The idea one should keep in mind while adapting to the identity of, “smart shopper,” is that most purchases benefit either both consumer and producer relatively equally, or disproportionally benefit the producer. Here are a few means by which one avoids making a purchase of the latter kind, or in other words making a “bad deal.” The most important changes to be made in the list of habits of any person wanting to become a smarter shopper are to slightly lower his value of convenience, and to value a good deal over the typical idea of quality. When we do this we are able to:
1) Compare brands: Many brands of a particular kind of product are very similar. To become a smarter shopper one should ask oneself, “What is the difference between this more expensive brand and this less expensive brand?” Then one would need to ask oneself if the difference between the two (if any) is truly worth the extra price. Many of us simply pick up what we see because t is most readily at hand in the store or make the choices we make with some brands because it is the brand with which we have become most familiar and neglect to investigate the wisdom of the purchase.
2) Check amounts: Many corporations which own the most frequently purchased brands of common household items achieve a certain degree of success from selling low amounts of product for high prices. This way they’re able to make the most possible profit from the least possible amount of product which is essentially what every brand does but as shoppers one needs to know how to make sure that the amount of product one is about to purchase is truly worth the price. On bottles or cartons of liquid products the ounce measurement is typically at the bottom of the packaging.
3) Couponing: Though couponing has been given the negative stigma of being the hobby of an obsessive, penny pinching, grocery line stopper, its benefits at times outweigh its minor inconvenience and untrue stigma. Magazines, newspapers and some websites offer coupons which offer discounts that could end up amounting to a significant decrease in an overall bill. The temptation to simply purchase rather than bother with paper clip outs is one that benefits the producer rather than the consumer.
These strategies and ideas may be applied to all kinds of purchases, and generally improve the habits of the consumer. The most important of the ideas expressed here is that the consumer must never allow himself to be cheated by the producer. If a consumer is able to keep this basic principle in mind, then he will find himself a far smarter shopper.