Almost everywhere there is shopping, there is a bargain. Let’s review the steps to being a savvy shopper:
The first thing you need to know when shopping is what exactly you are looking for so you do not fall into the trap of buying anything you didn’t plan on buying – that’s called impulse buying. Then, it’s important to find out the actual price of the items you are looking for. This will serve as your baseline for comparison shopping because the word “sale” does not necessarily mean that you are saving a tremendous amount of money – the original price might have been highly marked-up.
A little research is the best way to have access to a variety of information about products and their values. Comparison shopping is done easily through the newspaper and the internet as you can find answers immediately and get a diverse selection of reviews and articles. Furthermore, the internet can serve as a great database for consumer reviews. Although they must be taken into context, most reviews can provide insightful information about a product’s long-term sustainability or manufacturing flaws. There are entire websites devoted to coupon codes and discounts as well as codes for free or reduced shipping costs.
Sales and discount programs
There are appropriate times when you should take advantage of sales and discounts. If it is an item that you really need or use frequently, stocking up while the item has a reduced price is smart. Many stores, such as grocery and clothing stores, offer frequent shopper programs. These programs can add up to significant savings over time. Again, do not buy items just to get a discount if you really do not need them. The best type of frequent shopper programs are those that simply keep track of points or dollar amounts as this is less likely to alter your shopping habits and simply reward you for buying what you normally purchase. Coffee houses and other retailers have jumped on the customer reward program bandwagon and nearly all stores now have some type of program in place. Most programs are heavily marketed, but if you do not see or hear about any discount programs, remember to ask if any are available. Even if some retailers do not offer discounts or are not having sales, it never hurts to ask an employee if a discount is available for any of the items you are purchasing.