Shopping Insider: Stick To a List to Save Time And Money

How to get the best steals and deals, for people who take their shopping seriously

Stop overspending by making—and sticking to— a shopping list.

Shopping isn’t always fun. The reality is, shopping for items such as groceries or school supplies are obligations that we must fulfill. There’s not much you can do to get out of it.  As a result, you might not plan ahead for what you’re going to buy. For example, you might do your grocery shopping by memory, randomly going into the aisles and picking up items you ran out of or might need in the future. But this isn’t the best way to get a deal. And who doesn’t want a deal? These tips will help you create a list, get out of the store faster, and save some cash.

Pay attention to the store’s floor plan. Learn which items are sold in each aisle or section of the store and arrange the items on your list according to the order in which they’re displayed in the store. This will cut down on shopping time and keep you from going back to aisles you were already in to pick up something you forgot to place in your cart.

Take note of items that you purchase frequently. Consider buying these items in bulk to save money and reduce the amount of times you have to purchase them. Also check store circulars and search for coupons for items you buy often.

Take inventory. If you’re going grocery shopping, look inside your refrigerator and pantry. Don’t assume that you know what’s left. If you’re shopping for clothes, take a look inside your closet. Taking inventory will prevent you from buying what you already have.

Utilize shopping websites. Websites such as Grocery Wiz and Google Shopping List assist you with putting your list together. Grocery Wiz even features store coupons and a calorie counter to help you stay healthy.

For more on this topic, come back every Friday for a new Shopping Insider post.

Sheiresa Ngo is the consumer affairs editor at Black Enterprise

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