Some Tricks I Use To Help Me Become A Better, Smarter, And Happy Shopper

Do you enjoy shopping? It would certainly seem that most people do since stores are filled and online shops do not seem to be in danger of becoming a relic of the past. Not everybody does enjoy shopping, however. One of the biggest reasons is that not everybody can afford to buy the things they desire. Or, for that matter, the things they actually need. If that describes you, then you might well one day come to enjoy shopping as much as those around you by following these tips for buying smart and saving money.

1. Become a Comparison Shopper

One way to become a happy shopper is to start shopping smart by comparison. Not just comparing individual prices, mind you, but comparing styles, colors, stores, brands and even different parts of town. You might just be shocked to learn how big a difference in the price of the exact same item in the exact same chain in stores located in different part of town.

3. Change Your Shopping Schedule

Does it seem as if the grocery store is always crowded whenever you shop? Do you find yourself waiting in long lines when shopping for clothing? Then there is a distinct possibility that the reason you are not the happy shopper you think you should be is simply a matter of timing. Start experimenting with different times. Instead of stopping by the supermarket on the way home from work, try going either before work or after dinner. Instead of shopping on the weekend, make a beeline for the mall on Monday or Tuesday night. Not only will the stores be less crowded, but you may actually find the prices cheaper!

2. Coupons, Coupons, Coupons

Don't think of becoming a happy shopper through the example of those perhaps mentally impaired people on extreme coupon shows. You don't have to become obsessive to use coupons well. In fact, it probably helps: those who commit their lives to tracking down coupons so they can pay $5 for a week's worth of groceries are not so much shopping as indulging in an unhealthy lifestyle. You know what will make you a happy shopper? Cutting 50 cents off a price of chips here and 25% off the price of a sweater there.

4. Patience Pays Off

One of the things that makes shoppers happiest is being the first in line to get that hot new product that everybody wants. Right? Maybe. Maybe not so much. How often have you gotten caughtupinthe hype to buy early before the store runs out only to find that you were, well, duped. The buzz and excitement of the latest upgrade of a cell phone or newest "Special Edition" of your favorite movie or any product where the flames of hype are fanned to an almost criminal degree very often turns out to be the unhappiest of shopping experiences. By practicing the art of patience and leaving that hot new item well enough alone, you can actually become a significantly happier shopper through the paradox of not becoming a shopper at all. Just wait for the hype to die down and, if you find still actually want it, chances are the price will be much lower by the time you buy it.

There are lots of different occasions when the need to shop for gifts arises.

It is not just the festive period which provokes a stampede to the stores either, because Thanksgiving and Easter are lucrative times for retailers.

The bad news is that they can be just as lucrative for thieves and pickpockets, who are taking advantage of the fact that shoppers are distracted, and not paying attention to their valuables. The next time that you head out for some holiday shopping, keep the following tips in mind, and learn how to shop smart.

5. Carry Valuables Safely

If possible, try not to tuck your purse or wallet into a back pocket, because it makes it easier for thieves to grab. You should keep your driving license, money, and credit cards in a front pocket, ready for fast access (for you), and speedy obstruction if somebody tries to snatch them.

7. Report Suspicious Activity

Whilst human instinct is not infallible, it is there for a reason. If you feel anxious about the presence of somebody who appears to be following you, report them to a security guard. If you have made a mistake, and the situation is innocent, the worst that will happen is the individual has to take ten minutes out of their day to explain themselves. The worst that can happen if you do not report a lurker is a mugging or a serious assault.

6. Tag Along Someone

It might sound extreme to suggest that shoppers, particularly women, should not browse at night, but as anybody who has ever been forced to cross an empty parking lot in the small hours will attest, these places can be frightening. The bottom line is that you are more likely to be attacked loading a car, or crossing a parking lot, at night than you are during the day. Having said that, tagging along someone can be a good option.

8. Do Not Open Cars from a Distance

If you use a remote activated device to open your car doors, do not make the mistake of using it when you are at the other end of a parking lot. This is like inviting a thief to prey on you, because it gives them ample time to help themselves to your stereo system, or anything else of worth. If you are shopping alone at night, never open your car doors from a distance.

9. Keeping Children Safe

During hectic holiday periods, parents can easily get distracted and lose track of their children. Whilst this never happens for most, in the event that you do get separated, your kids should know what to do and who to approach for help.

Your children should know their full name, address, and phone number, in case they need to recite it to a security officer. It is a good idea to teach kids that the safest place to go, in the event of a separation, is behind the cashier desk. The majority of stores have a speaker system which can be used to reunite parents and missing children.

Some more tips from this entertaining video...

Copyright © 2016 by Julie Nou.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses with proper accreditation.

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filip dikic 7 weeks ago

Taking in consideration how "difficult" is to go shopping today, this text is more than needed to remember. Honestly, regardless am I with my wife or solo in the shopping mall, it is always so difficult to control myself. But, from now on, I am gonna start to practice all of above mentioned suggestions. They look so useful to me. Good article.

Mark 7 weeks ago

Good read, I must admit there are some thing I wasn't even aware I was doing wrong. For example my never changing shopping schedule. I go shopping after work so I always find myself waiting in long lines for several minutes and that's frankly annoying sometimes. I guess I have to change some other habits as well. Thanks for the tips.

Amina 7 weeks ago

Nice article!

I am a woman, I have to admit that my own habits to shop, I consider them normal. What I do, is always shop by comparison. I think this is the normal thing to do, when you compare you choose the right thing in the end. After I read this, I definitely changed my shopping schedule! It didn't cross my mind to change it, due to my working hours. I find it now comfortable to just go later than usual, it's not so crowded !

valery karavasilev 7 weeks ago

Wow I have never suspected that I should follow so many advice in order to be safe while shopping.I live alone in my apartment and have never faced problems while shopping in a supermarket.Nevertheless I think that many of these tips may be useful for parents or people living alone when they decide to shop.

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