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7 Smart Shopping Habits All Millennials Should Start Using ASAP

Christina Marfice

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Christina is a reporter based in Boise, Idaho. She's a veteran vegetarian, a political junkie and a huge grammar snob. On the weekends, she can usually be found binging on Netflix, playing the piano or petting her cats, Daisy and Dandelion.

Saving money can be easy if you're willing to tweak your habits

For millennials, saving money may be more important than for any generation that came before us. After all, studies show that we face lower lifetime earnings and higher costs of living. Lucky us, eh?

With those obstacles in the way, it can seem kind of impossible to live comfortably, but also stay within our means. But it is possible, and sometimes even without depriving ourselves of the little luxuries we love. It simply takes some changes to our shopping habits to make the difference.

More: 9 Smart Ways to Save Money on Fresh Produce

1. Go cash only

Before going on a shopping trip, withdraw as much cash as you plan to spend. Then only take that and leave your debit and credit cards at home. That way, you're forced to stay within the budget you set ahead of time — no impulse buys!

2. Compare prices on everything

Before making a purchase, price check the item you're planning to buy and see if you can get it cheaper online or from a different store. Apps like ScanLife and Purchx allow you to scan product bar codes and compare local and online prices to ensure you're getting the best deals.

3. Invest in good quality

Ponying up more cash up front can mean buying clothes, kitchen supplies and appliances that are of higher quality and will last longer, saving money in the long run compared to what you will likely spend replacing things.

4. Be loyal

Using loyalty programs for brands you love can mean everything from cash back to discounts. If you spend a lot of money at any one store or website, definitely enroll in its loyalty program if available.

5. Make your own... everything

Buying a premade meal tends to cost more than just buying all the ingredients you need to make the same meal. Cleaning supplies can be pricey... or you can make your own out of cheap household items like baking soda, vinegar and essential oils. Pinterest is full of these kinds of life-hacking tips, so check there to see if you can easily make your own version of something you might otherwise drop cash on.

6. Use coupons

Coupons may seem like a lot of work, but the savings can be so worth it. Extreme couponers combine deals to save insane amounts of money — or sometimes even score products for free.

7. Go contract-free

Shopping for a new phone (and plan) used to be an overwhelming and expensive process. But luckily, now it’s more affordable thanks to carriers that offer simple wireless service with no annual contract. Take Cricket Wireless for example — they offer a simple, smarter wireless experience and transparent monthly plans with no annual contracts, and they run on a reliable nationwide 4G LTE network. I mean, what else could you want in a wireless provider?

More: 10 Money-Saving Shopping Tricks That Don't Require Coupon Clipping

This post was sponsored by Cricket Wireless.

Have any of your own shopping tips that help you save money? Drop them in the comments below so others can save too.

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