I'd like to think that I'm a smart shopper. I look at the merchandise, find what I want or need, and try to get the best price. I shop around. I look through sales ads and sales racks. I also use coupons to save money. I figure, why pay more for the same item when I can get it for less? I can use the savings for something else. There's always a deal to be made, and great finds are sometimes worth the effort that goes into finding them. For example, when I bought my first ever new car, I found a better deal in a bigger city a 2 hours drive away! I saved $7,000 and I had more choices and better service. I also traded in my used car for $200 more than I was offered locally! It was probably one of the best buys of my life!
I particularly enjoy buying stuff in bulk if it saves me money. It's a lot less expensive to buy family size toothpaste and soap and other toiletries in greater volume compared to personal or regular size. Still, there are some drawbacks. I learned just because an item is less expensive in bulk size, doesn't mean it's a best buy, especially if it's an item I don't use that often. Take milk, for instance; it may be cheaper to buy a gallon compared to the quart size, but about half of the gallon spoils by the end of ten days.
Once, I got so lazy and behind schedule, that I ran out of clean socks. Rather, than do laundry for an hour and a half, I spent less than 15 minutes driving to the store and buying a new pack of socks on sale. Sure, I had clean socks to wear for the next few days, but the end result was just more laundry to do later on in the week. Ah, the single life of man ;)
Sometimes, I get so caught up in thinking that I'm saving so much money that I don't really think about if I really need that item. For example, I used to buy a lot of gift wrapping paper, without realizing that I all ready had some left over from the year before. I see sale and my brain focuses on getting a deal, and I have to make a conscious effort to think if I really need that item. Still, it's a learning experience, and it's not all bad. One Xmas season, I came across several deals on toilet tissue almost every week. I kept buying them at different stores because they were on sale. I didn't realize I had bought so much until I had to find a place to store them. All I know is, I didn't have to buy toilet paper for over a year and a half! And that's one item you don't want to run out of in your home!