This is a guest post by the money team at moneysupermarket.com
When we’re shopping is when we’re most likely to spend money that we can’t really afford. Throughout 2011 if we try to adopt a more frugal approach to our daily shopping, then it can help us to save some of our hard earned money.
When you’re out shopping you should think about the long term implications of buying that specific product before you make a purchase, do you really need it and can you really afford it? Being sensible with your money can be half the battle…
What to do with your savings?
Once you know how to save some money whilst shopping, you should then make your savings work for you. Put your savings in a high interest savings account and the more you put in the higher the return will be for you, it’s basically free money! If you’re based in America then the high Lifetime Savings Account or LSA is the best option for you. If you’re UK based like me then the cash ISA savings account is the equivalent.
So that’s what to do with the money once you’ve saved it, but how can we get the most out of frugal shopping?
Always shop using a list!
When you go shopping, whether you go for food or luxuries it’s incredibly important that you go prepared if you want to save. Before you venture out, take a look around your house and have a think about what you need and make a list, take this list with you and stick to it! It will help you to stay away from any expensive purchases that you never intended to make.
Bargain shopping is great
Remember to look in the bargain bucket whenever your out shopping, you never know what you could find. Also, you should try to avoid shopping in the same places all of the time, some supermarkets offer exclusive deals that others don’t have, so by always shopping in the same place you could be missing on some great deals.
Remember that when shopping for a specific product, you shouldn’t be afraid to choose the cheaper option; you should always go for what you can afford.
Avoid buying products on impulse
I’m sure that most of us have been in the position when we’ve seen a product that we really like in a store and we decide to buy it, even though we went into that store with no intention of purchasing it. These are impulse purchases and they can seriously bump up your overall shopping bill.
You may think that one impulse purchase may not affect your financial situation dramatically, and you may be right, but making impulse purchases on a regular basis will. You’ll probably end up with a load of boxes at home filled with items that you don’t want or need.
Use some voucher codes
Voucher codes may not save you thousands but it will help you save a little bit extra, and every little bit helps. Have a search for any big voucher code sites and see if they have a newsletter, you can then get the best deals send straight to your e-mail address. Another option would be to see what iPhone apps are available for voucher codes, you can then check if you can make a saving when you’re out and about straight from your phone.
Follow the deal makers
To save money when shopping you should be monitoring the best shopping deal websites, keep an eye on them for any specific products you want to see if a good deal arises. Also, see if they have a Twitter account and follow them, they will more often than not tweet their best deals for their followers to make use of.