In theory shopping is fun, but when you don’t have a lot of spare cash, shopping can also be stressful. Some types of shopping are essential: we have to eat and unless you are completely self-sufficient, you will probably need to visit the local supermarket to stock up your cupboards at least once a week. Other types of shopping fall into the frivolous category: buying a new party dress or splashing out on some sexy shoes.
Fortunately, there are ways and means you can do both, even if you are shopping on a tight budget – and here’s how.
Use Price Comparison Websites
Price comparison websites are useful if you are making larger purchases for Christmas and other special events. All you have to do is tell the search engine what you want and it does the legwork. You can find the cheapest prices for a Playstation, iPads, or even your weekly grocery shop.
Buy at the Right Time
Some things are more expensive at certain times of the year. For example, if you wait until December to buy Christmas cards and wrapping paper, you can expect to pay full price, but if you buy them in January, they will normally be heavily discounted to help the store shift their stock. So be a smart shopper and buy out of season.
Shop in Bulk
It is always more cost effective to buy products in bulk. Obviously this only works for some items, but in the case of grocery products, there are definite savings to be made if you can buy in bulk. Washing powder, dried goods and anything with a long shelf life is cheaper when bought in larger quantities from wholesalers or large sites such as Amazon. So stock up, save money and store items until you need them.
Plan Shopping Trips Carefully
Last minute panic buying is never a good idea, particularly at Christmas. You will inevitably end up in the most expensive stores and parking costs will be extortionate. To avoid this, plan shopping trips carefully by making sure that you pre-book your parking space rather than driving to the nearest premium rate car park. If you’re not driving there’s also money to be saved on train tickets.
Be a Coupon Queen
Coupons and discount vouchers are the answer to a thrifty mum’s dreams. Collecting these vouchers can seem like an odious task at times, but if you are organised and know when to spend them, it is possible to save a fortune at the till.
Buy Short Date Products
Grocery products are usually discounted when their “best before” date has or is about to expire. This doesn’t mean they are unsafe to use; rather, it means you need to eat them sooner rather than later. If you want to save money on dried goods such as rice and cereals, shop for short date products at the local supermarket.
There are lots of ways to save money on all kinds of goods. You just have to be a thrifty shopper to hunt out the bargains and pay less than the recommended retail price. So what are you waiting for?