How to Prevent Summer Savings Slumps
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Dwarfed only by holiday splurging, summer spending can really add up. Between events, vacations, back to school shopping and lazy summer days, even savvy shoppers can get a bit lax.
Here are 6 ideas for how to prevent summer savings slumps.
1. Shop online from anywhere for bargains.
Score amazing deals even while relaxing by the pool. Compare prices, take a few minutes to read through your offer emails, and use Swagbucks.com to earn cash back on your shopping and searching. After you’ve chosen where and what you want to purchase, check Swagbucks again for a discounted gift card. And don’t forget to shop through them to activate your cash back when you’re ready to buy. To save even more money, watch for free shipping offers or see if “ship to store” is available in your area. Online sales often rival or even beat in-store deals, especially during the season when shopping sites are in a sales slump.
2. Plan your shopping trips.
Unless you’re hiding out at home all summer, you will be leaving the house regularly for activities. Use ice packs and coolers or large cooler bags to accommodate your shopping around your schedule. You can shop on your way to or from events and keep your purchases cold in the heat. Shopping on your way not only saves gas but you can plan to stop at the places that will save you the most money. This saves over making one “big shop” at a single store.
3. Don’t make “one big shop”.
Just as I mentioned above, not making one “big shop” at a single store saves money. When you buy everything from one store, you get stuck paying retail prices to get what you need. Instead, make smaller, shorter trips throughout your week (when you’re already out, as suggested above). This allows you to hit more than one store so you can purchase everything you need at the lowest possible prices.
4. Designate a shopper who has more time, maybe your teen.
If you personally don't have time to be diligent in seeking out the best deals, assign someone else the job. It's the perfect opportunity to teach teens how to save and be frugal. You can further motivate and teach them by treating it like their little business. They earn a percentage of the savings as a wage for helping you plan your shopping. Consider paying even more if they are old enough to actually do the shopping on your behalf.
5. Calculate the price of your time.
Need more motivation to not simply grab what you need at whatever price? This tip alone could save you a significant amount of money if you’ve found yourself just running into whatever store is convenient and paying retail price. (Think $5.99 for a gallon of milk!) For more motivation to stop this pricy routine, do this: Calculate how many hours you'd have to work at your job to pay for the items you're buying without a deal or a coupon. How long do you have to work to pay that higher amount, compounded by convenience shopping on a regular basis? Now that you know, consider how much time it would realistically take you to search for better deals and coupons. The amount you’ll save should dramatically eclipse the small amount of time your planning would take.
6. Evaluate monthly purchases for accuracy and necessity.
There has been a lot of buzz lately about not paying for things you don’t use, especially streaming services. The reason behind the chatter is real – we tend to forget everything we have running, which creates unnecessary expenses. So with all the summer activities you have planned, it’s time to evaluate whether or not you’ll actually use those services throughout the summer. It’s also a perfect time to potentially save some money on services you do want. As June progresses, watch for special deals offered by services marketing to boost slow sales. You may save by making a switch to a different service.