I must confess: for me, shopping is a relaxing activity, even if it’s about food alone. To walk between the shelves, to choose what I like and to imagine what this pair of shoes matches or where I might go out with this dress – all these give me a feeling of great satisfaction almost as great as enjoying my morning coffee in my favorite coffee mug. The same happens when shopping online. The thrill of choosing between so many options presented in a page is comparable to the one in a real store. If I could live by doing shopping for others, I’ll give up my career in a minute.
Being such an avid shopper, I have learned in time some useful tips on how to shop smart.
- Don’t go shopping your grocery list when you’re hungry. It’s the stomach, not your brain who’ll decide what to put in your shopping bag, and more often than not, you’ll end adding up more products than you planned.
- Stick to the seasonal vegetables and fruits. They are relatively fresh compared to the ones that have to be brought from the other side of the world. Also, generally they are less expensive.
- Avoid buying two pay one products, they have a motive to do that and that is not in your best interest, but of the store. Usually, these products are about to expire and chances are you won’t consume them before the expiration date.
- Choose fruit canned 100% in fruit juice and vegetables with “low sodium” on their label as they are considerably healthier.
- When shopping food online, avoid shopping for products like meat (chances are they’ll bring you the close to expiration bags – it happens to me when I made online shopping at Carrefour), sliced salami or vegetables that need to be weighted. Stick with heavy products (like water, oil, sugar, flour, potatoes, rice, shampoos, washing powder etc.)
- Stick to your shopping temperament. Your clothes should reflect your personality and lifestyle, not go with the flow. Take time to get to know yourself, and build a personal clothing style.
- Stick to plain items, that don’t have decorative details or embellishments if your budget is tight. They are better matched to your existing wardrobe items, and you don’t need to buy accessories for them.
- Plan ahead your wardrobe and make a list of the items you need to create the outfits that suit you. When going shopping look for those specific items, don’t let your attention span over other stuff. There are many temptations in a clothes store and if you’re a shopaholic you’ll have a hard time to resist them. Meditate at this before leaving the house in order to strengthen your power to say no.
- Stop 5 minutes to think if you’ll regret this purchase once back home. It helps to prevent the acquisition of items that are not absolutely necessary, but they are a part of so a good deal that is easy to convince yourself you really need that stuff. Online shopping? Don’t press the button the same day you chose your clothes, sleep a night over your decision.
- Don’t take your credit card with you when go shopping for clothes. Studies show that people are more inclined to spend more when they pay with a credit card than when paying in cash. Women especially are more inclined to consider a new dress they like a must-have in their wardrobe, and with a credit card on them chances to buy it right away are high.
- Do your homework before buying any electronic appliance. Read as many online reviews of the products you intend to purchase as you can and decide what are the best for your needs. Pay attention in special to negative reviews or the reviews of the real costumers, probably they are the most honest reviewers. In this world of so many paid advertorials, is not an easy task to navigate between false recommendations and the real ones.
- Have a close look at the warranty period. As with any other product, electronic supplies might need to be fixed or to be replaced if they are not working well. An extension of the warranty period will save you good bucks.
- When in doubt, go for well-known brands, chances are that you get a good electronic appliance as they might not want to spoil their reputation with a defective one.
- Compare the prices. With so many sites that sell electronic appliances today, you can almost instantly compare prices. You don’t need to walk miles from store to store to find the best price for the product you want. Why would you want to pay more when you can pay less for the same item?
- Don’t be shy about asking for an advice when you don’t understand “the electronic language”. If you have an engineer friend, colleague, neighbor or a relative, make sure you check on their opinion first. An expert advice may make a huge difference when choosing the right electronic appliance.