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Shop Around With the advent of technology, Americans have become more and more impatient. Our Internet connection is too slow, the line at the grocery store is too slow, or traffic is moving too slowly. This attitude has been passed along to the things we purchase, as well. Why should you want to shop around and compare prices when what you want is right there in front of you? The answer is simple: because by shop- ping around and doing some homework, you will likely save yourself a lot of money over the long run. Ask yourself about your shopping habits. When you need to purchase something, do you buy it at the first place you see it? Are you an impulse buyer? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you should consider revising your habits. This is easy; all you need to do is shop before you buy.

One of the best places to shop I’ve found is at warehouse clubs. I fre- quent the warehouse club in my town for both home and office needs. I’ve discovered that by buying items in bulk quantities, not only do I wind up spending less over time, but also I don’t have to go shopping as often. Although there is usually a small membership fee for joining, the savings you rack up will more than make up for it. But you don’t have to purchase just groceries there. Discount warehouses carry all the assorted toiletries that we need on an everyday basis, plus prescriptions.

Don’t confuse shopping with buying. Shopping is a means of comparing the prices on goods that you will purchase at some point. Have you ever decided that you really needed an item, purchased it at the first place you found it, and then saw it at another store later at a much lower price? Shopping would help eliminate this problem because you would become an informed shopper. Do some home- work. Is the more-expensive name brand something you really need, or will the less-expensive generic brand suffice? For example, there are many over-the-counter generic aspirins that cost a fraction of what the name brands do. Just like the name-brand bottle, the generic bottle of aspirin that is $2 cheaper must also meet the rigid standards of the Federal Drug Administration.

You may also want to think about delaying the purchase of some- thing that isn’t necessary. Are you taken in by the infomercials that are on TV? Did you purchase the Ginsu 2000 steak knife, only to put it in a drawer and never to use it? If you find yourself thinking that

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