Don’t you just love when payday comes? What are you going to do with your check?! My first instinct is to go shopping…but don’t tell my hubs. (shh!) Yeah… yeah…I have bills to pay. Okay fine, he wins! Well if you are planning to go shopping without me there are ways to get what you want – at a lower cost. Think of it as shopping smart.
1. Know what you LOVE
I would say – know what you “like” but my number one rule is not to purchase something unless you are absolutely head-over-heels in LOVE with it. Ask yourself: If you walk out without it – will you forget about it or not stop thinking about it for the next few days? That typically answers the question of whether to buy or not to buy. Also, understand the brands and retailers that you vibe with even if they are labels that you can’t afford it currently (this will come in handy). Know the styles that you tend to lean towards, and what you are willing to spend on these types of items if you were to come across them and had to make a immediate decision.
**Tip: Giving yourself a monetary cap – this will keep you from overspending and also bring into perspective what is reasonable for you to spend in order to fit your lifestyle.
2. Reward Yourself
Everyone has retail stores that are on their “go-to” list. For example, I absolutely adore birthdays so I tend to spend more time than I care to admit in The Paper Store purchasing birthday cards. Do yourself a favor and sign up for your favorite retailer’s email and/or rewards programs. Many retailers send deals and coupons to their email base and this a great way to find out about pre-sales as well as exclusive events before the rest of the public does. In addition, the rewards programs are great for you to rack up points on your purchases. The points typically allow you to get money back, coupons, or some sort of compensation that you can apply towards your purchase. If you’re going to shop there anyways – there’s no extra harm to your wallet that you aren’t doing already.
3. Shop the Racks
Shop the sale and clearance racks!! This is the first place I head to when I enter a store. Many times the sale racks have items that are moving out of season and/or are clearing out to make way for new items arriving. They are still great pieces even if you didn’t purchase them at the height of the trend. Great pieces become legacy pieces down the line so it doesn’t matter when you purchased it – no one will ever stop you and ask you WHEN you bought that shirt.
**Tip: Do the same when you shop online. Go to the sales tabs first – you would be surprised how many times I have found something that is eerily similar to a piece I wanted on at half the cost or more.
4. Be a Bargainista
Many amazing name brands are sold at TJMaxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, DSW and The Last Call. Don’t be afraid to stop into these venues for some fabulous finds. Many brands that I typically cannot afford are found at my local TJMaxx store. For example, the red Rag and Bone Skinny Jeans that I posted here, were a fab find at only $49!! (R&B Jeans range from $180-$265 each) Like I mentioned earlier – know what you love and the brands that you vibe with. It will help you to recognize them in these types of stores and evaluate whether or not you are willing to pay the discounted price.
**Tip: If the item is over your monetary cap – be prepared to walk away from the purchase.
5. Phone Apps are your friend
We all know that our cell phones don’t leave our sight! This money saving tool exists right in your pocket. I use apps such as HauteLook, Rue La La, and Gilt to get daily deals. This is another option that is great when you understand your style. These shopping apps are not only great for clothes but also home and beauty items. New sales are added on a daily basis and are limited in quantity so if its something you LOVE, go for it! You can always return it later (unless its a final sale).
6. Do your Research
Before you check out your shopping cart – make sure to pull up the old google machine and look for promo codes. Sometimes you can find promotional codes (also known as coupon codes) that are shared online that would give you a percentage off or even just take care of your shipping. Just google “promo codes” or “coupon codes” for a listing to appear. You do have to sift through a bit but it could pay off. You don’t know unless you give yourself 5 minutes to just look. It has saved me quite a few times in the past. Every little bit does help.
7. Consider Renting
So what’s another option if you didn’t have much luck with the shopping excursions? If you mind not owning the items that you are in pursuit of, consider the option of renting. There are many sites out there that will let you rent the high end items that you want to wear at an affordable price. Try these types of sites: Rent the Runway/The Unlimited, Bag Borrow or Steal, or Just-Soles.com. These sites have many options for all types of occasions and budgets.
8. Have Fun!
This is probably the most important of all – have a good time shopping. If you are looking for something that has time crunch to it – these options may be a bit more stressful than expected. The best finds are when you are not really “looking.” You tend to be much more relaxed and open to taking the time to look around and make choices.
I am a big fan of the hunt. It is thrilling to get an item or brand that I considered to be out of my reach financially. If you don’t see what you like that day – don’t force it. Buyer’s remorse is the worst.
I hope that you find his helpful. Thank you so much for reading! Please share with friends (at the bottom) and if you like what you see – subscribe to my blog. (to the right)