June 7, 2016

How to shop as usual and save money...?


Almost everywhere in the globe face a 'not-so-favored' economic situation. One may ask, will this recession be a short -term dip or otherwise? McKinsey Global Consumer Sentiment Survey 2016 shown that average optimism level about the respondent's country economy is only around 25%. 26% is living paycheck to paycheck. A large number of people fear of losing their job in the next year.

However, life must go on. People will still need to spend to buy things, but how could people be able to survive on their current salary while prices of items fluctuating up and down, of which it goes up mostly? There are 5 attributes to probably help to save money.

Proactive search for savings

Change your buying behaviors. Pay more attention to prices while actively look for sales and promotions. You can always delay purchases to get the best deal. Some people (like my mom) used to window shopping at multiple stores to find the best deals. There are people who can read the mind of the retailers expecting sales on certain items.

Another best saving option is on food. Always buy raw material and cook at home. You can always estimate not to waste them. Perhaps, you can share leftovers with cats around you :)

Be loyal to a brand only when the price is right

The best thing out of sticking to a brand is, you can easily compare the price between outlets. It is not practical comparing an apple to an orange as items might differ in terms of weight, features & benefits. Try to dig the most benefit out of the things you want to buy.

I have my own ceiling price when buying diapers for my kids. I will always keep the diapers price lower than RM0.40. For example, a brand selling at RM29.90 with 78 pieces in it. You'll spend around RM0.38 per diapers. You can quickly decide on the purchase once you know the price.

Always have a calculator with you, or install calculator apps on your smartphone!

It is best to purchase when the brand is on sale or perhaps if you have the discount coupons. It is also good to purchase in small quantities. The price might go down further, yeah?

Opt to less expensive brands

The brand comes with a price. The market would usually observe branded items or even shares to be pricier. My kids love that blackcurrant drink they claimed to be full of vitamin C (I hope you know which brand I'm referring to). I have been reluctantly bought the biggest bottle every time it runs out at home (you know how much it was priced) until the retailer themselves came up with their own version, which tastes no differ from the original. Those priced less a few ringgits per bottle until I went to Pasar Tani and found 2 bottles of blackcurrant drink + raisins sold at RM25. Then it was even offered at RM20 for 2 bottles.

That will save me for the next 3-4 months?

In mature markets, mostly in Europe, consumers has been opting to retailer's packaged items for more savings. This includes laundry supplies, cleaning products and even bottled water. Living in Malaysia, you should have brought your own filtered and boiled clean water from home. It will save you a lot!

Reluctant - may be a factor for not trading down but it may be worth to try. After a number of frustrating experience, I myself traded down on a few brands and live with it . Once it gets right, I have never turned back. The cycle goes on and on and on and on.....

Shop across channels

Malaysians are so lucky to have various places/channels to shop. We have retail, wholesale, online, Pasar borong etc. The only thing we are lacking in Malaysia is discounted market but since we are having so many sales in a year, who cares?

When I was looking for kitchen apparatus a month back, I spent three to four days to shop around, visiting various shops physically, retailers and surfed a few online retailers as well. I ended up buying a discounted built-in oven from a shop in Puchong (it's new, not pre-loved), instead of paying its original price of RM2.5k, I paid less than RM1k. I bought the hob and hood, with the spec that I was looking for less than RM1.7k online, both from different sellers.

The same spec of hob would normally price at around RM1.2 - RM1.5k while the same spec of the hood would normally be priced at around RM1.8 - RM2k. I would have paid almost RM2.8k more. That's a lot of money for me. The tolls and petrol expenditure was below RM50 for those 3-4 days. Spend a little bit for more saving.

Buy things that you need ONLY

This is perhaps the last but most important attribute when you go shopping. For me, shopping is for grocery, home, and laundry supplies. It is also good if you have a smaller refrigerator as we tend to fill more if it is bigger. We end up throwing things off once those turned bad.

For some people, shopping is for clothes. It is good that you can review your closet at least once a month, or before you intend to shop for clothes. Many end up bought clothing to wear once and forever it stays in the closet after that.

These attributes are supposed to be easy to follow. You just need to look around you to begin.

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