We all do it. We walk through our favorite stores and boom – we've made an impulse buy (or two or three). It might be a magazine from the checkout lane or a cute pair of shoes that were on clearance and “too good” of a price to pass up.
Unfortunately, these impulse buys (even those that are on sale) can really add up. It may not seem like much to buy a $5 magazine each week, but that's $260 a year. If you're tired of buying things you don't really need, here are some secrets to avoid impulse shopping.
Make a List
How many times have you gone to the store for just a few items and came home with way more than you needed? You may have even come home without some of the items you went for.
When you don't have a list, it's easy to get distracted. You may be walking down the frozen foods aisle, knowing that you needed something but not sure what it was. The next thing you know, you've got a pint of your favorite ice cream and some chicken nuggets for the kids, but not the broccoli you came for. When you make a list, you're more focused and less likely to buy as many unneeded items.
Stay Busy in Long Checkout Lines
Waiting in line to check out from the grocery store, or any other store for that matter, can lead to impulse shopping. It might be a magazine, overpriced lip balm, or even a candy bar. Whatever it may be, it's something you don't actually need.
If you're in a long line, go over your list to make sure you got the items you needed. If you're still waiting, play a game on your smartphone or think about what you want to do when you get home. Do anything to keep your brain busy.
Never Go Grocery Shopping While Hungry and Leave the Kids at Home
One of the biggest reasons many of us buy food we don't need, and end up overspending at the grocery store, is because we're hungry. Going to the grocery store hungry will most certainly result in buying food you don't need (mostly junk food).
Make sure to grab a bite to eat before shopping. Even if you stop for fast food before shopping, it will still be cheaper than going to the store hungry. Another great tip is to leave the kids at home. This will easily reduce your grocery bill and prevent too many sugary foods from making it into your cart.
Find a New Hobby
If you're the type that goes shopping to beat boredom, you need to find a better hobby. What may start out as window shopping can quickly lead to a maxed out credit card. There are so many things you can do to beat boredom. You can read, watch movies, go hiking, play board games, do puzzles, etc. Find something you love and you'll spend a lot less money.
Impulse shopping can quickly destroy your paycheck. Whether it's groceries you don't need or overpriced candy bars, all those little expenses add up. Thankfully, there are ways you can avoid impulse shopping.
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