10 Frugal Shopping Tips you Can Always Count On


Being frugal is something many people are willing to admit with pride and other people are far from. I’m going to be honest and admit that I’m more of the latter. I wish I could be more frugal, but honestly I’m just not. I don’t really take the time to shop for the best prices, or make a list or even try to find things on sale. I do try to since I do have four kids and they will one day need to go to college and they’ll get married and I’ll have a LOT of grandchildren to spoil. So maybe I’ll try to be more frugal this year. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that being frugal is definitely a good thing. It may or may not make you cheap, but it certainly does make you intelligent. Getting the most for your money is always the smartest decision, and we have some old-fashioned, tried and true, always productive, helpful and efficient frugal shopping tips that always apply to life. You can count on these no matter what.

Make a List

It’s probably the most basic and most effective way to save money when shopping there ever was. Even I know this, and I’m not very frugal, as we’ve already stated. I make a list primarily so I don’t forget what I need at the store (because being stopped 38 times in 3 aisles with adorable infant twins in tow to nod smile and repeat, “Yes, they are. Girl and boy. That’s not possible. Thank you. No, we weren’t trying to have twins. Yes, it was a surprise. Yes, better me than you,” does get a big distracting). However, making a list can also make is possible for you to save a bundle considering it’s so easy to forget things, come back to the store and then buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need.

Think it Over for 24 Hours

We all want new things, and we all like to indulge from time to time. There is not one single thing wrong with that (provided you can afford it) and we like to see people do nice things for themselves from time to time. But why not think it over for 24 hours? If you really want something, sleep on it. The next day you might realize you’d much rather go through with that bathroom makeover now instead of later than buy that new handbag. It’s just one of those things that will help you save money when shopping.

Shop Around

Download apps from your phone’s app store that will allow you to save money by comparing prices. You can find what you need in one store, scan the barcode or enter the name on your app and see where else nearby it is for sale and for how much. If it’s cheaper elsewhere, you’ll know to put it down and move onto that store for big time savings.

Use the Coupons

Just do it. Even if your coupon is only for $1 off your entire purchase, use it. It might not seem like much at all, but if you go to the store once a week all year and you always have a $1 savings coupon for some item or another, you could save $52 a year. Since you probably go more than once a week and you probably have several coupons for $.50 off this or $1 off that or $1.50 off that, you’re going to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

Ask to Price Match

Most places price match to remain competitive. So you should never feel guilty for asking someone to price match for you. If they won’t do it, ask for a manager. If they still won’t do it, shop places that will. There is no reason you should have to pay more at this store than you would at that store for the exact same item.

Budget Your Money by Keeping Track

Keep your receipts. It’s a frugal tip that doesn’t seem to make much sense when you look at it from the outside, but it does from the inside. When you review your receipts each week, you will see where you are wasting money. Seeing where it is going is going to make you more aware of how you’re spending your money and how you can make your money more productive in the long run.

Create a Menu Ahead of Time

A menu is going to make it possible for you to save. Make one for the entire week. Plan your meals in advance, write down what ingredients you need for them and cross off the ones you already have at home. Now you can go shopping, but those ingredients and have everything on hand you need the rest of the week. It’s no longer necessary for you to shop for items you need the rest of the week.

Use Coupon Codes

Anytime you shop, check the store for coupon codes. It’s as simple as getting on the internet and entering the name of the store followed by “Coupon Codes” and checking the hundreds of results that appear on your screen. You can then print coupons or save them to your phone to present at checkout or even just enter the code when you checkout online while shopping.

Trim the Fat

It’s the little things that tend to make the most impact on your budget. It’s not the expensive purchases that kill you; it’s the little ones. It’s the extra $.30 you spend on name brand pasta instead of generic pasta (which all tastes the same, really) every time you buy a box. If you buy 10 boxes of pasta every month, that’s $3 a month you’re wasting. That doesn’t sound like much, but it is a lot when you realize you could have saved $36 on pasta over the course of one year. Now if you do that for everything you buy, you could save thousands.

Save Your Savings

This is something that people say all the time, but no one really does. When you go shopping and use coupons or buy on sale and get a receipt that says, “You saved XYZ today,” save the savings. If you saved $5 using coupons, go home and transfer $5 from your checking account to your savings account using your online banking tool. Not only will you get to see just how much you saved over the course of the year, you’ll also get to inspire yourself to save more so you can “save” more.

Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images


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