If you know that cutting shopping completely out from your life would be a big sacrifice that you could not possibly make, have no fear by following these five simple tips, you can still indulge your inner shopaholic without breaking the bank.
1. Become a coupon clipper. Though each individual coupon may not seem to offer much of a discount, these savings do add up at the cash register. With just a fistful of coupons, you could end up saving more than $10 on each grocery store run. Check your mail circulars and Sunday newspapers for coupons on the things that you buy already, such as toothpastes, shampoos, cosmetics, and much more.
2. Become an e-coupon clipper. Many online retailers regularly offer coupon codes that can be used for an additional discount off your order. Some coupon codes can also grant free shipping, which will save you from losing money in case you need to return what you ordered. To find these online coupons, either log on to websites like FatWallet.com and RetailMeNot.com, or do a Google search for retailer coupon codes. In addition, you can find printable coupons online that you can take into the store to use. For example, Borders book stores and Bed, Bath & Beyond regularly post printable coupons for in-store use.
3. Determine what items to buy full-price and what items to buy on sale. You can typically tell whether or not a certain item will ever go on sale. For example, items which sell successfully and are staples of a certain brand, such as KitchenAid’s stand mixer or Ray Ban’s aviator-style sunglasses, are unlikely to ever make it to the sale section of a store. In these instances, if the item is something you need, then you should probably go ahead and pay full-price for it. However, if the item is slower to sell and is unlikely to stick around season after season, you can count on it eventually going on sale. For these items, wait until it becomes reduced in price before purchasing it.
4. Join shopping clubs and local deal-of-the-day clubs. Many retailers and businesses reach out to customers online because it is an easy way to find new customers and bring old ones back. For this reason, many offer special discounts and deals to popular online clubs. For example, you can join clubs like RueLaLa.com or Gilt.com if you are a fan of high-end fashion because these sites offer designer wares for up to half off the retail price. If fashion is not your thing, then consider frequenting local deal-of-the-day clubs, such as LivingSocial.com, which offer rotating specials from local eateries and activities, like discounted cooking lessons or special dinner prices.
5. Before buying “extra” things like clothing, be honest with yourself. You will always need certain items, such as soap and groceries. For these things, you do not have to ponder about whether you will get your money’s worth before making the commitment to purchase. However, for luxury items like clothing and shoes, you should think long and hard about whether or not you will use the item enough to warrant its purchase. If it is a clothing item that you are interested in, come up with at least three ways in which you can wear the item. If you cannot think of three ways to wear it, then it is likely not a wise purchase to make. For other items, you can apply the same logic. If you cannot imagine at least three ways or times in which the item will receive adequate use, then you should reconsider its purchase.
If you are an avid shopper and simply cannot imagine cutting back dramatically, follow the above mentioned tips so that you can at least save more than you usually do while still indulging your habits.
Do you like these tips? Do you have your own tip to add?