Spoiling ourselves is something that we cannot seem to avoid. Whether you’re visiting a shopping mall to meet a friend for coffee or to buy groceries, you’ll inevitably pass your favourite store. And that can either go one of two ways: amazing or infuriating. Have you ever gone home and wondered why you bought a certain item? We’ve all been through it.  We buy items we think we need, and most of the time, we cannot justify why we do so. To avoid that same pitfall, you need to be more conscious when you buy. Shopping smart is more than just having a budget. It’s a skill that everyone should have online and in-store. Don’t just get to your favourite shopping mall and splurge. Plan every detail, right down to the time you will be spending on shopping.   We have compiled six tips that will help you become a smart shopper below: 

Timing is everything

Every smart shopper would agree that “timing” is the golden rule when saving on items. Know when to shop for certain items, and shop for items when they are out of season.  Items that are out of season will be marked down as clearance sales, making way for new stock. For example, now that winter is about to pass, a lot of seasonal clothing items such as coats and jackets will cost less when compared to the beginning of the winter season.  This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy items when they are in season. But try and save your big shopping hauls for those out of season price cuts. 

Compare prices 

Shop around and compare prices. Often, prices vary from location to location, and there are usually many offers and specials in Cape Town, to explore before making a decision. Online shopping is the most convenient form of shopping, and you can also compare prices online. Simply search for “special offers near me” in the Google search engine, and the results will give you more stores to compare instead of conducting individual searches.

If you’re hesitant, leave it  

When you are not entirely sure about an item, it’s best to leave it. The reasons are plenty you might be hesitant to pay the price, are not sure about the colour and fit or you’re simply not sure if it is a worthy buy. Whatever the case may be, rather leave it than regret it later.

Shop alone  

Admittedly, sometimes it can be impossible to shop alone when you have kids, but if you can, try and avoid having someone who will distract you while shopping.  If you want to shop smart, you will need to eliminate this distraction. You need to be on your A-game, and it truly needs your undivided attention. Sure, it might be fun shopping with your pals, but will you be able to buy what you need? And not be pressured to buy items you didn’t even think of? So, rather leave the kids and the chatty pals at home. 

Avoid emotional shopping 

When you want to take your mind off things, shopping can be a distraction. But it can be an expensive distraction. Emotional purchases can easily escalate, negatively impacting your bank balance. So, steer clear from shopping malls when you are hungry, tired or upset. 

Have a timeframe 

It may be difficult to set a specific shopping timeframe, but do not find yourself wandering around the shopping centre. Because let's face it, something will definitely catch your eye. And before you realise it, you are making a purchase. If you want to shop smart, give yourself a timeframe to restrict yourself from temptation. 

Final thoughts 

If you want to become a smart shopper, it will be advantageous to adopt certain tactics to ensure you find worthwhile deals all the time. This gives you the flexibility to allocate more money to various areas where you are more financially constrained.  Shop with a plan and avoid spending more than you should. Also, be one the lookout for cashback and store discounts. Take advantage of rewards benefits stores offer and start collecting points that will help you save big.