I love to shop, and I'm a sucker for a bargain. Over the years I have saved a lot of money shopping around for the beat deal possible. However, there have been times where I get myself in trouble by shopping impulsively. In order control my spending and eliminating impulse buys I've developed some shopping strategies.
My husband I have a very detailed budget that we live by. If we splurge on things we don't need it really throws things for a loop. To help ensure I do not spend more than I can afford I like to shop with cash only. Leaving the charge cards and checkbook at home forces me to buy only what I can pay for with the cash I have on hand. A perfect example is one of our recent grocery shopping trips. We budgeted for $120 worth of groceries to last us for two weeks, but ended up spending $150. If we only had cash to spend we wouldn't have been able to pay for everything, and would have saved ourselves $30.
I cannot tell you how many times I've went into a store for one thing and ended up with many more causing myself to overspend. Browsing the discount isles, and checking out the newest sales always gets me into trouble. Recently, I went to a store for a couple ingredients I was missing for a recipe, and decided to look in the discount isle before heading to checkout. These isles are full of items the store is no longer carrying, so they are all deeply discounted. I ended up spending $25 more than I intended by buying things I really didn't need because they were on sale.
Choosing the right store
Picking the right place to shop goes a long way toward eliminating overspending. For example, if you need groceries you should go to an actually grocery store versus a big-box store that sells groceries. Doing it this way will save you time and money. You can avoid the temptation to browse and/or buy things you do not need and/or cannot afford.
As I noted above, not following these rules led me to overspending by $55. There is no way to know exactly how much money I will save because of these shopping strategies; however, I would venture to say I will save at least $20 a month or $240 a year. To me the potential savings well worth the extra effort required.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
More from this contributor: