I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a local MOPS group on the subject of shopping strategies. With under an hour to cover this extensive topic (and believe me, I could talk all day), I decided to narrow down the strategies into 10 Basic Rules that I try to stick by.
- Do not shop while hungry. This is good common sense.
- Shop with a list prepared at home (not in the car on the back of an old receipt) and stick to it!
- Know your target price points. This will vary by region and season. For example, the price to beat on a gallon of milk in my area is currently $2.00, same for a loaf of bread.
- Use Coupons: combine a coupon with a sale to save the most.
- Beware of product placement strategies on shelves and endcaps. The best deals are usually high or low on shelves, and not on the endcaps.
- Eliminate brand loyalty. Be willing to try a variety of brands depending on what is the best value.
- Find a great deal? Stock up! Since sales only come around every 8-12 weeks, buy enough to last you through the next sale.
- Get in, get out. Studies have shown the more time you spend inside a store, the more money you will spend. Don’t dilly dally!
- Avoid impulse buys (see number 2). Especially at the checkout stand, where prices are inflated.
- If possible, leave the kids at home. Enough said.
I had a lot more to say on this subject, but even just applying a few of these strategies to your shopping trips will ultimately save you money.