How not to spend money when shopping
Being frugal when shopping is about preparation
Being in my 60's, I can go back to the days when shopping was very different and it's easy for us oldens to come out with such terminology as "When I was young" and "What we used to do" etc. But there is a fair amount of mileage in those statements because back then we didn't have Credit Cards, Credit Agreements, nor did we live in today's materialistic society.
Basically, back then you spent what you had and if you didn't have it, you'd make do and go without!. It was a time of more 'dedicated money'. Every Pay Day would be a Budgetary Day. By that I mean you'd have a Household Budget; Housekeeping, Rent / Mortgage, Local Government payments, School expenditure etc. and what was left over, went towards a Holiday or into a Savings Account.
With the modern age, we have got into the 'Buy now, pay later' way of things and although it's great to have the new technology, expensive Holidays and so on, it's basically going into debt and we find that an item we've brought will wear out before we've paid for it. It's this mind set we need maybe when we go to the Shops.
So, the thing is to avoid the temptations that the Retailers give us when we go shopping. Here's a few things I've picked up since I downshifted and ten years on, still earning only half of what I used to....
Only take cash to the Shops
If you think you're going to spend £40 down at the Shops, take £45 cash with you and leave the Cards at home. This will avoid temptation of buying larger items and also popping in for a Coffee (put a Flask in the Car - one cup of Coffee in a Chain Restaurant would be about the same as three days worth at home!).
Avoid paying to park the Car
It's best not to take the car to the Shops at all, Car's have boots you can put things into! If you do take it, leave it on the edge of town, somewhere you don't pay. If you have to, find a Pay and Display Park and only put the minimum amount in which will force you to speed things up a bit and avoid window shopping.
Do your homework before you go Shopping
If you know exactly where you're going it will help. Look at Store Websites and find the best deal before you go.
Times are changing. Years ago we used to have the Grocery Man, the Fish Man, The Greengrocer bring food to our homes, you only really went to the Shops for Clothes etc. Most Supermarkets have Internet Shopping facilities now and if you don't go to the Shops, you're not tempted at all!
Make a Shopping List
This applies more to Men than Women, we aren't very good at it! What happens is you forget to write a couple of things down, find yourself apparently done all your shopping, have some cash left over, think you've done well, buy yourself a treat, get home to find you've forgotten the Milk and a couple of other essentials and end up paying more at the local Petrol Station or somewhere.
All in all, the target of shopping frugally is to get all you need in the shortest possible time spending the least amount of money.
Retailer want your Custom, that's fair enough in respect they give people jobs etc. but what they're really wanting is your cash - that's their job, the art is finding a Retailer which wants your cash, but not so much of it and give you a feeling of service at the same time.
I'm a lucky person because financial circumstances have led me to be like 'the good old days'. I don't have any Credit Cards because the Companies saw I wasn't spending anything, found them hard to pay back for a few months and didn't want to give me a new one. This led me into selling my Car and cycling everywhere for two years.
Shopping Centres; designed for comfort, designed for taking cash!
"Finding creative ways to giftwrap inexpensively can be done, with a little thought and imagination. There are many materials in your own home right in front of your nose."
Being frugal leads people to believe you're a little eccentric. I wrap all my Christmas Presents in old Newspapers. Believe it or not, I got more respect than I did laughs!