Shopping tips to help you save

Get the most from your money

Smart shopping tips

Here are some shopping tips to help you get the most from the money you spend.
Instructions: Click each tip to learn more.

At the store

  • Resist impulse buying! Ask yourself these questions: Do I really need it? Do I need it today? What if I don’t buy it now, can I do this at a lower cost?
  • Limit the cash you carry.
  • Shop with your spending plan in mind
  • Avoid ATM fees by using your bank’s ATMs
  • Watch for sales
  • Wait for the right price
  • Look for coupons and rebates
  • Shop for value!

Food shopping

  • Save money by eating at home
  • Make a shopping list for the grocery store
  • Watch for sales and coupons
  • Buy products you use frequently in large sizes or bulk quantities
  • Don’t go food shopping when hungry

An older couple buying apples in the produce section of a supermarket.

Credit card tips

  • Use your credit card to purchase larger, lasting items
  • Limit the number of credit cards you have
  • Don’t use a credit card if you can’t afford the price
  • Avoid having a monthly credit card balance greater than 10% of your net income

Cell phone tips

  • Shop for a package deal
  • Watch out for high text messaging and web access charges!
  • Read the contract before you sign
  • Ask questions; make sure you understand all features and fees
  • Keep track of your usage
  • Pay your bill on time and in full

An older gentleman checking a text message on his cell phone.

Take advantage of discounts

  • You may be eligible for discounts as a senior.
  • Also you may be able to get discounts if you have a valid military or insurance ID, student, or other organization memberships. Research the benefits and ask stores what cards they honor for discounts.
  • Some grocery and drug stores offer savings cards for customers.
  • Some stores and businesses offer their employees a special discount on merchandise. You might consider getting a seasonal job at a store where you plan to do your holiday shopping, for example.

Skip the rest, save for best

Consider skipping a few low-cost purchases you could do without in order to save for one item you really value. For example, skip your visits to fast food restaurants in order to afford one dinner at a top restaurant. Bypass small luxuries (like fancy coffees and movie rentals) for a few months and use the money to help you afford one great travel experience.

Find a creative way

Think about ways you might be able to obtain something you want at a lower cost or even free. For example, you might be able to see a play or attend a concert by volunteering to usher. Or, you might get some friends together in order to qualify for a volume or group discount.

Keep track of your spending! Keep your receipts and check them against your bank statements. Check your statements against your monthly spending plan.

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