Where to Shop to Save Money

Keeping on top of your family budget can be tough. You want to save as much as you can on the items you use every day, yet it’s not always easy or intuitive. It takes a little bit of work to be able to get the best deals each time.

There are lots of ways a family can save money on groceries and other important items. You can watch for sales, clip coupons and even buy secondhand. One of the most important decisions you can make from week to week has to do with where to shop.

There are several types of stores out there, some of which can save you significantly while others won’t save you as much. Here’s a look at some of the most common places to shop, and which ones are best at saving you money and keeping your family on budget:

  • Local grocery stores. We all want to support local businesses, of course. Yet many local grocery stores have significantly higher prices than chain stores. This is a decision you need to make on your own, but if your only objective is to save money you’ll want to avoid local grocery stores unless they have specific items at a deep discount.
  • Chain grocery stores. These stores can save you money, but you still need to be careful. Even the retailers that offer deep discounts on some items may have higher-than-average prices on other items. Make sure you do some comparison shopping when you’re thinking of buying from larger chains.
  • Department stores. When you’re clothes shopping, you need to take a couple of things into account. While inexpensive clothing may look as nice as expensive clothing in some cases, it can also wear out much more quickly. Of course, in a family, you’re likely to be dealing with children that are still growing. You need to do some calculating about how long the clothing will be used versus the cost.
  • Secondhand stores. Depending on where you live, you may find a goldmine of used clothing and household items at your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or other secondhand store. Don’t pass these locations up, but do make sure you check any item for quality before you actually buy it.

Knowing how best to save at various stores will help you keep your family budget on track.