If you want to be a smart shopper, it helps to understand your shopping style first.
Step 1: Find out whether you are an impulse shopper Find out whether you are an impulse shopper -- a consumer who goes out and buys on a whim. If so, try to plan your spending and avoid impulse buying.
TIP: Remember that emotions can affect shopping behavior. Try to avoid the rationale that you should buy something because you deserve it.
Step 2: Recognize whether you are a plan-ahead shopper Recognize whether you are a plan-ahead shopper. Encourage this behavior by getting to know the sales cycles in your area, buying items before you run out of them, and shopping for gifts year-round.
Step 3: See whether you are a last-minute shopper See whether you are a last-minute shopper -- someone who basically does not like to shop and ends up in a shopping frenzy at the last minute. If so, try to shop when stores are not crowded, and be prepared to return or exchange items if you later find out they are not what you need.
Step 4: Figure out whether you are an inspirational shopper Figure out whether you are an inspirational shopper -- someone who shops without a plan and makes purchases wherever the best sales appear to be. If so, try to remember that advertised items are not necessarily the cheapest. Be sure to check the entire store for bargains.
Step 5: Recognize whether you are a non-shopper Recognize whether you are a non-shopper -- someone who avoids making purchases in order to save money for loftier purposes. Being a non-shopper can help you save money for the kids' college education, but it won't do much for filling out the grocery list. Now head to the store and start shopping!
FACT: The first supermarket opened in the United States in 1930.