LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Whether you're searching online for the perfect gift, considering a major home purchase, or just doing some casual window-shopping, arm yourself with this checklist of four shop-smart strategies to ensure you're spending wisely and racking up savings along the way.
Check out the full list from Good Housekeeping: 7 Money-Saving Shopping Strategies
1. Make a list. If you're looking for gifts, identify who you're buying for, have an idea of what you want to spend, and have a few gift ideas in mind that you can purchase within your budget. If you're shopping for yourself, take inventory of what you already have and what you really need before you hit the stores.
2. Give yourself a waiting period for major purchases and splurges. If you're browsing and see something you like, bookmark the web page, pin it on your Pinterest board, or email a photo of the item to yourself - then walk away. If you're still longing for it a few days later, it may be worth the purchase if it fits within your budget.
3. Add it up. Before you get lured into making a purchase by the promise of a huge price cut, take a look at all of the extra charges that could potentially add up, like shipping costs, return policies that only offer store credit and re-stocking fees. And keep a record of every transaction.
4. Don't leave the promo code box empty. Always do a quick search for coupon codes or rewards that you can use before you check out. Take a look at the retailer's promo section, app, catalog, or social channels for discounts that might be available. There's no reason to pay full price when a few minutes may save you the cost of shipping or a discount off some of the items in your cart.