“Charge It!” Is not a slogan to live by.
Shopping because you’re bored or on a whim can be dangerous for your pockets. If you’re not a disciplined shopper, you may come home with more than you bargained for. Not having a budget or only having a general idea of what you need is not good enough if you aim to save.
1. Know What You Need
Heading into the shops and wandering about aimlessly is a sure way of getting things you don’t need, and forgetting things you do. This will cost you in the long run as you will need to go back to the shops to get those items later on and open you up to more temptations.
2. Is It A Need Or A Want?
Getting a new dress or a mani-pedi may seem like a good idea at the time, but getting to the last week before payday and having to access your credit card for gas will make you regret that purchase. Ask yourself “Do I need this or do I just want this?” “Will this purchase further my goals?” “Will I have to order from the $1 menu to make it through the week?” Be honest with yourself, and you’ll probably realize it’s a want, not a need.
3. Know Where To Shop
Try purchasing from local grocers and butcheries as opposed to shopping at mass retailers. Contrary to popular belief, their prices are really good and you know you’re purchasing fresh goods. The more you purchase from them, the better your relationship. This will ensure that you get great cuts of meat and the best fresh produce.
Clothing can be quite expensive when purchased directly from the retailers. Be on the lookout second-hand, or outlet stores that sell products that have minor defects. Often, the flaws aren’t even visible to the untrained eye.
4. Process Your Purchases Immediately
You have a mountain of veggies and you know it’s not going to stay fresh as long as you would like it to. A great way to preserve them a little longer is by parboiling the veggies and freezing them. Separate your meats into meal-size portions and freeze them. This not only saves you time in dinner preparation, it also means your produce and meats will last longer.
5. Create A Bi-Weekly Menu
Taking the time to create a menu will make shopping a lot easier. Knowing what to cook and having the right ingredients will reduce waste and will also save you a lot of time. The money you spend on take-out will be reduced substantially.
6. Thrift Stores
Buying antique furniture is more than just buying into the age and history of the piece. You know that you’re also buying a piece of furniture that was made before MDF (Medium-density fibreboard). Solid furniture can last a lifetime. You can have the item re-varnished or upholstered to create a whole new look.
7. Put Your Creative Talents To Good Use
Making a pair of curtains for the kitchen or tiling around the bathroom mirror may seem a bit daunting. If you happen to have a creative bone in your body, you will find the process and end product rewarding and personal. The best part? No labor costs.
By just making a few changes to our daily and monthly spending habits, saving a few dollars here and there becomes a lot easier. You will note the difference in your pocket in no time at all, freeing up some cash to do the things you’ve always wanted to. – Kloeksister