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It’s time to kiss buyer’s remorse goodbye for good. You’ll never feel bad about purchasing something you want at a solid price. In fact, follow these three steps to finding a deal and you’ll probably feel pretty damn proud of yourself.

1. Look past the fancy displays

Shopping smart means learning how to see past fancy gimmicks while shutting out the need to make impulse purchases. Remove the temptation altogether by making discount grocery stores and retailers your first choice for basics. You’ll get many of the same items for a much lower price simply by shopping at less posh stores. Comparison shop online to find the best price for bigger purchases and make use of sites like Red Flag Deals to look for sales or tips. You don’t always want the lowest price either. Sometimes you want the best quality at the best price, so do your research.

window sale sign
Thinkstock

2. Get a rewards card – pronto

Retailers are falling all over themselves to offer incentives and rewards in this competitive environment. It doesn’t make sense to spend a penny on just about anything without earning some sort of reward. Here are some of the best offers in the market today: The Target RBC Mastercard offers 5 per cent off any purchase made at Target; The President’s Choice Financial Mastercard will earn you even more points when used together with the PC Plus points program; The RBC Shoppers Optimum Mastercard or the basic Optimum rewards card pay out even better if you hold onto your points longer. You can still earn Airmiles at many stores, including the LCBO. Many other grocers, retailers and gas stations have their own points cards too, so make sure to ask at your regular place. And, of course, you should always keep a generic rewards credit card in your wallet for everything else.

3. Never pay full price

There are people who live by this motto, but even if you apply it loosely, you’ll save a bucket load of money. Always pick up a flyer on the way into any store and stock up on everyday essentials that are on sale now. If you see an item you really want at full price – wait. It WILL go on sale. Advanced level bargain hunters enjoy holding onto coupons and then using them when an item goes on sale to save even more. Also remember to keep an eye out for customer appreciation promotions that offer freebies or rebates. And if you’re shopping online, always check with Retail Me Not or do a Google search for a coupon code first. It only takes a minute and you can often shave 10 per cent or more off your cost.