Smart Shopper Tips: Fresh Start Series

By: Horizon Bank Last Updated: August 16, 2011

groceryAre you a smart shopper? Now that you’re out of school and living on your own, it’s more important than ever to learn how to be a savvy consumer. Learning to be a smart shopper will ensure that you have all the things you need (and some of the things that you want) while still being able to save for the future.

Being thrifty, however, doesn’t mean you have to go coupon crazy and devote your life to finding the best deal. By following a few tips to use during your shopping trips so that you can buy all the items you need without breaking your budget.

Grocery Shopping Tips

  • Sign up for loyalty cards. Most grocery stores offer a loyalty club that rewards shoppers for their purchases. Sign up for a card at your local store to reap the benefits of discounts, extra coupons and even money off your next tank of gas.
  • Buy in-season produce or grow your own veggies. Shop at your local farmers market to find great deals on freshly grown produce. If you have the space, try to plant your own garden – you can cut back on your food budget by growing a few simple vegetables such as tomatoes, herbs and peppers on your own and have some fun while doing it.
  • Use your freezer. You can find great 50 percent off or buy-one-get-one-free deals in the Sunday newspaper or in the grocery store aisle. Even if you only need one pound of ground beef, throw the second sale package in the freezer for next week’s meal.

Clothing and Electronics Shopping Tips

  • Wait for end of season sales. To get more out of your money it’s smart to shop out of season. Look for bathing suits when others are back-to-school shopping and purchase a new winter coat in April to realize tremendous savings.
  • Shop online. Not only does online shopping save you money on gas, some sites bring the deals to you. By comparing product prices side-by-side and receiving deals based on your interests, you can take full advantage of every online deal.
  • Buy refurbished items. Used electronics such as mp3 players and laptops can dramatically cut the price on the gadgets you want the most. Make sure your refurbished items carry a warranty and are sold in reputable stores to protect you from an electronic lemon.

Being a smart shopper does not mean that you have to completely limit yourself. By using a few tricks such as buying in season produce, comparing prices online, and getting refurbished items you can purchase your favorite products and have money leftover for savings and the fun extras.