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Going to the shops without any list or even knowledge of what you have and haven’t got in the cupboards can be a disaster. You buy more than you need, and you buy things you might want at the time, but probably won’t later on. Your bill is astronomical and you might still not have the one thing you really needed.
If this kind of shopping has taught us anything, it’s that you’ll save so much money if you keep organized. This takes a lot of effort if you’re just doing it by pen and paper, but luckily there are many tools to be used online, that take the work out of it. We’ve listed some of our favorites, and if you have any you’d like to add, then please let us know in the comments box below the article…
1. Do the Research
We believe ‘lifehacking’ is the term best used to describe this kind of thing, but we’re talking slightly more specifically about organizing your shopping habits in order to save money. Here are some links and articles we think you should read, to get some tips and tricks before you start the actual organization process…
- Zen Habits: 27 Great Tips to Keep Your Life Organized
- MakeUseOf.com: Productivity guide (a .PDF file)
- Ann Smarty (that’s me!): Get More Organized with Google Calendar
2. Shopping List Tools Online
Most of us use the Internet (or at least our computers) on a daily basis, so having a shopping list tool to add to regularly is a great idea. As soon as you’re reminded of something you need you can add it, save and go back to it later. As the week passes you’ll find your shopping list is complete, without having to put any real thought into it.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite online shopping list tools to organize your shopping and ultimately save you money. Each one offers a similar service, just with a few differences so you can choose which one suits you best…
1. Free Shipping: is not so much a list tool, but the collection of free shipping offers that you you can track and organize. Here you’ll find forums for meeting other like-minded shoppers, and various tools within it that you may find useful. Coupon Sherpa is another valuable resource of coupons and deals in a variety of categories.
2. Kaboodle You may have heard of this one as it has become hugely popular over the past two years. Once signed up you can link Kaboodle up to your browser via the FireFox add-on. When you find a product you like online, you can submit it to the add-on and it will be stored on your Kaboodle account. From there you can organize your favorite items and deals into groups and tag them for lightening fast browsing…
3. Just like Kaboodle, GifTag also has its own FireFox add-on that allows you to organize your shopping. However, it does it in quite a different way, by taking screengrabs of the products you like and storing them on your GifTag profile.
3. Organize Your Week Around a Shopping Trip
Organizing how you use your groceries as well as how you buy them can be particularly beneficial to your bank balance too. There are lots of online tools that allow you to organize just about any part of your life, including sorting out a daily routine and planning meals each day too.
Here’s my personal preference:
RememberTheMilk is now immensely popular and has a huge following. It has a number of different tools, offering an all-round organization service as opposed to just one utility. Incredibly, it’s still free to sign up and upon creating your account you’ll get access to services including:
- Being able to link Twitter and GTalk to your RTM account, and tweet or IM tasks to be remembered.
- Being able to link with with Google Calendar so you can view current personal/work schedules and plan around them:
- Categorization of tasks by tagging…
- …and finally, being able to view your tasks in whatever way you want. This could be for the month, or for the day so that you can see immediate tasks that need to be carried out.
Hopefully this article has been of some use to you, and you’ve learnt about some of the tools that can be used to better organize your day, week or monthly shopping trips. Don’t be put off by the sheer amount of tools that are available out there, you don’t need to use them all, just pick your favorite and allow it into your life, to establish a routine and make sense of your time.