Developing smart shopping tactics help you to keep a well balanced budget when times are good, and they keep you afloat when times are tough. In short, it is never a bad time to pick up a few new tricks or to remind yourself of the value of those well known ones that you may have shelved for some time.

The following tips will turn you in to a savvy shopper in no time.

1. Make a budget. Preparing a budget saves both time and money. A written plan of your personal finances including your income and expenses for the month ahead can highlight potential savings immediately or may simply aid in keeping you on track.

2. Make a list. Carrying a list of the items you intend to purchase saves you from impulse buying. It may be difficult at first to stick to the list but over time you will become more disciplined at planning in advance and simply following through with the intended course of action. Impulse buys are also often not the best decisions in retrospect either, and most times end up not suiting the purpose or being of inferior quality.

3. Shop around. It is always best to bargain hunt. You should research your purchases to see if you can get a better price or maybe more features for the same price. This is especially important for major purchases such as appliances or anything that costs a substantial amount of money.

4. Check consumer reports. You should check consumer reports in journals, online or at the very least consult the opinion of friends and family. Getting reviews from others that have actually used the product or service can save you a lot of heartache and money.

5. Shop the sales. You can really get some great bargains when your local stores are having their annual sales or even during the holiday events. However, it is easy to get carried away in the frenzied environment of a sale and end up walking away with a lot more than you intended to buy, so again a list is of paramount importance. It is great to do your Christmas shopping at a Thanksgiving sale, but if you are likely to get swept away in the tide of the discounted prices, you may save more by staying away.

6. Check warranties. You should always check the warranties on major purchases so that you are aware of their limitations. If you find the warranty unsatisfactory you can make the decision not to purchase upfront instead of suffering from severe buyer’s remorse down the road.

7. Use coupons where possible. There is no shame in clipping and using coupons.

Smart Shopping Tactics