We have all questioned our spending habits at one point or the other. We have considered numerous ways to spend less money and stick to our budget every time we go shopping. But somehow there are always times when you come home after a shopping trip and realize that yet again you have gone above budget.

However with a few simple tips below and a little bit of conviction, you can save yourself from unnecessary spending.

“Take back the remaining amount in cash following any transaction”   

When it comes to grocery shopping, we tend to leave the little change left over from our purchases with the cashier. This is either because the cashier does not have the change we need or we just don’t notice. Luckily the Ministry of Commerce and SAMA in Saudi Arabia have recently launched a campaign which will force store owners and retail shops to carry coins and give back consumers the exact change required. The campaign which is themed “Take back the remaining amount in cash following any transaction” will also attempt to prevent any malpractice on the part of the retailers and cashiers claiming not to have change and forcing you to walk out without your money.

Another reason to take your change is because you will be surprised at how much it can accumulate each month. Try keeping a jar in the house where the family can drop in all their change. After a couple of months you can have enough riyals to treat yourself and your family to a meal.

Marketing tricks from supermarkets or hyper stores

Next time you are at the supermarket, take notice of the product placements on shelves.  You will notice that the more expensive products are placed at eye level on the shelves and less expensive ones are less accessible. Another interesting marketing practice is to place offers at the end of the aisle to attract most customers’ attention.

Another good tip while grocery shopping is to compare your unit prices as you might think you are saving by buying a cheaper product. For example, you are not any better off buying a detergent brand which costs SR50 for a 30kg compared to one that costs SR52 for 30.5Kgs.

Aim to shop

Write down what you are looking for along with how much you are willing to spend on each item you wish to buy. If you are particularly tempted by sales and discounts then plan you trip to the mall. Park closest to the area where you will find your item and only enter stores which have them. You would be surprised as to how much you can save each month by holding back on impulse buys while you casually browsing around in a mall shopping.

Stock up but on the right items

Buying in bulk can save you money but only for those items which are most useful to you such as sugar or flour. Don’t buy bulk on those items which will be lying around in your fridge and will instead increase your consumption or go to waste. For perishable items its best to shop weekly based on your families’ requirement.

When it comes to grocery shopping, make sure you check if any of your credit cards give you special discounts in supermarkets or stores you regularly shop at.

Try out the souks

With the warm weather in Saudi Arabia, it can be difficult to shop outdoors but don’t miss the bargains in these souks and bazaars. Another great thing about bazaars is that you can bargain on prices which have usually been marked up by 20 to 30 percent.

For good bargains go to Al Balad in Jeddah for a variety of items. If you’re looking to buy antiques, try out the Rayhanat al-Jazirah in Jeddah and Souq al-Thumairi in Riyadh. Also you may come across good finds with regards to electrical items, camping gear, spices, textiles and many other items in Batha’a souq in Riyadh. For deals on furniture or other household items and carpets visit Al Owais, also in Riyadh.

Take your time shopping and think about whether you really need the item you’re purchasing. Keeping the above tips in mind, spend smartly and end up saving money for the dream vacation you have always wanted.