Top 8 Essential Tips for Smart and Savvy Shopping

Everyone knows someone who seems to go shopping all the time and yet somehow always has money left over. These savvy shoppers have some simple secrets.

Don’t shop when you are tired, hungry, angry, lonely or upset. These are emotional states that can lead to unwise purchases you will regret later.

Make a List

One of the most important things you can do when shopping is to make a list. This will help you avoid overspending and buying things you don’t need. Before making a list, take the time to review what you already have – in your cupboards, closets, and garage. Then, create a list of the gaps that you need to fill – but remember, they should be genuine needs and not frivolous wants (there’s a big difference between the two).

Once your list is complete, stick to it! This will help you stay focused and on budget, despite the enticing displays and coupons. To help you stay on-task, try using a smartphone app like Evernote to make lists that sync across devices so they’re always within reach.

You can also use apps to compare prices on items in stores and online – this is a great way to find the best deals. For groceries, try categorizing your list based on where it goes in your kitchen (like fridge, pantry, and freezer shelves). This will ensure you don’t forget anything when shopping.

Don’t Forget About Online Shopping

Often, online shoppers can find a greater selection of products to choose from. They also have access to countless consumer reviews and discounts that they might not get in stores. And, because the prices of items vary so much online, shoppers need to compare prices before they decide to make a purchase.

Using a money-saving browser extension or cashback site before you shop can save you a lot of time and money. These sites can help you cut out the middleman, allowing you to shop in your pajamas and not be pestered by salespeople.

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Shoppers should be aware of the emotional triggers that lead them to shop unconsciously and not smartly. For example, many people use shopping to cope with negative emotions such as boredom or loneliness. It’s best to avoid shopping when you are feeling tired, hungry, lonely, bored, or upset. This will help you avoid making purchases that you might regret later on. It’s also a good idea to shop alone, as the presence of others can cause you to spend more than you intend to.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try On

Whether you’re shopping in-store or online, it’s important to not be afraid to try things on and make sure they fit. This is especially true when it comes to shoes and clothing. If you see something that you love, but you’re not sure about it, consider putting it on hold or even returning it later after some time has passed. This can help you avoid impulse purchases and only buy things you love.

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Look for the Best Deals

It’s easy to fall victim to the lure of a good deal and end up spending money that you hadn’t budgeted for. This is why it’s essential to always look for the best deals before making a purchase.

The easiest way to do this is by using apps like ShopSavvy, a money-saving app that constantly tracks prices on thousands of items so you never miss a chance at scoring a bargain. Alternatively, you can use the free banking app Monzo to keep track of your finances so you’re not spending more than you have.

Another easy way to find the best deals is by signing up for email newsletters from your favorite brands. Many retailers will offer exclusive flash sales and subscriber discounts to those on their mailing lists.

Another handy trick is to download the CouponCabin browser extension. It pops up with little tips every time you search on Google, regardless of whether you’re planning to buy something or not. This can save you a lot of time searching for deals and coupons yourself.

Don’t Be Afraid to Wait

A savvy shopper may seem like a spendthrift because they buy things frequently and always have new clothes in their wardrobes. But there is a big difference between a savvy shopper and a spendthrift, and that difference is patience. A savvy shopper is willing to wait until they see an excellent deal on something that they need or want. This often means waiting until the item is on sale or that it comes into season.

When shopping, a savvy shopper will often compare prices between multiple stores and online. This can assist them in saving money and avoiding overpayment. It can also be helpful to know that prices are sometimes intentionally inflated to make room for discounts.

This is especially true of high-end items and technology, where companies have to pay to physically change menus. So, if you are considering making a large purchase, it may be worth waiting to see if the item you are interested in goes on sale. It could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run!

Don’t Forget About Coupons

Coupons aren’t the most high-tech tool in a consumer’s shopping arsenal, but they can be very useful for getting what you need without going over budget. Even a small discount, such as 10% off an expensive item, can save you a good amount of money over time.

If you’re a smart shopper, you know the value of a coupon and make it a point to get them whenever possible. This includes asking friends and family to send you their coupons, finding them online (check out sites like MapleMoney), looking for tear-pad coupons at local stores, and using apps (like Honey) that help you save money when you shop.

Some retailers allow you to use multiple coupons at one time, including store and manufacturer offers. Penny Pinchin’ Mom lists Target, Kohl’s, Michael’s, and Victoria’s Secret as examples of chains that allow this type of promotion. You can also use a money-saving browser extension (check out the Honey Chrome Extension or Capital One Shopping), cash-back sites, and coupon apps, like rebates, to take your savings to the next level.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Bold

If you’re a savvy shopper, it means you can be bold when it comes to making smart choices. While anxiety may seem to hinder your ability to make good decisions, if you manage it in the right way it can motivate you to think carefully and choose wisely.

A savvy shopper doesn’t avoid a sale or discount, they look for the best ones and take advantage of them. But being a master of discounts and sales is more than just seeking out promotions – it’s also about planning and knowing what you’re looking for.

For example, a savvy shopper knows that it’s usually more advantageous to shop at end-of-season sales when retailers are trying to clear out old inventory. And they know to avoid shopping when they’re feeling tired, hungry, lonely, or upset – these are some of the emotional states that can trigger unconsciously overshopping, resulting in purchases that you later regret. Be a savvy shopper by following these simple tips:

Be Flexible

Becoming a savvy shopper is more than just shopping around for the best deals. It’s about making conscious decisions before you part with your money and planning. This can include everything from comparing prices and reading reviews to taking a ‘sleep on it’ before purchasing something you’re not quite sure about. It can also mean buying in bulk, making meals from scratch, or even letting your Virgin Red points (our universal currency) grow until you’re ready to use them.

For bigger purchases, it’s crucial to make a budget and stick to it. This might mean researching the product and retailers online or using apps like Monzo that put your bank balance right in front of you, so you can keep track of your spending. It can also help to shop the sales and take advantage of seasonal offers – for example, buying produce when it’s in season, or picking up clothes that are no longer being sold.


Smart and savvy shopping can be a fun and rewarding experience when you follow these essential tips. By doing your research, setting a budget, shopping around, reading reviews, and being mindful of your purchases, you can save money, time, and stress. Don't forget to also consider the environmental and social impact of your shopping choices. With these tips, you'll become a smarter and more conscious shopper in no time. Happy shopping!