If you’re anything like the average American family, money can be a little tight right now. I’m always looking for ways to save a little bit of money, whether that means shopping at Goodwill, clipping coupons, or waiting until something goes on sale to buy it. Here are my top seven tips for smart shoppers:
1. Call to see if any grocery stores in your area accepts their competitors’ sale ads instead of running from store to store in search of sale items. Some stores honor price-busting!
2. No time to clip coupons? You’re not alone. Less than 3 percent are ever redeemed, says Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy (Simon & Schuster). Instead, look for the coupons found on the store aisles.
3. Fast forward through the floral, bakery, and gift sections that are directly in the main path. Ellie Kay, author of Shop, Save, and Share (Bethany House), calls these the “money-draining traps.”
4. If possible, leave the kids at home or with a friend. “You’re less likely to give in to their desire to buy on impulse,” says Kay. The longer you shop the more you’ll spend — about $1 a minute!
5. Beware of signs. Handwritten ones don’t always point to sales and those stating LIMIT 10 aren’t placed there because stores are worried about running out of stock, but so customers will buy more.
6. Don’t assume an item’s on sale just because it’s on the end of the aisle. Grocers put items on endcaps to catch your attention, not necessarily to give you a good deal.
7. Take cash and leave your credit cards and checkbook at home. You’ll be forced to stay on budget.
What about you? Do you have your own tips? I’d love to hear what works for you!