Saturday, January 1, 2011

Smart Shopping Ideas

Visit Discount Sites Often

Part of being a smart shopper is visiting discount sites often. These sorts of sites are updated often with the newest deals, and if you’re not there often, that means you’re missing out. Always remember that online coupons are like paper coupons, and they can have expiration dates. Not every promotion is an ongoing promotion, and if you try to enter an old discount code, you might find you’re too late to cash in on the savings. Don’t let this happen to you. Be a smart shopper, and be diligent about being in the know in regards to the latest and best deals.

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Bookmark Discount Sites

Visiting discount sites often is part of being a smart shopper. However, that’s a lot easier to do if you have your favorite sites bookmarked. Bookmarking a site is easy. When you’re on the desired webpage, simply click on “Bookmarks” in your toolbar. The first option should be “Bookmark this page.” Click on that, and the site is saved as one of your favorites. Or, if you’re really into shortcuts, simply push control + d. (These commands only apply to PC users.) The next time you want to visit your favorite discount site, don’t bother typing in the web address. Simply go to your bookmarked favorites, and find the site in your list of favorites. Make it part of your shopping ritual to check out the latest deals before you purchase. (Canada)

Sign Up for Email Lists

Email lists are a great way to stay in the shopping loop. Many discount sites  provide free inclusion in their online mailing list. Signing up to the email list will gain you access to exclusive online coupons and discounts. Some merchants prefer not to advertise all their deals, but as part of the mailing list, you are privy to all these additional savings. Email lists also save you time, because you don’t have to constantly search for deals. Just simply check your email (something you probably do anyway), and then capitalize on the savings that were sent to you.


Read Consumer Reports

Consumer reports are an invaluable source for the savvy shopper. While you’re browsing the web, you might come across what seems like a really fantastic deal. But trust the age-old adage: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A flat screen television for a couple hundred bucks is enticing, but is it quality? Check out the latest consumer reports, and see what others have to say about your potential buy. Simply go to However, knows it’s invaluable, and thus charges for access to their site. You can buy an annual package deal for $26 or pay month to month for $5.95. Other websites provide similar services free of charge, but they are not as reliable, accurate, or respected as

Consult Many Sources

A savvy shopper is an informed shopper. If you’re in the market for an item, don’t buy it from the first website you find. Shop around. See if you’re getting the best deal. And the same goes for coupons and discounts. Don’t use the first one you come across. Make sure there’s not a better deal out there waiting to be used. Savvy shoppers also know how to diversify their search base. Unless you shop exclusively online, search through the paper for good paper coupons. Browse some sites for valuable printable coupons. The more information you have, the better. So don’t limit yourself to one source.

Don't Make Impulse Buys

One of the biggest mistakes shoppers can make is giving themselves too little time to shop. When you’re rushed and panicked, you end up buying just about anything you see. So it should be no surprise that those impulse buys are usually not the best. Shopping at the last minute makes you so much more likely to overspend, because you don’t have the time to compare prices or make use of discounts. Eliminate some of this stress by shopping online. Need the item right away and don’t want to wait for shipping? Simply choose expedited shipping. It’s a little more expensive, but it’ll be on your front door within two business days. - 468x60

Make a Budget

Making a budget is something every smart, savvy shopper must know how to do. And more importantly, they must know how to stick to it. After all, being a smart shopper is all about saving time and money. A solid budget can do both. A budget is basically an analysis of your incoming money. Start with the amount you make every month. Deduct rent/mortgage, food, utilities, and all other consistent monthly expenses. Then determine how much you want to put away into your savings, retirement fund, or children’s college fund. Everything that’s left over can be considered expendable income. A savvy shopper would not immediately spend all that income on shopping, because emergencies crop up all the time. Perhaps you need to fix your car unexpectedly, for example.  But some of that expendable income can be allocated to shopping as you see fit. Remember, everybody’s budget will be different. Also, make sure to actually write it down. Things have a way of going off course if it’s not logged on paper.

Make Sure the Deal is a Good Deal

Sometimes shoppers are so excited for a good deal, they don’t really stop to think whether they actually need the item itself. A savvy shopper must learn to overcome this. Just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean you need it. If it’s just going to sit in your closet unused and collecting dust, it doesn’t matter if it was cheap or not. It was still wasted money. Also, be wary of coupons that simply seem like a good deal. Saving $10 sounds great, but it’s not so great if you have to spend $100 to get it. So remember, use coupons to save on purchases you were already going to make, and the savings will truly start to add up.

Be Informed

The best way to become a savvy shopper is to be informed. Be informed about the products you’re buying, be informed about the retailers you’re buying from, and be informed about the deals you’re using to purchase them. Just be informed. Don’t buy things carelessly, or you could be missing really great deals. Shop around and do some research, especially for more expensive items. Research can sound intimidating, but the current setup of the internet makes it so easy. Search engines are there to save you time. Discount sites are there to save you time (and money). Just consider it more efficient online window shopping, and it will quickly become fun. (Canada)

Don't Overspend!

As it makes so clear, there are literally thousands of deals out there for all your online shopping needs. But you’re not actually saving any money if you buy things you don’t need. Any amount of money spent on something you won’t use is still money wasted. So be careful not to take advantage of a deal just because it’s a good deal. This will only lead you to overspend and overbuy. If money is an issue for you, as it is for so many of us, set a budget for yourself. And most importantly, stick to it. Part of being a smart shopper is knowing your limits.

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