway and your shopping bill will be less the following week.
7 – Consider Using Charity Shops
Charity shops can be Aladdin’s Cave’s full of items that you would never normally be able to afford. Why not consider visiting charity shops in upmarket parts of town as you might stumble across some designer bargains, especially clothing that may have only been worn one or two times. Once you’re done with them, you could even then probably sell them on eBay for a profit.
8 – Don’t Buy Bottled Water
This one really is a no brainer. The news is that the water in your tap at home is just as good as the stuff in bottles and is pretty much free compared to it too. If you insist then get yourself a water filter in your refrigerator to improve the taste or put some orange squash in it – but stop buying bottled water right now.
9 – Stop Buying Lottery Tickets
When you come out of the supermarket do you usually stop off and get yourself a lottery ticket and maybe a couple of lottery scratch cards? Well stop it right now. If you buy two lottery tickets and three scratch cards per week that soon adds up to a tidy sum every month that could be put to better use elsewhere. Why not put it into a savings account and use it for Christmas presents instead?
10 – Stop Buying Ready Meals and Buy a Recipe Book
You might think you can’t cook and you might think you are doing best by just buying ready meals that can be cooked in the microwave but you are kidding yourself. The amount of fresh produce that you can buy for the cost of a ready meal could be quite considerable and most meals are not that difficult to prepare. They will taste better and you’ll get a lot more for your money too.