Purchasing foodstuff or other household items can be expensive but there are the quickest ways to save money when shopping.
The retail industry is a large part of the Nigerian economy. In recent years, shopping slowed down as a result of a gloomy economy.
According to available data, shopping in Nigeria took a hit as a result of a weak purchasing power brought about not just by the 2020 pandemic but also by other global factors.
Physical vs online stores
Despite recent setbacks, the retail market in Nigeria has continued to grow. A large part of this growth is ascribed to the activities of e-commerce.
However, both physical stores and online stores remain important drivers of sales, each with unique strengths.
A physical store is a retail environment that requires physical space to display and sell products. Physical stores can be free-standing structures, tenants in a mall or shopping center or linked to venues such as museums, public attractions, or residences.
Physical stores employ retail employees who educate and assist shoppers while maintaining the store’s appearance and inventory.
An online store, on the other hand, is a shopping website where customers can browse and order products.
Online stores sometimes have dedicated web domains, or they can have web pages on social media sites or online marketplaces. Companies can run an online store as one aspect of their business model, or they might entirely rely on it.
Some physical stores are known to operate online versions where shoppers can order goods from the comfort of their homes.
Goods in online shops are relatively cheaper mostly because they don’t run the same overhead costs as physical shops.
Tips to help you save money when shopping
Whether you decide to visit a physical or an online store, there are ways to save money when shopping.
According to a recent report, in 2022 Nigeria’s consumer goods segment grew by 9.3 percent to a six-year high of N9.76 trillion.
The report indicated that store-based retailing accounted for N9.58 trillion of the total while online trading was N178.2 billion.
By interpretation, the amount you spend on groceries depends on where you shop, what you buy, and the number of people in your household.
However, regardless of how much you spend, there are simple actions you can take to save money. The savings can add up each trip and help offset the increased cost of groceries.
Some tips you can follow to save money on your next shopping run include;
Sign up for the loyalty program
Most grocery stores offer loyalty programs that are free to join. By signing up, you can benefit from member-only discounts that automatically deduct at checkout without needing coupons.
Research has shown that buying in bulk saves money, even though the amount you save depends on the item.
One thing to keep in mind when buying bulk is that it’s not the price of the item, it’s the price per unit that matters.
Other bulk shopping strategies that may be helpful include bringing a list, and sticking to it when you go shopping.
If you have a large family, joining a wholesale club can be a good idea. Although not properly structured in Nigeria, wholesale clubs are fast becoming a thing.
Buying in bulk isn’t for everyone since you’ll have to spend more money upfront, even though you’re saving overall.
Go with a list and stick to it
If you go to the supermarket without a list, it can be easy to grab things that aren’t needed. And even if you have a list, it can be hard to follow especially if you bring your kids.
The next time you go shopping, make sure you have a list and stick to it so you don’t wind up raising your bill. Sticking to your list helps curb impulse buying which in turn saves you money.
Buy items on sale
Supermarkets are always running various promotions that can help you save on everything from staples, like milk and eggs, sweets, ice cream, and others.
The most popular of them is the buy one get one free. Consider buying items on sale whenever possible, especially if the cost is normally high.
Sale items are often displayed in prominent locations throughout the store, such as at the entrance and ends of the aisles.
Compare prices between stores
If you live near various stores, consider shopping at a few and comparing prices. You can learn which store has the items you need for less and also look at the sales they run. If it’s not too much of a hassle, you may want to shop at two stores to optimize savings.
Buy generic brands
As a sales gimmick, supermarkets put the costly brand items at eye level, which can tempt shoppers to spend more money on high-cost items.
But if you look at the top or bottom of the shelves, you’ll often find generic brands, like the store’s own brand, that are cheaper and often taste just as good. Next time you go shopping, opt for a generic brand to save money.
Bring your own bag
This may not sound much but bringing reusable shopping bags when you go shopping can help save money.
The goal is to mop up all the cash that you can and divert it into your savings.
Bargaining the price of goods is another good way to save money when shopping. This may not apply in brick-and-mortar shops.
In markets, however, it is almost a crime not to haggle prices with traders. Haggling helps you beat down prices, even below your budget.
As they say, little things add up to big things; whether it’s little words, little actions, or of course, little amounts of money.
The amount you save from shopping may not be as large as you want it to be, but the goal is to keep them aside till they do.
One of the best ways to take charge of your finances in today’s uncertain economy is to have a healthy savings account.
Nobody wants to feel the stress of knowing that they are only a salary or two away from financial disaster because they lack money to fall back on in an unfortunate event.
There is also evidence from a recent study that shows that savings are linked to increased happiness. The study found that people who are ‘planners’ and do future-oriented things such as setting goals and taking steps to achieve those goals feel happier, and better about their lives, than those who don’t make plans.
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