In this advert-painted world, mastering the skill of shopping smart is not a luxury anymore, rather, it’s a necessity. Here are 5 tips on how to shop like a pro.
Shopping is like a love-hate relationship. It can either end with us feeling rewarded or feeling utterly frustrated. Sometimes, we only buy the things we need. Sometimes, we buy the things we don’t need but want. And other times, we buy stuff that we neither need nor want, without knowing why.
You’re right, there are some superb marketing campaigns that we simply can’t resist, but physically speaking, we’re still in control of our wallets, or e-wallets. So, it really is up to us to be aware of where our money ends up going. The good news is that shopping smart is a skill. A skill that anybody can learn.
With that said, here are 5 tips to help you shop smarter.
#1. Shop Alone
Unless you have a buddy who stops you from making the wrong or unnecessary purchases, it’s better to shop alone.
Your buying decisions can be influenced not only by advertisements but also by your friends. It’s referred to as “groupthink”. It means that the group establishes what is okay and what is not. Before you know it, you’ll find a pair of weird-looking sunglasses in your shopping bag and your palm on your forehead, whispering “What was I thinking?”
#2. Avoid Low-Quality Goods
While in most cases there are cheaper alternatives, sometimes buying cheap items can backfire.
You always want to make sure that the goods you buy are of high quality. If given the choice to pick between multiple purchases of the cheaper item or a more expensive one with higher quality, go for the latter. Spare yourself of having to constantly worry about the life of this item.
Whether you’re shopping online or off, always compare prices before making the purchase. First, it helps you to get to know the product a little more. And second, it prevents you from overpaying for an item.
Compare them, if both are similar but one is a lot more expensive, make the switch. The difference really adds up and the last thing you want is to find out that you’ve paid a hiked-up price.
#4. Have a Shopping List
Always plan your shopping ahead and keep a running list of your needs and wants. Not having a shopping list leaves you vulnerable to impulse purchases. If it’s not on your shopping list, then you probably don’t need it and even if you made the purchase, you won’t end up using the item.
Alternatively, keep an eye out for when the essentials (soap, detergent, cooking oil) and anything that’s on your shopping list is on sale.
#5. Be Okay with Placing Items Back on the Shelf
Last, and most importantly, understand that sometimes, our hands just reach out to grab items. It’s almost like it’s programmed into us to put things in our cart. And that’s fine, as long as we’re okay with placing them back on the shelf.
Get comfortable saying: “You know what, actually I don’t need this item. I’m probably not going to use it, anyway.”
When you hear that, that is a sign that you’re being aware of your actions as a shopper and not being swayed by the flashing marketing deals. That is a sign that you’re putting your financial goals above anything else. And that’s your sign that you’ve levelled up to a smart shopper.