10 Practical Ways To Avoid Overspending When Shopping

Updated: March 23, 2022

Buyer’s remorse.

This is the anxiety and regret that a person feels after making a purchase.

It happens when you buy something expensive, or whenever you purchase an item on impulse, and especially if it’s also something you can’t really afford.

Overspending when shopping, whether you’re in the mall, department store, or in the grocery, is a common money mistake we all commit.

Fortunately, there are easy and practical ways to avoid it, and here are 10 of them.

1. Don’t go shopping.


Obviously, the most practical way to avoid overspending is to not go shopping at all. Avoid the temptation and just stay at home and play with your pet.

2. Make a list and stick to it.


Before shopping, list down everything you need first, especially if you’re going to the grocery. Be disciplined to follow the rule: ‘If it’s not on the list, then you can’t buy it.

3. Get in and get out fast.


Go to the store, buy what you need, and then get out. The less time you spend inside the mall or grocery, the less likely you’ll buy something you don’t need.

4. Don’t use a basket or a shopping cart.

Are you getting only one or two items? Then don’t bring a basket or a shopping cart inside or else you’ll have the impulse to fill it.

One tip is to just bring and use your own shopping bag that’s only big enough to carry the items you need to buy.

5. Snub the salesperson.


In the book, Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, it was discovered that the more interaction that occurs between the shopper and the store employee, the higher the average sale is.

That’s why you should interact with salespeople only if you need help, especially in department stores.

When one approaches, don’t immediately acknowledge their presence and pretend they’re not there. If they initiate a conversation, just politely say, “I’m fine and I’ll just call you if I need anything, thanks.”

6. Don’t pick it up.

Do you see something interesting inside a store or while going through a grocery aisle? Put your hands inside your pocket while you look and avoid handling the item.

7. Avoid samples.

Research from the same book mentioned states that people are more likely to buy something if they can sample it first.

So just stay focused on what you need to buy and never try those free samples. Look straight ahead and walk past them to avoid temptation.

8. Don’t try it on.


In a boutique or department store, never try something on if you don’t really need it. Studies have shown that shoppers are twice as likely to buy an item when they do.

So it’s really a big mistake to try that dress, or put on that shoes, just to see how it looks.

9. Stay away from ads.


Avoid looking at posters and banner signs. Don’t watch nor listen to the video ads playing around. Walk away from store employees who are doing product demos.

Again, just focus on your list and ignore everything else or you’ll end up buying something you don’t really need.

10. Eyes off the impulse rack.


Once you line up for the cashier, avoid looking at the impulse items displayed near and around the counter. Instead, you can check your shopping list and see if you forgot anything.

Sometimes, I just look towards the exit door and watch people walking in and out while waiting for my turn in line. It’s a simple strategy, but it works.

What about you? Any additional tips you can share to avoid overspending when shopping? Share them below in the comments section.

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  1. As for me, I rarely go shopping but when I do, I pay using debit card. Since I have two BPI atm cards (savings and payroll), I always use the payroll one for grocery shopping. I transfer funds according to my budget. This way, I totally avoid overspending since I don’t have any extra to spend anyway. ;)

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