Whether shopping for necessities, occasional treats, gifts for loved ones, or luxury items, we all like to get the best deal. From regular groceries at the store to online shopping, it can be difficult to strike a balance between convenience, quality, and value.
Often, we stick with retailers which are familiar to us or are enticed by special promotions, but this can prevent us from getting the best deals. It is also important to know your consumer rights regarding refunds and poor trading standards. If you are looking for ways to cut back on your shopping, this guide outlines 7 tips to make you a smarter shopper so you can protect your finances and find the best deals.
1. Record What You Are Buying Each Month
You might be surprised by how much you spend in a month, so try recording all your purchases in a book. From the gas you put in your car and weekly groceries to the cup of coffee you grab on the way to work, it all adds up. When you can see what you are spending in black and white, it is easier to see where you can reduce your spending.
2. Compare Prices by Shopping Around
Often, taking a little more time to shop around and compare prices will enable you to find better deals. The internet has made this very easy to do as a simple search will bring up lots of different results.
3. Sign Up to Price Tracking Websites
If you have your eye on a product but it is more expensive than you can afford, you might be able to sign up for price drop alerts on price tracking websites. There are lots of sites which will show you all the prices a product has been sold in the last year and let you know when prices drop.
4. Earn Cashback While You Shop Online
If you sign up for an account with Kickback.com.au, you can earn up to 40% cashback on your online purchases from a wide range of online retailers. Over time, the cashback can really add up and you can withdraw your earnings from a PayPal account.
5. Know Your Consumer Rights
Your state will have a consumer rights office which protects you against unfair trading practices. Retailers can be held accountable if they try to profit from a consumer’s lack of knowledge about their rights, including fraudulent trading.
6. Pay With a Debit or Credit card
When you buy items with a credit card, you receive a certain amount of protection. For example, if you buy a product and return it within 90 days but the retailer will not refund your money, a credit card provider may cover the cost. In some situations, you can also get extended warranty insurance with your credit card which will protect you even if the product stops working after the warranty has expired.
7. Be Careful With Special Offers
Just because something is on a special offer or you have been given a voucher, it does not mean you need to part with your money. Take some time to think about purchases and potential impulse buys, as it is not good value for money if you are buying low-quality items or items you do not need.