A trip to the mall is a popular way to spend a Saturday with friends or family, browsing through shops and eating out. But if you are on a budget, you will want to watch what you spend so that you can keep spending to a minimum. How can you save money at the mall?
Eat Before You Leave Home
Shopping on an empty stomach is never a good idea and the same is true if you are planning a trip to the mall. Make sure you eat before you go out so that you will be able to resist the wafting smells coming from Chinese, Italian and Mexican eateries that are dotted around the food court in the mall. It is no mere coincidence that free samples are always available and that the latest and best new meal item is being loudly broadcast the moment you walk by the food court.
If you do not have the time to eat before you leave home, take snacks along with you that will prevent you from straying onto the food court. Eating before you leave home will save you a bundle on overpriced, greasy mall food.
Pick Your Shopping Buddies Carefully
The people you chose to shop with will have a big impact on how you shop. If you are trying to save money at the mall, the last thing you will want to do is choose to go shopping with a spendthrift friend, who pushes you to buy everything you mention is “nice” or “cute”. It is harder to keep your resolve to shop wisely and sensibly when you are shopping with a friend who spends money on a whim and does not share your views on money and budgeting.
When you are on a budget, shopping at the mall can be difficult, as there are so many opportunities to overspend, from the overpriced pick-n-mix sweets, to the tempting pair of Levi’s jeans your friend convinces you would look great on you. If you have a set budget, stick to your guns and do not be pushed into expensive purchases that you really cannot afford. After all, is your best friend willing to pay your credit card bill at the end of the month? Shopping with equally budget-savvy friends will help you keep your resolve, rather than overspend.
Write a Detailed Shopping List
One of the best ways to save money at the mall starts before you even set off. Take the time to sit down and write a detailed shopping list, just the same as you would if you were planning a trip to the supermarket. What do you need to buy? Where are the items located?
The more time you spend on a detailed shopping list, the less time you will spend browsing or walking around aimlessly. Browsers often spend more money, as they are exposed to so many more products and shops, than budget-conscious shoppers equipped with a detailed shopping list.
Saving money at the mall is easy if you follow a few basic rules. Start out by eating a meal before you leave home so that you are not tempted to shell out a small fortune on a meal at the food court at the mall, shop with friends who share your shopping ideals, and finally, write out a detailed shopping list before leaving home.