What does “saving money” mean? Setting aside money for the long term is typically how we define savings, but another important discipline for building wealth is finding savings when we spend money. When you pay less than full price, you are saving money. One transaction may not seem like much savings, but many transactions together add up to big savings.
Spotting deals can take some work. Fortunately, with some practice, it becomes easier. Here are tips to help you become a better spender, and by that, I mean a better saver.
- Read the fine print. Often, sales and coupons have exclusions, so make sure you read the fine print ahead of time.
- Have a plan. Just like writing out a grocery shopping list, circling items in the weekly ad or compiling all coupons before starting to shop will allow you to capture every deal.
- Stack those deals. One of the best feelings you get from shopping is when you stack a coupon on top of a sale. Qualify for a rebate afterwards, and rise up to the ranks of a pro shopper!
- Choose an alternate. If you’re not crazy about the brand name product, you can get more for your money with generic. Or go with a substitute, like buying groceries that are in season instead of ones that are not.
- Be patient. Sometimes the things you want are not available at a lower price right away, but you know the price will come down in time. If you can go without that item for a little longer, wait.
Although getting the best deal requires some effort, the satisfaction you get is worth it. Once you’ve had some practice, being a smart shopper will become second nature!
Homework: Set a spending limit to buy all the groceries you need this week. Involve kids by giving them $10 to purchase some of the necessary categories on your list. For example, if fruit is one of the categories, they can choose whichever fruit(s) will last one week. Challenge them to get as much leftover change as possible on the entire purchase.