Coupon shopping can be a lot of fun and addicting. I am often tempted to pick up extra items at the store when I see a good deal. I have learned that getting an item just because it is a “good deal” isn’t good for the budget. Now I really think about the extra items I through in the cart- do I need it and will I use it are questions I ask. Today’s Money Saving Monday tips are on sticking to your shopping list.
Tips For Sticking To Your Shopping List
By: Mrs. Not Made of Money
It can be hard to control your spending while shopping. Even though I constantly write about being frugal and controlling spending, sometimes I struggle with it too. I’m sure you’ve been there a few times yourself. You start off with the best of intentions; you have a carefully planned shopping list. Then, as you’re making your way through the checkout lane, you look down and realize that you have way more stuff in your shopping cart than you are supposed to have. How did all that stuff get in the cart?
Making a shopping list is only the first part of controlling your spending. The more important step is sticking to the list once you get to the store. Stores design their layouts and displays to tempt you to make impulse purchases, so you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve to escape without spending any more than you have to.
Shop without the kids.
Leave the kids at home. I know that is hard to do sometimes, especially with Summer break. Having an extra set or two of hands will make it harder to keep extraneous items from making their way to your shopping cart. Avoid the dreaded, “Mommy, I want,” entirely to make your shopping excursion easier.
Give yourself a time limit.
If you have extra time to browse the store, you’re much more likely to find one more thing that you “have to have.” Shopping quickly only leaves time for you to collect the items on your list and make your way home.
Avoid shopping at typically busy times.
Long lines only slow you down and add to your stress level. You’ll be less likely to make impulse purchases if you’re enjoying your shopping trip. I’ve found that the stores are pretty empty if you shop first thing on Saturday morning – I’m talking 8 am for Target and 7 am for the grocery store. Yep, I know it’s early but you can get in and get out in a fraction of the time it would usually take. It also works for me because Mr. Not Made of Money can watch the children because he doesn’t work on Saturdays.
Carry a specific amount of money with you.
You have an idea how much you’ll need to make the purchases on your list. Bring just enough cash with you to buy those items, and you won’t have the option to buy extra things. Make sure you leave your credit card at home, too.
Shop with a buddy.
Peer pressure can be positive if it’s used correctly. Bring a friend with you when you’re tackling the shopping. You can encourage each other to stay on track while you each shop for your own families.