Shopping... Wisely

Shopping is something I enjoy doing. Like it or not, everyone shops. I like to describe myself as a kind of shopaholic in recovery, you can follow my story in my PF blog. I have changed the habit of buying stuff I don´t really need. Before buying something I ask myself if I truly need/want that item.
I´m working towards a balance between shopaholic and frugal but I still enjoy the act of shopping in itself, even groceries. Since I started saving money to achieve defined personal goals, tracking expenses and budgeting became a challenge. After doing realistic math, I slowly started changing my shopping behavior. Now that my personal finances are in control I got used to saving habits. For example, I save resources, do lists, shop wisely and always look for discount vouchers, coupons and promotions. This link is only for UK.
In my country, coupons are now more common. I have a few fidelity cards which give me rewards such as discounts and 10% off coupons. I often do price comparison and I got used to, before shopping, always research online. I already found good deals trough the Internet.
Printable coupons and discounts can do wonders to a budget, specially if you live in US. I´ve been following a blog about a family of four that spends only 800$00 for the whole year in groceries and I´m amazed not only with US prices, but also with the opportunities people have there to save money. My country is one of the poorest in south Europe. We have low wages, comparing to other European countries, and prices are higher in most items, except housing. We have one of the most expensive gas price in Europe and we pay too many taxes. In fact, we pay tax for almost everything and that´s one of the reasons it´s more difficult to save money while living in Portugal.

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