Smart Shopping: Three Ways to Minimize or Completely Avoid Shopping Altogether:
“The habit of saving is itself an education, it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains forethought and so broadens then mind.”-T.T Munger
One principle the truly wealthy live by is to only buy what they need and indulge their wants and desires sparingly. With this sentiment in mind, we should engender a pecuniary plan wherein our salaries, profits and revenues would not be spent the moment we receive them. In essence, we should endeavor to live a lifestyle where we do not allow ourselves to save what remains after spending but rather spend what remains after you have already saved. However, with a myriad of temptations in the form of shopping malls surrounding us, saving requires self-discipline and every ounce of fortitude one has. Indeed, saving money can come across as a challenge because we are exposed to things we fancy almost 24/7. Sure, malls such as the Abreeza Mall would play part in our spending whims as well, but ultimately no one is asking you to part with your money—you alone can decide that. In this regard, you must learn how to exercise self-control and manage your finances better.
If you have found your recent credit statement to shock you, have a look on Smart Shopping, take a look at your past purchases and reassess what made you buy them. From there, you can then start reevaluating your spending habits—particularly if you have found that most of your purchases are things that are not exactly the smartest things to buy and have. In any case, if you have ever wished to mitigate the chances of getting excessive credit statements and bills, it might be wise to adopt a strategy where you minimize and even avoid unnecessary shopping. Remember, the less you shop, the fewer items you hoard and the more you will save.
Here are some of the things you can keep in mind to minimize your time in stores and save money:
- Keep a list of things you would eventually need but are not urgent
Anytime you are running low on something in the kitchen cupboard, do not immediately go to the grocery store just to replenish it. Instead, keep a list of things the kitchen is running low on which you will then add to your grocery list. In this way, you would not have to make impromptu trips to the store when those items run out and find yourselves urgently needing them. Some of the things that make up this list are canned pasta sauce, dry beans, trash bags, dish soap and the like.
- Make meal plans a week in advance and make a grocery list from that plan
In the same vein, coming up with a meal plan a week prior helps you minimize your trips to the grocery store. Planning it day to day tends to make you notice the ingredients that you do not have which them would compel you to visit the grocery store to stock up on them. Moreover, coming up with a meal plan at least a week in advance would enable you to build and create a grocery list which would effectively minimize the number of times you go to the grocery store.
- Ask your friends or family or neighbors for help
Why go to the grocery store just to buy a bag of sugar when you can just ask for some from your neighbor down the street? If ever you have temporary and one-time needs, do not indulge your whim of going to the grocery store and instead, explore your options first. Ask around and contact any neighbors that might be near you and ask them if they have what you need and if you could borrow. Doing so would not only save you a trip to the store as well as money, but it actually helps you cultivate your relationships with the people who live in proximity to you.
- Learn to distinguish your wants from your needs
More often than not, you get sold on a product simply because of clever marketing and advertising or because you have this minor issue in your life which you think said product can address. With this in mind, you tend to get fixated on it that you will lose all focus and simply zero in on that want until you will eventually classify it as a need. Remember, needs and wants have a huge difference between them. The former compels you to go shopping for it while the other requires contemplation on your part—meaning it can wait. Determine what your needs and wants are. Indulge the latter sparingly.