What is your shopping personality?
While this may seem ridiculous to ask, the way you shop may be detrimental to your wallet. Take this simple quiz, tally up your score and find out if you are a busy shopper, amateur shopper or expert shopper. Then, based on the results, you may want to change your shopping habits to help you save money.
1. Do you enjoy shopping?
A. I would rather starve.
B. It's not my favorite thing, but it's not the worst chore in the world.
C. I look forward to it.
2. Do you make a list before you shop?
A. Never. I just grab whatever seems appealing and not too expensive.
B. When I have time.
C. I always make a list but am open to finding other items that are on sale.
3. Do you stick to your list when you shop?
A. I usually lose it before I shop.
B. I use it as a guide but feel free to grab a few other things.
C. I always follow the list but I am always looking for marked down items or items on special.
4. Do you always buy the same brands?
B. Mostly, but I usually get the store brand because it is cheaper.
C. Brands mean nothing to me. If it's cheap, on sale, or I have a coupon, it's in my cart.
5. Where do you shop the most often?
A. At the store closest to my house.
B. At the cheapest place I know of.
C. I'll hit three or four stores to score the best bargains.
6. When do you shop the most often?
A. I wait to the last moment when I am completely out of everything.
B. Once or twice a week.
C. So often those others shoppers ask me where stuff is.
7. Do you use your store's discount card?
A. I used it to scrape off my windshield last winter.
B. If I have it with me.
C. I always use the card to get my deals.
8. Do you use grocery coupons?
A. That's way too much trouble for me.
B. If I remember to bring them.
C. I always carry my coupon holder into the stores.
9. Do you print coupons?
A. Don't know what you are talking about.
B. I tried it once but seemed like a lot of trouble.
10. Do you use electronic coupons?
A. Don't have any idea what they are.
B. Once or twice, but it took too much time.
C. I always check the internet sites at least twice a month
11. Do you belong to Checkout51, Vocalpoint, Ibotta or Saving Star?
B. I think I joined once but never logged on again.
C. I check Checkout51, Saving Star, Vocalpoint and Ibotta every week.
12. Have you ever purchased grocery items free with coupons?
A. Is that like a "five finger discount"?
B. Once in a while
C. At least once a week
13. Do you ever shop at the drugstore?
A. Never. I think it is more expensive.
B. When I'm getting a prescription filled, I'll grab a few necessities
C. Yes, once a week I get great bargains
14. Do you take your grocery coupons with you on vacation?
A. I am lucky if I remember sunscreen.
B. No, but I do shop the sales at the grocery store.
C. I will bring some but definitely bring coupons for nearby restaurants and entertainment venues.
To calculate your score, give yourself one point for every A answer, two points for B answers and three points for C answers.
If you scored between 14 and 21 you are a busy shopper. You have a very busy lifestyle and believe that you do not have the time to cut coupons or look for sales.
If you scored between 22 and 36, you are an amateur shopper. You are trying to save money by spending time cutting coupons and using your sales flyers but you don't have the skills you need yet.
If you scored 37 or higher, you are an expert shopper. You try to save in every aspect of your daily life. You don't mind spending an hour to plan your shopping for the week. You are organized and open-minded about using coupons, sales and knowledge to save money.
Now that you know your shopping personality, I hope you'll consider shifting any detrimental shopping habits to more cost-effective ones.
Other shopping news
■ Macy's is hosting the Biggest Denim Event of the Season. Buy any denim clothing item — sale and clearance included — and you will receive a $10 Macy's Savings Card. Redeem your savings card through Feb. 25. Macys.com
■ In February and March when you spend at least $100 in P&G products at Costco you will receive $33 Costco Cash Card through mail-in-rebate. Costco.com/pg-rebate.html
■ Free shampoo and blow out at JCPenney salon with an associate designer. Appointment is required. Offer good through Feb. 19 while appointments last. Print out coupon at http://bit.ly/1m8n8de.
■ Sign up for the Red Mango frozen yogurt eClub, Club Mango, and get a free $2 reward as a thank you. You will also receive a $5 coupon for every 500 Mango points you earn. Earn 10 Mango points for every dollar spent at Red Mango. Receive a $5 reward on your birthday. Redeem your Club Mango rewards for free Red Mango products. http://bit.ly/1m8oaWu
Deborah Morris' weekly column, The Fru-Gal, can help you get through these economic hard times a little more easily. If you know of a way to save some money, feel free to share it on her Web site, Fru-gal-friends.com.