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Shopping Article
5 Ways to Shop Smarter and Save Money
Bring your budget into line with these smart shopping tips.

1. Stock up on sale items.
If you can afford to, stockpile non-perishable items from the grocery store when they are on sale – ideally, buy enough to last you until the next sale. If you wait until you desperately need an item before buying it, you are always forced to by it at the regular price.

2. Shop for gifts all year round.
Be on the lookout for birthday and Christmas presents throughout the year, not only at the time of the event. This takes a little forward planning, but allows you to buy when the item is on sale. Post-Christmas sales have the best pricing you are likely to see all year.

3. Curb your eating-out habits...a little
You can save big money by reducing the number of times you dine at restaurants and caf?s – and it doesn’t mean you can no longer enjoy yourself.
One of the biggest offenders is work lunches. Your commitment could be as small as bringing a home-made lunch to work twice a week and you’ve made a saving of $48 per month (assuming you would normally have spent $6.00 a day on lunch).
Making your own coffees at work instead of buying a cappuccino can add up to a significant saving. Just two less store-bought coffees each week will save you $312 a year (at $3.00 per cappuccino).
If you have a regular family dinner at a restaurant, substitute it for an outdoor barbeque or picnic lunch at a park or river. Not only will you save money, but your family will enjoy the day out.

4. Used not abused
Save yourself a fortune on entertainment by buying second hand. There’s little chance you can go wrong with a second-hand book, music CD or DVD movie (and if you have your doubts, a reputable second-hand dealer will be willing to show you that the product works before you take it home). You can save around 70% off the normal price.
Better yet, borrow items from your local library and save yourself 100% !

5. Use discount coupons
Search for discount coupons on shop-a-dockets, junk mail and local newspapers and keep them in a designated place.

Australians can start with these two websites: www.hotdockets.com.au or www.whypayfullprice.com.au

Otherwise, simply run a Google search on the word "coupons" or "freebies" and your city - you'll find heaps of great discount offers.

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