It may sound strange that you can save money when shopping.  But the truth is, there are smart ways to shop and savvy consumers can really come out on top when it comes to their purchases.  With these tips – and a few tricks – it is possible to find some great deals, and cut down on the impulse purchases that ultimately drive up our monthly credit card bills.

 

1. Make a List

Making a list is a surefire way to guarantee that you only purchase what you need, instead of getting sidetracked by impulse buys and ultimately spending additional cash.  Plan your shopping trip by writing down exactly what you need, and don’t come back with any little extras.

2. Only Bring the Cash You Need

If you’re having trouble sticking to a list, this is the perfect way to ensure you curb any excess spending.  Leave the cards at home and only bring enough cash to purchase exactly what you need.  This way, your only option is to avoid any additional purchases – no matter how good that 2 for 1 sale is.

3. Do your Research

The Internet is a fabulous resource.  Before your next big purchase, use it to do some comparison shopping.  In addition to seeing which stores have the best deals on that item you’ve been waiting for, you’ll also be able to check out reviews from other consumers to ensure that must-have item really is worth the cost.

4. Get Crafty

Sometimes with a little ingenuity, you’ll find that you can actually repurpose something that you already have, rather than buying some thing new - and that can save you lots of cash.  For example, if you’re looking for a new dresser try repainting your old one and picking up some new drawer handles.  Pinterest has plenty of awesome DIY projects and tutorials that could save you some money.  Check it out before you buy something brand new.

5. Shop with Purpose

If you’re feeling bored, the last thing you should do is go shopping.  Instead, look for ways to occupy yourself without spending money.  Often the silliest purchases happen at times that you shouldn’t be spending money in the first place.  Avoid the shops unless you have a real reason to be there.

6. Look for Season-Ending Sales

You can find the best deals when stores are looking to get rid of old stock to make room for the new stuff.  That’s why you’ll find the awesome deals on winter coats in the spring, and the best prices for sandals late in the fall.  By planning your shopping trips in advance – and knowing the best times to make certain purchases – you can find some great deals.

7. Be ‘Friends’ with Your Favorite Retailers

Plenty of stores are embracing social media, and are creating exclusive special offers and deals just for their fans and followers.  Look up your favorite stores on social networks, and ‘Like’ their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.  Keeping in touch via social media could get you access to insider sale information.

8. Save Your Receipts

Everyone changes their mind sometimes.  To ensure you can return or exchange any purchases that you don’t love when you get them home, keep the tags on and avoid opening any new goodies until you’re ready to use them.  Most stores allow you to return unopened merchandise provided you have a receipt, so keep your receipts in a safe place should you decide you’re not totally satisfied with your purchase.

By shopping smart, you can make the most of your budget – and find some fabulous deals in the process.  It’s all about knowing what you need, sticking to your list, and doing some solid research beforehand.

Happy Shopping!