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How many of us have walked into a store looking for one item and walked out with a full shopping cart? It happens often and it’s exactly what retailers want!
Whether it’s clever signage or beautiful displays, stores are constantly developing new strategies to get you to spend more. Follow these 10 tips to help you save more money and be a savvy shopper.
1. Make A List
Dave Ramsey, host of a syndicated financial radio talk show and best-selling author of The Total Money Makeover says, “Stores have a plan, so you should, too.” Your plan should start with making a list. Write out what you need. You’ll know it’s an impulse buy if it’s not on your list.
2. Be Wary of Two-For and BOGO Deals
These offers may sound good, but many times two-for and BOGO deals really only get you to spend more than you had planned. Look under the sale sticker for the original price and then determine if the deal is good or not.
Most of the time, if the item wasn’t already on your list or if it is more than you planned to spend, then it’s probably not saving you any money.
3. Watch For “Limit” Wording
Retailers use clever tricks like purchase limits. A sign may read “limit 2 per customer” to make consumers think an item is a hot product or a great deal, when in fact it may not be. Check the original price of the item to see how good the savings really are and stick to your list.
4. Shop The Upper And Lower Shelves
The most expensive products are placed at eye level because hurried consumers will just grab what’s in front of them. Scan up and down the shelf to find other brands or sizes that may be a better value.
5. Size Does Matter
Pay careful attention to size and price. You might assume that the larger bottle or item labeled “value pack” is a better deal, but it’s a good idea to look at the price per ounce. The smaller bottle of ketchup may be a few cents cheaper per ounce than the larger one. Little-by-little, those savings can add up.
6. Don’t Fall For the Displays
Stores have become experts at creating magical displays, highlighting their products using lush surroundings and images of beautiful, happy people. You might see these displays and long to recreate that happy scene in your own life, but guess what? Things won’t make you happy and over-spending will usually have the opposite effect.
7. Go Left Not Right
Retailers have learned that most consumers start at the right side of the store so that is where you will find the most attractive displays and tempting new items. Focus on your list and don’t get distracted!
8. Get To The Clearance Items
We know the best deals are in the clearance section, which is usually all the way in the back of the store! Retailers want you to walk through displays of all the new, regular-priced items before getting to the deals. The clearance section also tends to be more disorganized so that you have to weed through a mess before getting what you need. Take your time and be patient. It can save you money in the long run.
9. Avoid Add-Ons
Around the check-out areas you’ll find little items like jewelry, pens and snacks. Avoid those impulse buys! I’ll say it again, stick to your list. Those “little” impulse buys can add up quickly if you’re not careful.
10. Use Cash Only
Retailers would prefer that you pay with credit and debit cards. Most will even offer you a nice discount for opening a credit card with them because they know if you pay with plastic, you are likely to spend more.
Unless you can and will pay off that balance right away, don’t do it! When you spend more with a credit card and pay interest on top of that, it means more money for them. Paying with cash is one of the best ways to stay on track with your finances.
Photo by Rob Young
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