July 20, 2005 -- All of us want to save money when we shop, but for most of us, it's easier said than done. The key may be to find out which kind of shopper you are and identify savings strategies that work with your shopping habits.
What Kind of Shopper Are You?
According to research done by the coupon industry, there are five types of shoppers.
About 32 percent of shoppers are traditionalists. Your motto: "When it comes to shopping, I'm a pro." You are a disciplined purchase planner, who compiles detailed lists with your favorite coupons and spends an average of 140 minutes in a grocery store each week carefully weighing each purchase decision.
About 23 percent of shoppers are strivers. Your motto: "I wish I could be a better shopper."
About 16 percent of shoppers. Your motto: "I really need to save but it's such a hassle."
Both the striver and stresser are impulse shoppers, who have hectic schedules and limited time. Their shopping excursions are disorganized and stressful, occurring with little regularity and complicated by numerous unplanned trips to the store. You want to save, but aren't organized enough to know where to begin.
About 21 percent of shoppers. Your motto: "Shopping is a chore I could live without."
The Casual Spender
About 7 percent of shoppers. Your motto: "I don't mind paying more if it means zero effort."
Both the anti-shopper and the casual spender are not interested in changing how they shop or how much they save.
Savings Mom Recommendations for Each Type of Shopper
Do you see yourself in any of these descriptions? Keep reading to learn how to save no matter how you shop!
You already understand strategic shopping strategies: Buy items when they are on sale, with a coupon if one is available, and stock up on key items at their lowest prices.
The opportunity for these shoppers is to save time by using the Savings Mom Web site www.savingsmom.com. which does the work of finding the best sales and coupon deals, and organizing their coupons electronically with the Virtual Coupon Organizer. Not only will you continue to save big money, you'll be able to spend far less than 140 minutes per week planning and shopping.
Stressers and Strivers
These shoppers can make a big difference in their grocery spending by making a few simple changes that can save money and reduce stress.
Try to reduce trips to the grocery store by taking a few minutes to write a list before you leave home. Cutting down unplanned visits to the store to buy that one forgotten item will reduce impulse spending.
Take a minute to look at your grocery store's weekly ad circular before you make your list (which may come in the mail or in the newspaper) to see what the front page "best sales" are, and plan at least a couple of meals around what is on sale. If you didn't save the ad, you can check online to see what your store's key sales are that week.
Resolve to stick to your shopping list while in the store. If possible, leave children at home to avoid their impulse spending.
Learn the Savings Mom System for using grocery coupons proven to work for even the busiest shoppers. Simply find the grocery coupon circular from the Sunday newspaper each week, write the date on the front of the circular, and save the entire circular in a box or a hanging file -- no need to cut out or organize any coupons.
Then Refer to the "Best Deals" list for your state on the Savings Mom site -- it does the work of finding the best coupon deals at your favorite stores. If you like the deal, just cut out the one coupon you need for that item. Even if you only use the system once a month, you'll be able to save money as long as you have saved each week's coupon circular.
The Anti-Shopper and The Casual Spender
Because these shoppers are not interested in changing how they shop or how much they spend, it is generally their spouses who are bothered by their shopping habits. Just make sure your casual spending spouse has their own store discount card to help them save with no effort, and take over on the grocery shopping if you can!