Shopping can be incredibly rewarding. But it can also be maddening.
We buy stuff we need, stuff we want, and sometimes stuff we neither want nor need. Shopping wisely can mean you not only get exactly what you were looking for, but you save time and money. Here are some simple tips that will help you shop smarter.
1. Make a list
If you know what you want initially, you are more likely to make sure you get what you need. By making a list, you make sure you don’t forget anything. If you stick to your list, you are less likely to make impulse buys, ones you may regret in the future. Having a list also clears your head and means you can carefully select the perfect item you are looking for.
2. Set your budget
It sounds like a chore, but knowing how much you are happy to spend ahead of time means you can resist the urge to overspend. It’s also a rewarding task as you may find you underspend. In general we should all be more aware of what we can spend.
3. Plan your trip
Shopping can be stressful if you don’t plan. Know which shops you are going to go to first. That way you will make sure you don’t forget anything. Planning where you are going to park also removes some of the stress. If you are on foot, think about the weight of what you are going to buy, and purchase the heaviest items last.
4. Be price conscious
Aside from setting a budget, knowing how much certain items cost in different shops means always get the best price. You’ll also get a kick out of getting a discount on items you usually buy if they are on sale.
5. Don’t shop when you are tired, hungry, lonely, bored or upset.
The list is not exhaustive. Any type of emotional or physical strain can impair your judgement. Ever gone grocery shopping on an empty stomach? It’s a cliché at this point, but the same applies for if you are down. If hitting the shops is something you do to cheer yourself up, then by all means do, but be sure to set a budget so you aren’t ruled by your impulses.
6. Be savvy
Walking into the shop you love can be dizzyingly intoxicating. But be savvy, and stick to what you wanted to buy. That said, you may come across something you had forgotten to add to your list. Just make sure that it is still within your budget and is indeed, not an impulse buy.
7. Enjoy it!
Whether you like shopping with friends or shopping solo, whether you only do it out of necessity or you do it just for fun, enjoy shopping. Talking to retailers, trying on clothes, being adventurous with your grocery list can be enthralling.
Retail Excellence Ireland has been celebrating what’s best in Irish retail for over 20 years. This year their Consumer Choice Award is open for public vote - it’s your time to vote for the store who truly excels.
Below is our shortlist of winners which you can vote for or if you feel there is another store in your local town or village who deserves to be awarded you can nominate them instead. The closing date for voting for your favourite store is 11th October. Get voting, and be sure to share this with your friends and family so they can cast their vote too!