Contributed by Info Guru Jennifer Andrews
Saving money is a necessity for most people, families and households nationwide thanks to a shaky economy, rising gas prices and food costs.
For most people, even small amounts of money saved can do a lot towards helping pay off the bill’s or a week’s worth of groceries. Saving money may be overlooked by some people who believe that a few extra dollars spent on a coffee or piece of clothing won’t make a difference to the bank account. However, saving small amounts of money each day can add up in the long run when budgeting practices are carried out daily. You can save hundreds to thousands of dollars in a year or even in a matter of months by product price comparison shopping. Bargain shopping can not only net you extra dollars but also teach you how to find equally great products on an affordable budget.
Consider the following top ten product price comparison tips and start saving money today!
10. Catalog websites
Product price comparison shopping has never been easier since the advent of websites that offer catalog shopping. Online shopping allows you to easily peruse the internet from your own home and bring up a few catalogs at once in different tabs. This means you can compare product prices between items easily and quickly. An “online mall” makes for an efficient product shopping tool that allows you to type in what you are looking for in a Search box, then numerous sites pop up for you to compare.
9. Calculate it
A calculator can be a handy tool for product price comparison shopping. Simply take a small hand-held calculator with you to the grocery store or retail stores and do the math when comparing items of interest. This is particularly useful if you are considering buying items in bulk since you can calculate how much you might save by buying items in larger quantities versus singles. Technology such as iphones and ipads make crunching numbers easy thanks to calculator apps.
Take a look through store flyers that are distributed weekly or sent to your mailbox. Rather than throwing flyers away as junk mail, use them to do some product price comparison shopping. Grocery stores in particular often sell store-name items for cheaper than brand name versions.
Once you’ve done some product price comparison shopping, avoid immediately running to the store that is cheapest. Rather, take some time to speak to the supervisors or managers of the higher-priced store and let them know that the competitors are selling for less. Store managers may mark item prices down as they often have “best price” offers as incentive to shop at their own stores.
Sometimes, the cheapest priced product is not always the best bargain. This is evident with items such as clothing in which the more expensive item could be made from more durable, long-lasting material versus cheaper materials that will shrink or stretch easily. Read labels carefully and ask store clerks about the type of material to get a better idea of the item’s true value.
5. Size matters
When comparing prices, be sure to know exactly what you are getting in return for your money. Some products may be priced more expensively but actually give you more for your buck. For instance, a bottle of facial cream may be sold for an extra dollar or two but actually be larger than the cheaper bottle. In contrast, a cheaper bottle that is also larger in size could be on sale and a better bargain for your wallet.
Watch out for upcoming sales on products when comparing prices. Avoid buying a cheaper item from one store if the other store is having a large sale the following week and marking everything down for half-price. Know when sales are happening and organize shopping trips around them when possible.
3. Ask around
One of the best product price comparison tips is to simply ask your friends about special deals they have found. Your friends may shop at different stores than you or frequent online shopping catalogs making them well-versed in where to find the best products deals.
Beware of any hidden agendas to products that are priced at a cheaper rate. For instance, a sweater may be marked down for 50 percent off – but only if you buy a full-priced item first. Similarly, a carton of strawberries at one store may be selling a special of 2 cartons for $6. However, if you won’t eat them quickly enough before they spoil, it may be just as well to buy one carton for $4 instead, or slice and freeze them for later use.
Above all, when it comes to comparing prices for the purpose of saving your hard-earned money, don’t forget the big picture. Sometimes, it’s worth it to spend a little extra on an item you want. Or if it causes you less stress to shop at the supermarket that’s closest to you – do so. Just try to keep an eye out for bargains and consider dropping into the cheaper place the next time you’re on the road.