Let's face it, if you have to carry your groceries home, you won't buy anything you don't absolutely need. But that's only the tip of the iceberg lettuce. Walking to where you shop will save you money in more shopping situations than any day-after-Thanksgiving sale. How?
When You Enter With a Short Shopping List
When you only want to buy one thing – and mean it - whether it's groceries, a new purse or a hockey helmet, you're more likely to avoid other temptations along the way when you have to lug everything home. (For more tips on saving, read Five Ways To Save Without Trying.)
When You're Browsing and Calorie Burning
When you spend an hour browsing stores, you can burn the calories off from two servings of wine instead of purchasing a kickboxing or yoga session.
When You Have Limited Payment Options
You gain evaluation time for your purchases when you leave your debit card at home. You have to use only the cards or the money you came with because you can't drive home and return quickly with other credit cards or your check book.
When You Resist Temptation
It makes it virtually impossible to buy large items on a whim because you can't load up your trunk. If you put the item on hold while you return home to get money, you'll have time to think about whether you really want – and need – the item.
When a Trip to One Store Puts You in Mall-Hopping Mood
Going to different shopping centers and different areas of town is much more difficult when you're arriving via foot power. With a limited geographic area, you're forced to plan shopping excursions better when you have to concentrate on one neighborhood of stores at a time.
Shopping Like a Pedestrian If You Don't Have Stores Within Walking Distance
Not everyone lives in a place where everything you need is within two miles of your home or work place. You can alter the pedestrian strategy by parking at the back of the parking lot at grocery stores, and carrying your bags to the car instead of using a cart when you go in for one or two items. You can also limit your payment options by leaving credit cards you don't want to use at home. (To read more about being a conscientious shopper, read Coupon Shopping: Clip your Way To Savings.)
If you shop like a pedestrian, you'll still end up with everything you'll need. But nothing that you'll regret buying later when your credit card bills arrive.