Sunday, October 21, 2012

10 Rules for Shopping - Don't Gamble with your Money

We have public information spots on TV about gambling here in Oregon. People get carried away, get in debt and do crazy things.  I think shopping is a lot like a game of chance. That is why I am giving you 10 rules for shopping to keep costs down. I do these things:
  1. Go to the bank and get the cash for what you can afford to spend.
  2. Limit the number of stores you will visit...make a list.
  3. Limit the amount of time you will spend in each store.
  4. Don't go shopping unless you have a specific need. Shopping when you are frugal cannot be your entertainment.
  5. Make a list of the items you need.
  6. Pre-shop for those big items online so you can make sure you are getting a good price at the store. Take shipping into account when you jot the price down on your list.
  7. Look for coupons online and in the paper. Always take into account the distance you will have to drive for a good deal. Gas is expensive.
  8. If you love something but it costs too much, wait for a while and shop outlet stores. Marshalls, Home Goods and Ross can have that very item for much less.
  9. Think outside the box...if you are shopping for light fixtures, for example, be sure to check outdoor lighting. Look in the men's department for unisex clothes...they charge men less for the same items
  10. Never throw a receipt away...not for a long time. An item that doesn't work or breaks after a short period of time can be returned. I am told that places like Costco will take things back after the warranties have expired no questions asked.
Be sure to check the related articles below. You might find something that interests you there too.

Have a wonderful week.


  1. I used to be terrible about savings receipts or returning things that break, don't fit quite right, or simply aren't needed.

    My wife has worked for years to get me to put all receipts in my files and not be embarrased or too lazy to return that $10 T-shirt or $3 sprinkler repair part I don't need.

    Now, I save receipts for fill ups at the gas station and lunch at MacDonalds! I figure if I save every receipt I'll never lose one when I need it.

  2. This post got me thinking about when and why shopping became entertainment or a way to alleviate boredom for the masses. I think it started with enclosed shopping malls (no more weather to trudge through), endless TV ads, and extended store hours. It is also a quasi-social experience since you are surrounded by people. Your points on managing it are right on.

  3. Bob,

    I used to save every receipt. My husband did the taxes and I managed the money. I was afraid that we would be missing something at tax time so I had a huge file of proof we had actually bought even a light fixture for the house.

    Now my husband manages the money and does the taxes. He is very good about keeping receipts. Even a screw that is not needed will be returned on the next trip to the hardware store. He is so good!


  4. Juhli, You are so right about the enclosed shopping mall. I might add the aesthetic experience. Those stores are beautiful. They even have us doing our walking in the mall here in Portland. It is very rainy.

    Marketing is a sly and enticing tricker. We need to be careful!

    The trick here is taking no credit card and only enough money for lunch or a cup of coffee.

    Now if I would only practice what I preach! Sigh!



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