by Tamara Wilhite
10 Questions to Ask Before Splurging
Does shopping in person or online eat up your time and money? Here are seven ways to save both.
- Only shop when there's something you need. Go with a list and stick to it. Do this for groceries, household items, clothes, and gifts. If you know what you need, you'll go home with only what you need. You won't be buying things that you didn't know you wanted until you tried to remember what you were shopping for in the first place.
- Aim to shop at places that only have what you need. If you need towels, consider a linen store versus big box mart. If you only pass by bed sheets on the way to the towel section, you're less likely to buy extra items than if you have to walk past snacks, tools, and toys to get to the linen section.
- Don't go shopping as entertainment. The cost of going to the movies for two kids is cheaper than letting them wander the mall with a credit card and tons of temptation to shop.
- Don't window shop online, either. Don't even visit auction sites unless there is a specific item you are looking for.
- EBay is listed as the "stickiest" site on the web. It's the one that holds users the longest per visit. The longer you look at a site, the more likely you are to buy something. Remove eBay from the list of default bookmarks on your web browsers to remove this temptation.
- Don't even shop at a mall unless you can't get the item you need from a cheaper outlet. If you aren't walking past other stores to get to your destination, there is no temptation to make unplanned purchases at those other locations.
- If you are at a store or mall and run into a need to eat, go to the nearest dining location outside of the mall. If you eat at the mall, you may get the idea to buy other items within visual distance of the food court. If you're out of the mall and at the restaurant, you're already half-way home without further impact on the wallet.
Take the Next Step
- Get cash back on the groceries you buy. Checkout 51 can show you how!
- Continue to look for new ways to trim food costs. Visit our food & groceries section each week to get tips for keeping more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.
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