Frugal Shopping Tips For Impulse Buyers
Impulse buying is a problem for a great number of people and retail establishments take full advantage of that fact. Buying on impulse is not something that we are doomed to repeat forever, however. We can control our impulses and become a smarter shopper if we are committed to doing so. It begins with changing some habits and making adjustments to how we shop. If you find yourself always coming home with items you had no intention of buying, this article is for you.
Here are ten frugal shopping tips specifically geared towards impulse shoppers:
#1 – Admit there is a problem
Although that may sound awfully dramatic, it is necessary. Most of us blow off our tendency to impulse shop and for some that is a huge problem. If we are impulse buying an occasional candy bar, that is one thing. Impulse buying a $500 pair of shoes is another matter. Understand and recognize the level of your problem and you are on your way to changing it.
#2 – Map Your Spending
If you wish you can buy a program to track your spending or you can simply use a sheet of paper and pen. Whatever the case, record your spending for an entire month and be specific. This is a very important part of the process. When we are committed to seeing what we spend money on, it opens our eyes.
#3 – Identify Your Triggers
Everyone has weaknesses and knowing what they are is a huge part of avoiding them. Look over your spending log and see where you slip most often. Make a note of recurring purchases and unexpected spending. You will be surprised at the picture that appears before you.
#4 – Start Shopping Off a List
One of the most important things we can do when we shop is to use a list. It keeps our attention focused and prevents us from wandering into areas of the store that we don’t need to be in. Go with a list and stick to it.
#5 – Consider Shopping Online
This is not a solution for everything or everyone, but shopping online can help. Yes, you can easily wander to an ad or a section of the website that you have no business being in, but you can resist a bit easier than you could in the store with that instant gratification.
#6 – Delay All Unexpected Purchases
If you have trouble with impulse buying, simply enact a rule that says you can only buy something if you still want it two days later. The vast majority of things will be long forgotten in that time period.
#7 – Pay in Cash When You Shop
It might be inconvenient, but it is a proven fact that we impulse shop on credit far more often than in cash. If you have a real problem with this, it is worthwhile to bring cash for only what you need. Leave those credit cards at home!
#8 – Take a Break
While you are shopping, it is easy to get on a roll if you are not careful. Instead, buy what you came for and leave for a bit. Think about any purchases you were about to make and if you still want them a half hour later, you can always go back. Most of the impulse buys lose their luster after we walk away for a bit.
#9 – Use Refund Policies
Nobody is saying to abuse the system here but if you buy something that is not used within the return period, you should take it back. Some mistakes are repairable. Why not take it back when you realize you never really wanted it in the first place?
#10 – Avoid Your Danger Zones
We identified your problem areas up above with your spending log, but now it is time to put that information to good use. If you know you are a sucker for Cinnabon, don’t walk by and smell that yumminess. Why torture yourself? The same goes for the candy aisle, the shoe department, the
power tools and pretty much any other areas of the store you know you have little control in. Make it easy on yourself!