Shopping is easy, shopping smart is an art. Just as anyone can pick up a paint brush and create some sort of picture, anyone can go into a store and come out with something they bought as well; but, was the time and money well spent? “Binge shopping”, like binge eating, fills you (or your shopping cart) up, but was the final result actually worth it? How many times has that trendy dress, shirt, or objet d’art that caught your eye, and you just had to have end up in the closet or cabinet, or maybe the Salvation Army’s Thrift Shop?
Smart shopping starts with one simple question: “Do I really want, or need this?
Then ask yourself: How many times will, or can, I use or wear it?
Those two simple questions can help, but serial shoppers might need a bit more help.
Here are some tips on smart and thrifty shopping.
- Before shopping, make a list of what you want or need to buy, and what you expect to spend.
- Shop for those items first – then browse for things that catch your eye.
- Set a budget for your shopping trip, enough to cover what you need, and a little more something you might want or need within your budget.
- Avoid impulse shopping. Don’t spend all your money on one thing, unless you’ve planned and saved up for it and you REALLY NEED IT!
- Before buying, check other shops and stores for the same or similar item. It may be cheaper somewhere else, and by then you may realize you don’t really need it after all.
- By “shopping around” you may find things equally attractive, but less expensive. You can still LOOK trendy, without paying designer prices, if you know how to shop wisely.
- At the end of the day, have some money left over.