When it comes to saving money– whether we’re hitting up the grocery store or bargain shopping for clothing — most of us already know to look for coupons or shop during sale seasons.
However, there are a number of shopping tips that are not as well known, and these are money-saving secrets that stores definitely won’t tell you. To avoid spending more on your errands than is necessary, consider these seven ways to avoid shopping traps and save yourself some good money.
1. Shop The Bottom Or Top Shelves
Stores put the most expensive products at eye level, because they’re the most convenient and the first item you see. Look below and above these products for options that are less expensive.
2. Look At Price Per Unit
The smaller, cheaper product may seem like the better option, but take a look at things like price per ounce to see what ends up being more expensive over the long run. Just because it’s bigger or family size doesn’t mean it’s always cheaper. Most grocery stores will have this information on the price label.
3. Dig Through The Mess
Ever notice how the clearance section is always unorganized and messy? Retailers keep it this way to discourage you from shopping there. If you want to find a good discount, but in an effort to rummage through this section, and you might find what you’re looking for at a cheaper price.
4. Turn Left Instead Of Right
Most Americans are right handed, and studies show that because of this, people often turn right as soon as they enter a store. This is where the more expensive and trendy items are typically displayed. Avoid this trap and head right to where the items are on your shopping list.
5. Avoid Buy One Get One Free
BOGO items might seem like they’re a steal, but these promotions are often put on products that people wouldn’t normally buy. This encourages you to spend more money than planned. Only buy these products if they’re a part of your shopping list, and make sure you know what their cost compares to at other stores.
6. Avoid The Items In Line
Retailers place tempting last minute add ons on display while you wait in line. These are generally unnecessary purchases, and they can quickly add up. Avoid the temptation to reach for a candy bar or a magazine, and just head straight to the cash register.
7. Use Cash
Despite all the deals you see trying to lure you in to open up a credit card, you might be surprised to find out you spend less in stores when you use cash. Studies show that people end up spending more when they use a credit card instead of cash, likely because they encourage more impulsive spending.
Photo by USDAgov