On A Budget: Six Tips For A Realistic Shopping List For College Students
College students are always trying to find ways to save money. However, living on a budget doesn’t mean going without. There are many strategies you can use to obtain what you need and save money at the same time. Below are six tips for a realistic shopping list that can help you save.
1. Track What You Spend
To stay within a budget, tracking your expenses is absolutely required. Otherwise, you will remain ignorant of whether or not you are going over budget on a weekly basis. Create an Excel spreadsheet, Word document or a plain old paper document to keep track of your weekly shopping expenses. There are also many online programs that can help you track your spending more effectively.
2. Save Eating Out for Special Occasions
One thing you should know about eating at a restaurant is that the food comes at a premium. The restaurant owner must also change you for the service you receive, overhead expenses like electricity as well as enough to produce a little bit of profit. Groceries, on the other hand, tend to be much cheaper.
3. Use Online Coupons
You may use the coupons you receive in the mail to save on your shopping. However, if you aren’t using online coupons as well, you are probably limiting your savings. Make sure to visit couponing websites like Discountrue to receive the best deals on things like clothing, shoes and home items. It’s a great way to receive instant savings on nearly anything.
4. Choose Generic Brands
Famous brand name products tend to come at a premium to the consumer. This is because their fame due to nationwide marketing campaigns allows these companies to charge more for these products. One easy way to save money is to choose generic equivalents that always cost less at the store. Or, you could use online coupons to save on brand name products.
5. Be Strategic About Sales
Retailers and grocers are smart. They use sales as a way to convince customers to buy products they wouldn’t have otherwise. This can actually increase a household’s monthly shopping bill. Instead, only use sales to purchase items you would have regardless.
6. Prioritize Your Shopping List
You should buy what you really need for your family first. Other purchases that aren’t as important should be ranked as “luxury” items towards the bottom of the list. Only purchase these if you have enough of your budget left to do so. It is important to budget for extra purchases though, so you don’t feel guilty about small things you that aren’t necessities. When you have a budget for that, it’s easier to control your impulse shopping.
Overall, saving money while shopping isn’t impossible, but it does take some strategy. Use the above tips as well as other money saving strategies to help make sure you can stay within your shopping budget each week. By following these tips, you can start to see the savings, which can be used for other things you want or need.