Have you ever gone shopping to grab a few items, but when the cashier rungs up your purchases, they were way over the amount you intended to spend? Well, I have. And, when I examined my purchases, I discovered that most of the items were things that I picked up while waiting to check out. Don’t beat yourself up. Some of the best shoppers can get sidetracked by those cute little items on the shelves at the check-out. What can you do to avoid those checkout pitfalls?
Shop with a visual budget
Always, always create a budget. It is so easy to rush into a store to get one item and come out with several things you really don’t need. I know I have. Since it is so easy to get sidetracked at checkout, keep a mini copy of your budget tucked away in your purse or wallet. While standing in that checkout line, pull it out and look at it. This visual reminder will help to keep you focused on your spending goals.
Shop with a list
I can’t shop successfully without a list. It is too easy for me to get sidetracked. So, make a shopping list and keep it out until you have completed checkout. Continuously remind yourself of what you are supposed to be purchasing. This will help you control those impulses to grab one of the overpriced convenient items at checkout.
Shop with cash
Before heading to the store, put aside the cash that you will use during that trip and leave your credit or debit card at home. Credit cards and debit cards will allow you to keep spending even when you have reached your set spending limit. By using cash, you can see how much money you actually have. Once the cash you have on hand is gone, you can’t spend anymore.
Eat before you shop
Never go shopping while you are hungry. Because when you are hungry, you are more likely to pick up those sugary snacks while you are in the checkout line. A wise shopper knows to eat or grab a simple snack before heading to the store.
Distinguish wants from needs
Even the most seasoned shopper can give in to impulse shopping while waiting in those long checkout lines. In order to control the impulse to throw one of those miniature product items into your cart, ask your self do you really need it? Will you or your family suffer if you don’t buy the item right now? If you are truly honest with yourself, chances are it is a want.
Focus on the money you will save
Remember your budget and think about the amount of money you will save if you don’t make grab that little item off the shelf. I have found that if I keep my eyes straight ahead that I can avoid picking up items at checkout. This helps me to keep my eyes on the prize and my hands off those overpriced mini-goodies.
It takes planning in order to successfully checkout. Stores strategically place high priced items in the checkout lanes. Don’t give in to boredom or hunger. Follow the above tips and beat those checkout line pitfalls.