Shop & Save On Festivities
By Daksha Gehani
Festive seasons rages on throughout the year – from religious festivals to music/dance festivals! After several days of collaboration and lists with your friends and family, you have decided all that you need for a successful festival. Now have to get your head around the huge amount of money you’ve just committed to spending – or do you?
Fun with festivals is an essential remedy to your daily routine but it is no reason to spend like it is your last day on Earth. And shops know that which is why sales and shopping festivals come up in various places, however, not all of them are good for your wallet. No matter what type of festival – music, food or religious – shopping smartly is an essential part of the process. After all, you still have expenses and your routine to get back once it is done!
Here are some smart ways to shop & save on festive occasions:
- Beware of conditional discounts
With the onset of festivities, most shops come up with 10%-50% discounts. However, most of them come with a catch – a condition – that you only find out once you enter the store or you’re at the cashier:
“Only on labeled items”, a condition that results in labeled items either not matching up to quality expectations or simply not in your style of preference.
“25% discount for purchases above 70$”, a condition which results in you spending more than your planned amount under the misconception that a 25% discount is a good enough catch to fill the hole in your wallet.
“40% off all items only TODAY”, a condition which makes you feel a sense of urgency that results in spending more money that you planned to.
“Buy one get one free”, a condition which makes you feel like you are getting an item for free worth as much as the money you spend.
Keep in mind, not all discount offers are bad, some conditions are worth the money as long as the item meets quality expectations, long term or immediate needs and are not too high a price to create a dent in your budget. The trick is to understand if the saving percentage is decent and the price better or raised by the store.
Stores know that shoppers aren’t thinking too hard about the value, since we are mostly in deal-hunting mode, and so we end up falling prey to such tactics and tricks.
- DIY Gifts
Along with decorations, food and many other expenses, the most stressful of them all is buying presents. The best way to go around spending less on the most awaited part of festivals – presents – is DIY! You can allocate a certain amount of money on supplies and materials as well as use cooking/baking skills to your advantage.
This makes your presents a one-of-a-kind, personalized gift, custom-made for the receiver by your own hands. Nothing can beat thoughtful, personal gifts. You can create scrapbooks, surprise photo boxes pr even bake cookies in bulk and wrap them with such simplicity and elegance that its quality would remain unmatched! If you have a little extra left, you can always sell it for a few extra bucks. A little side money never hurts!
- Deceptive Urgencies
How many times have we seen a sign that says “Limited stock – only for 20$!” and rushed to check the sale only to head out with a bag or two on our arm? We tend to move in a herd mentality, walking in or buying simply because others do so with the same urgency.
There is always going to be a sale – Eid, Holi, Independence Day, End-of-Season, Back-to-Season, and so on.
The key is to take your time, don’t rush or fear the sales or losing a good deal. Comparison of prices and research both online and offline is the way to shop smartly.
- Always keep an eye out
End of season or after season sales are always coming up, for one festive occasion or the end of another. It is best to keep an eye out for these sales and buy in stock for the next year.
After Diwali, you’ll find all sorts of fancy earthen lamps for prices as low as 1 – 3$ (in packs, of course). Similarly, after Christmas, you can find all sorts of christmas themed decorations and cards for low prices. You can’t buy your entire list of necessities for the festival a year before but such non-perishable items are worth keeping an eye out for.
You might as well purchase those peppermint canes on After-Christmas sale – a way of treating yourself for a job well done!
Ever been to a magic show? It’s breathtaking, isn’t it! Did you know that the basic trick – the foundation – that makes all of magic shows successful is misdirection? It is a technique used to direct your attention elsewhere, subtly so you’d hardly notice – especially if the magician is excellent!
This same trick is used by stores in our everyday life, wherein they stack big brand expensive products at eye level, leaving lesser known brands at low prices for the top and bottom shelves. Most of us remain unaware of this, picking the products at eye level because they are convenient and because they are simply known to us.
Therefore, to them eye level is ‘buy level’ which is why it is the most colorful and decorated part of the shelves, simply to distract you towards what they want you to see. Arm yourself with this knowledge and explore other options, render the illusion useless to your eyes so you can make informed decisions on your expenses!