Need a plan for shopping? Are you frustrated with your lack of organisation when it’s time to go to your supermarket or any shop? Want a template that covers all when it comes to getting value? John Lowe the Money Doctor gives invaluable advice on how to spend less when shopping.
Here are the Money Doctor’s fifteen different ways in which you can save money when you are shopping:
1. Shop around, comparing prices and value for money. There are several different ways to do this: face-to-face, by telephone, using the Internet or via an agent or broker. If you are buying a financial product, then the Money Doctor will be able to help!
2. Avoid impulse purchases. Sometimes your eyes are bigger than your pockets.
3. Do your research. Whether you are buying a packet of cornflakes or a diamond watch, know what product choice is available, what the differences are between products and what a good price would be.
4. Get several quotes – the essence of "shopping around".
5. Don’t assume that loyalty will pay. Most commercial organisations count on ‘customer inertia’, customers coming back for something time and again without shopping around.
6. Ask for money off or a special deal. It may help to say you are a regular customer or, if it is true, that you are about to move your business elsewhere.
7. Businesses sell things with ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ values. Known values are things like petrol, where the price is more or less known by everyone. Unknown values are things like travel insurance, where most customers have only a vague idea about what the cost should be. It is on the unknown value sales that companies make their fattest profits. If you are not certain what the current market rate is for something, it is all the more important that you shop around.
8. Check whether the same thing is available online for less. Be suspicious of price-comparison sites however as many earn secret commission and few are comparing like with like.
9. See if you can buy what you want for less directly from the manufacturer, wholesaler or from a catalogue.
10. Look on eBay and at the other auction sites to see whether you can buy what you want at a lower price.
11. Buy in larger quantities. Usually, the more you buy of something, the lower the price. Non-perishable obviously.
12. Accept something slightly different because it is less expensive. You might be paying for a brand name…
13. Buy ‘own brand’. Quality of generic own brand products have improved enormously in latter years and well worth considering.
14. Buy second-hand. Pre-owned things usually cost a lot less. Don’t forget charity shops – it’s a win-win if you find the right item.
15. Make sure you really want it. Maybe you can make do without and don’t buy just for the sake of buying.
The easiest way to improve your finances?
It can be hard to generate a higher income, but it is easy to shop well. Spending your money more carefully is the quickest and most effective way to improve your finances. Happy shopping.