1. A frugal shopper studies other people. Do you know someone who always gets the best deal on cars, boats, or whatever? Ask him how he does it! Some people will tell you that the cheapest coffee in town is $3 per cup, while others will say 50 cents. There are probably people near you living a good life on half of what you make. Learn how others do things, so you’ll know your options.
2. Frugality requires knowledge of values. It’s tough to get a great deal on a car if you don’t know what a great deal is. Start educating yourself on prices, especially before you’re ready to buy anything that costs a lot.
3. Frugal shoppers pay cash. Things are cheaper when paid for in cash instead of credit. Want that new patio set? The price divided by the number of weeks you can wait to get it equals how much you need to set aside each week. You’ll not only save on interest when you pay cash, but you’ll often get a better price.
4. A good shopper looks for alternatives. Maybe you’d have just as much fun taking that discounted trip to the Bahamas as you would going to Jamaica. If you happen to enjoy pizza just as much – or more, skip the expensive restaurant and call Dominoes.
5. Frugal shoppers tell people what they need. Just mention it in conversation. Do you know how many people get free or cheap things, just because they talk? My neighbor wanted to upgrade her living room debt, and was thrilled that I would take her 3-month-old couch off her hands for $30. Glad I mentioned I was looking for one.
6. Do the math. You didn’t really save $400 on that car if it costs you $500 more in gas each year. Also, be aware that some stores are cashing in on shopper’s assumptions that larger is cheaper. Yes, the gallon of pickles might actually cost more than four quart jars. Be ready to do the math if you want to be a frugal shopper.