I am not sure about anyone else, but in Sweden, food prices are going up, we have rising inflation and the interest rate has gone up – again. Electricity and energy is costing more, and many households are feeling a pinch in their wallets.
I would say that I pay full price for perhaps 5% of my non-food purchases. I generally use discounts, sales, gift vouchers, bonus points, and second-hand shopping to purchase what I need.
- being patient is key for purchases that are not urgent. Use Pricerunner or similar apps to follow price drops, or keep your eye open for store discounts. You can often put items on a store wishlist so that you will be notified when the price drops.
- most things (unless they are Rolex watches or Hermés Birkins) go on sale eventually, so if you can wait, put the purchase off until there is a reduction in price
- use store points, club discounts, gift cards (or as many combinations of them as are allowed) for treats or big purchases. In the past I have asked for gift cards for birthdays and Christmas in order to make big purchases
- sell items on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, at local auction houses, or sales sites in order to fund new purchases
- if you shop often at a small privately-owned store, they will often offer you loyalty discounts once they recognise you. My favourite local shop always gives me a 20% discount.
- if you develop the wanties for something, and have an issue with impulse-buying, write down things on a wish list, sleep on it a while and see if you still want it as much. Often you don’t. But don’t do this if something you really need or want is likely to sell out quickly.
- some of my nicest and highest quality household items and clothing has come very cheaply from vintage/thrift/charity/secondhand stores. For example, I have gorgeous white tablecloths that I could never afford new.
- if you have pricier staple beauty products that you always buy (for me it is Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, Clarins and Lancôme cleansing milks), wait until they have bonus offers, with GWPs (Gifts with Purchase). These gift products will allow you to try new things, and sometimes find old favourites in nifty travel sizes.
- expensive is not always better. My favourite eye makeup remover of all time is by Yves Rocher and my favourite micellar water is a cheapie by Garnier. Don’t let beauty assistants or hair stylists browbeat you into buying expensive products if you already know what suits you.
- having said that though, pricier shampoos and conditioners often last way longer than cheaper ones
- use online price comparison apps to find out where you can buy something the cheapest. Make sure to look for free shipping if you can.
- buy locally if you can, because customs fees can add quite a bit to the total purchase price
- pay more for items like shoes, because it will work out cheaper in the end to buy two pairs of quality shoes than 10 pairs of disposable ones. I have Caterpillar boots that are almost 30 years old and still going strong.
- sample sales and closing down sales will often yield investment purchases at the fraction of the regular price
- don’t buy something that is too small, too trendy, uncomfortable, or our of your comfort zone just because it is cheap
- if you are going to be wearing and washing something a lot, make sure it is good quality. Some cheapo items fall apart after three washes
- word out the cpw (cost per wear) when you buy something. If you buy an expensive coat (on sale of course) and will use it for 20 years, it works out cheaper in the long run than a fashion coat that you will wear for two seasons before it looks shabby. Divide the cost of the item by the number of times you estimate you will wear it (be realistic!) to find out the cost-per-wear
- don’t buy into the sunk cost fallacy. If you spent too much on an item that you don’t wear or use, get rid of it. Sell it if you can for whatever you can get, or donate it. It’s not going to give you more value for money if it sits there reminding you constantly of your wasted money. Just let it go. This applies to relationships as well. Just because you put energy and time into a relationship doesn’t mean you should hang on after it is not making you happy anymore and never will.