Seven Tips for Smart Shoppers

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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!

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Tricia Goyer (77 Posts)

Tricia is the author of more than 30 books and has published more than 500 articles for national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine. She won the Historical Novel of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award in 2005. Tricia's co-written novel, The Swiss Courier, was a nominee for the Christy Awards.


Comments

  1. The cash tip is a tried and true tip that I love! It really works. I’m apt to spend more if I don’t see the money leaving my hands in the form of cash.

  2. I always try to plan out my meals, and take inventory of what is on hand before leaving home. Then make out the list of what is needed to complete the list. If I haven’t taken the time to plan, then I end up buying what I don’t even need.

  3. Donna Harmon says:

    I also go Dollar General on there coupon day each week (usually Friday or Saturday). I signed up to get text coupons, so one a week I get $5 off a $25 purchase BEFORE coupons so I save even more. I buy necessities…toilet paper, shampoo, soap & staple food items they carry.

  4. Susan Stitch says:

    Take a calculator so you know what your total is going to be. Especially if you have cash! Also, plan your menu around the sales, then make a great list and stick to it! If you go to the store early, you’ll often find “manager’s special” meat deals that are great if you use them right away or freeze them for later. I’ve gotten hamburger for 75 cents per pound that way!

  5. I know some stores also have the apps for your phone so you can add coupons. Even if you don’t clip coupons I’d suggest just going to the website and adding all the coupons. That way you save money anyways 🙂 You have a beautiful website. I wish there were more Amish communities in Colorado area. I wanted so bad to find my way to a store while out in Tennessee and Georgia at Christmas time. But time and weather were not in our favor.

  6. I try to make my main grocery run to Aldi. I can usually find my staples there–great produce, cheeses & dairy, cereals & oats, baking supplies, nuts, dark chocolate, etc. Every 3-4 months I go to Trader Joes (it’s an hour + away) and stock up on a few things like brown rice pasta, olive oil, nuts, etc. We have a butcher in town where I tend to go for meats-or just the grocery store in town when meats go on sale. And then because I live in Lancaster County, I can also go to a great Amish-run grocery store which buys and then sells over-runs, etc. Fabulous deals!
    I also try to consistently keep up with my pantry and freezer–what needs to be stocked and l keep a running-list. Blessings as we all try to be good stewards! Liz in PA

  7. Oh if I only had the energy to plan the meals and plan the shoppinglist. But I will grab my selfe by the neck and start doing it. And THANK YOU for this blog, this might be my lifesaver. God Bless.

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