Try and Avoid These Shopping Mistakes
Here's what not to do when you're shopping 'til you drop.
It's no secret I love to shop. Even if it's just to try on new styles of clothing or shoes and I don't even buy anything. I also love shopping for cute stuff for the house and yard, but if we're not careful, we can make costly mistakes.
Clip With Care
I like coupons. Spending a little time clipping coupons or cruising the ads for sale items can save you a lot of money, but if you take couponing to the extreme can end up costing you more, not saving. One expert says, "Good couponing is not buying something simply because you have a coupon; good couponing is buying something because it's a good value." Don't buy something if you have to buy in larger quantities than you're used to just because you have a coupon. It's a trap. Only use coupons for items you regularly buy is a good rule to follow.
Steer Clear of Clearance
Don't get sucked in to the clearance sale trap. A clearance sale is only good if it matches what you're actually looking for. Especially those after Christmas clearance sales. Do you really need 15 rolls of gift wrap and 10 boxes of generic glitter encrusted holiday cards? Probably not. Just because it costs a buck three-eighty doesn't mean you really need it. It's a good idea to shop for sheets, blankets and pillow cases during a white sale or tea lights when they're on sale because those are things you're going to buy anyway, but don't buy something on clearance just because it's on clearance.
Prepare to Pay for "Pre" Anything
When you're buying groceries, one of the most expensive products on the shelf is anything with the word "pre" attached to it. Money expert Ellie Kay says that it's better to buy fresh products that require a little elbow grease. If it's pre-chopped, pre marinaded, pre-cooked, skip it. Yes, it's nice to have salads that are premade, but it's expensive. When you compare side by side, Ellie says that the processed foods are far and away more costly than the fresh ingredients. Every once in a while if you need some help in the kitchen, it's OK, but not on a regular basis. Ellie says that buying pre anything is "the most expensive way to buy groceries."
Shopping "Just Because"
Shopping for sport can definitely put a dent in your wallet. You shop because you're bored, you plan an afternoon with your girlfriends around lunch and shopping or whatever the reason, you shop because the stores are there and it's habit. Financial guru Galia Gichon says people very rarely shop, "because they truly need something". She recommends resisting the urge to shop out of habit and set an allowance for yourself for fun money and when it's gone, it's gone. If you're having trouble staying out of stores or not shopping online, toss the sales circulars, stay out of the mall and leave your credit cards at home.