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7 Tips for Smart Shopping

Shopping can drain you of your energy and money and you could end up with stuff that you don’t really need. iJugaad gives you tips on how you can shop smart.

As surprising at it seems, shopping is not a task that is enjoyed by all. If not done the right way, shopping can upset the best of budgets and throw all plans of saving money right into the wind. There are very effective ways of managing shopping within a budget if you follow some of these simple tips:

  • Stick with the list: The most repeated strategy and the simplest one – always, always carry a list and stick to it. Supermarkets with attractive shelves displaying discount rates and sale announcements may tempt the best of us. Do not fall into the trap! Make a comprehensive list of the things you need and the quantity required. Carry the money required for the purchase of the items on your list and you will find that you have bought everything you need within the money allocated.
  • Buy seasonal: Try to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. They are good for your health and easy on the pocket. This ensures that the family eats a wide variety of fruits and vegetables instead of monopolizing one or two types.
  • Shop on a full stomach: This may seem strange but it is very effective. Shopping when one is hungry leads to wasteful expenditure and purchase of junk food. Try to do your shopping when you are alert and mentally fresh. Fatigue and hunger lead to careless shopping, leading further to unnecessary expenditure. Retail therapy is not easy on the pocket!
  • Shop within a fixed time period: Make sure you set a time limit for your shopping spree. When you stick to your list and are energetic, you obviously do not require too much time. That in itself reduces time spent checking out products that you don’t really need and buying stuff you never set out to buy.
  • Check up on offers before you shop: Read up on offers and discounts before you go shopping. Find out if there are good bargains for non-perishable items. If you are eligible for coupons, make sure you carry all of them.
  • Check for stuff on your list before you shop: Before shopping for school or stationery, raid your drawers and shelves. If there are supplies left over, you have saved yourself a few bucks.
  • Be smart when shopping with and for kids: While buying shoes or clothes for children, make sure you have specified your budget to the kids. Buy a size extra so that they don’t outgrow their footwear or dresses too quickly. Avoid taking kids along to the supermarket. Tired kids require treats and more comfort food or worse, fancy toys. The weekly shopping trips are best done when alone.

The most important way to shop smart is differentiating between needs and wants. If there is something that you need, you have to buy it. But if you can do without it, it need not be bought right away. You can take time, compare and select prudently.

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