A Conversation for Tips for Saving Money

How to Shop

Post 1

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Part of saving money is knowing how to shop to reduce expenses. Knowing the habits of retail stores throughout the year, and spotting their tricks to convince you to spend more are very important.

1) Know when things are on sale. Computer equipment, for instance, is usually cheaper from Labor Day through New Year's in America. You can most frequently bargain for a good deal on a car towards the end of the month, because salesmen and dealerships are tracked monthly and sometimes get anxious when their total sales count is low. Linens are cheapest during White Sales on major holidays, especially in the Spring). And clothing is least expensive for everyone shortly before school starts in the fall.

2) But don't become addicted to sales. Some stores (especially locally owned ones) artificially raise prices in order to drop them back down in '50% Off' or '2 for 1' sales. Don't let this fool you. If you don't have any idea what the going price is for something, don't buy it just because it is on sale. You risk getting burned, either by purchasing something you need at a higher price thinking it was on sale, or by buying something you never needed in the first place just because it was 'on sale.'

3) Buy wholesale. Buy directly from the manufacturer when you can, cutting out the expense of the middleman. Also buy from stores that purchase wholesale materials or buy in big lots. With food staples and disposable home goods, purchase no-name brands or the grocer's store brands. These are usually made by the same folks who make the name-brand items. And buy in bulk on things like soap, toilet paper, diapers and so on if you have the storage, as you will save money and you know you will use it all eventually.

4) Do your research with big purchases. It is important to know your stuff when it comes to items like computers, cars, houses, and furniture. These items are expensive, but more importantly they will see a lot of use. If you buy a computer that crashes all the time because you failed to determine which brands are reliable, you will curse your purchase later, I guarantee it. Learn to understand the basic and extra features for the items, research brand names, and learn what the going prices usually are. That way, you will spot the good bargain when it comes along and can buy with the knowledge that you will be satisfied later down the road.

5) Watch your impulse buying habits, but do treat yourself now and again. For instance, many stores include items by the register and on the ends of isles that they hope you will buy on an impulse. Do you find yourself purchasing things from these areas that look good at the time, but which you never use? If so, make a concerted effort to avoid impulse buying from these areas. On the other hand, do allow yourself the occasional splurge item. It will make you feel good, and you're less likely to splurge in a big way. Just make sure the item is something you genuinely want, not something the store has convinced you might be a good idea.


How to Shop(for clothes)

Post 2

Dragonfly. "A poet can survive everything but a misprint"-- Oscar Wilde

Shopping for Clothes:

First of all, try to raid your mother or father's closest for clothes that they can no longer wear, but remain in good fashion. Simplicity goes far in life, especially in the area of dressing the body.

Less is more. If you know that there is a particular pattern or solid color(like earthtones, reds, or blacks) that you enjoy wearing(usually because they loos flattering on you), then buy various pieces that come in similar tones and/or a favorite texture. You will be able to mix and match these items, and should get a fair amount of use out of them, since it brings you pleasure to wear them.

How many times will you wear formal attire!?? If you can avoid purchasing something(ESPECIALLY an ugly bridesmaid dress), try to rent for the occasion.

In high school I had two jackets that I wore for most of the time-- one was a $200 letter jacket, the other cost me five dollars and was hand-picked by myself at an Army thrift shop. The letter jacket I no longer wear, but the thrifty army jacket, with its greens, blacks, and browns(three colors I have a lot of clothes in), and HUUUGE pockets for hiding money, is worn quite often.

Jeans that wear out can be cut into shorts. T-shirts that wear out can become cleaning rags....


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How to Shop

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