Smart shopping tips to help you save your hard-earned money

HERE are some basic smart shopping tips to help you to save money and as a guide to strengthening your buying power.

HERE are some basic smart shopping tips to help you to save money and as a guide to strengthening your buying power.

l Plan your spending. Avoid impulse buys.

l Advertised items are not necessarily the cheapest.

l Watch for unadvertised specials.

l Avoid crowds after work, on paydays or just before holidays.

l Buy items before you run out of them. Buy at clearance or sale prices.

l Know the sales cycle in your area.

l Just because an item is on sale doesn't mean it is a good deal. If you won't use it, don't buy it.

l Due to volume discounts, larger stores are generally cheaper than smaller ones.

l Emotions affect shopping. Be careful of the "I deserve it" mentality.

l Buy at the end of the season.

l Buy when prices are low.

l Try thrift stores, yard and garage sales.

l Remember that no particular store has the lowest price on all items.

l Create a "shopping pool" with family and friends and shop sales for each other.

l Shop alone. Other individuals will fill your shopping trolley.

l Check the entire store for specials and alternatives.

l Get to know your favourite store's employees. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

l Know prices by keeping a price book.

l About Prices: Compare, compare, compare. This is how a price book is a great help.

l Larger is not always cheaper and smaller is not always cheaper.

l Look at unit prices.

l You pay more for fancy packaging.

l Never pay full price.

l Shop defensively.

l Try generic brands.

l Watch as the cashier rings up purchases. Check receipts.

l Shop for gifts year round.

l Return purchases that do not meet your expectations.

l Complain if it is genuinely warranted.

l Call before you go to confirm that an item is available. - simplejoe.com

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