For everyone who has lived in Colombia for the past two years, the conclusion is more or less the same: life is getting too expensive. This is not greatly influenced by your economic status; we have all experienced the pain of not knowing where it’s best to shop to get better prices without sacrificing the quality of products and food.

While we don’t want you to live in survival mode, we have learned some keys to make the end of the month less torturous and stressful, and we want to share them with you. These are not magic tips, but we know they can make a difference if you give them a try.

First, we will list things you might want to avoid if you’re looking to save some money:

Buying Fast Fashion: Although the price of this clothing is much lower than other brands, you will quickly notice the downside in your closet. The clothes from these stores are not of good quality, and often, if you buy, for example, a shirt, within a month the shirt will be ugly and worn out, creating the need to buy again.

Shopping at Large Supermarkets: This is a hard habit to break because we know supermarkets have the magic of having everything in one place, and it’s faster. However, it’s proven that the prices in these places are much higher than normal. Visiting the wholesale or retail markets would allow you to find good products at excellent prices. (It doesn’t matter if you have to walk a bit more.)

Impulse Purchases: To achieve this, you must avoid stores like Dollar City, among others, at all costs. Many people, myself included, have the bad habit of going into stores just to look around. The result is not usually the best because you always end up buying something, whether you need it or not.

And let me give you an example: I have had wavy hair all my life and have never needed any treatment for it to be that way. Yet last weekend, I was tempted to buy a curly hair kit just because it looked extremely nice.

Did I need it? Clearly not.

Could I have made that purchase due to my lack of self-control? Clearly yes.

Now let’s address the list of things you should do:

Buy Locally: This doesn’t necessarily mean buying at the most expensive stores in Medellín. Neighborhood stores, second-hand clothing shops, and hidden treasures in the city center are key places to keep buying what you like.

Buy from Wholesale Stores: Different brands are dedicated to printing and modifying already made garments. Have you ever wondered who the suppliers of these brands are? In downtown Medellín, for example, you can find many of these wholesale sites, where you can build that capsule wardrobe for an incredibly low price, and best of all, you don’t sacrifice the quality of the product.

Buy Only What You Need: Shopping can become a skill in which you turn professional. To do this, you need to ask in different places and plan the things you really need to buy. Before leaving home, write down the list of items you are looking for and stick to that list at all times.

Shopping shouldn’t be a traumatic experience, and if you have any other tips that have worked for you, we’d love to hear them.

See you next week,

Mariana Latorre

Uspanglish Team

Categorías: Usletters