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Take Inventory Before You Shop

file000147303343Before you shop, stop! Try this quick trick that will save you money now and in the long run.

To save money, do a quick inventory of what you already have before you go shopping.  This will help save money in so many ways. From duplicate purchases to avoiding the pitfalls of shopping for bargains that you don’t need, a quick assessment each time you are ready to shop can make a difference.


I’m ashamed to admit that we have two copies of a certain new Disney princess DVD movie. We simply forgot that we had the movie and bought a second copy when we happened to be out at a big box store shopping for groceries. Now I do a regular inventory of our DVDs (which doubles as a dusting and cleaning of the entertainment center–hey love that multitasking), so I always know what we have. As a bonus, we have rediscovered some forgotten movies, meaning that the kids don’t clamor for a new movie every time we shop.


The temptation to save money on clearance or sale clothing items can be great. After all, it is a bargain, right? If you wind up with five black dresses, four white cardigans or 30 pairs of jeans, it isn’t, really.

When you are itching for a wardrobe change, first inventory what you already have. For bonus points, do some organizing, too. This will help you see where you have duplicates or items that you no longer wear. You may be inspired to assemble some of your separates in different ways, thereby creating new outfits.


Toys tend to multiply, especially around birthday and holidays. Not only will an inventory make you realize that your kids probably already have too much, but it will help you to focus on new gifts that your kids will most likely appreciate. If the play kitchen hasn’t been touched in months, you will know not to spring for that cool wooden sandwich set. If there are already enough toy cars to start three pretend used car dealerships, you can steer clear of buying more.


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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com