Perhaps I made too many trips to the mall, but over the years there are some go-to tricks I must do before and while shopping. These tricks will help you save money, time, and frustration.
Go in Knowing What You Need vs. Want
Before you go shopping compile a list or keep a mental check of items you intend to buy. For example: if you know you are shopping because you need a basic pair of black heels – do not walk into a shoe store and begin looking at sandals. Go straight to where the heels are kept, and advert your eyes from anything but a basic.black.heel.. You will also notice you spend less time in these stores, leaving more time for other activities.
My need items tend to be those “essential” or basic pieces to pair with another item that I recently bought. Need items are required for other items that have a unique cut, pattern or style and tend to be seasonal. How many times have you been rushing around looking for something to go with a new top you bought? Make sure you have these basic need items before purchasing seasonal wears.
While working in a retail store, there were always situations where customers could not decide on what items they wanted to purchase. Their situation usually was they had come into the store looking for one item, but upon looking around the store, they came across something they want. So, they are left with two items and only a budget for one. If this happens to you, always go for the need item. Then, go home and make your decision on the want item, see if it is something you might need in your closet. You might even be able to have the item put on hold for a day if it aligns with the store’s policies! Chances are you will head home happy that you did not waste your money on an item you never intended to get or could afford to get.
Wear Coloured Nail Polish
Although this may seem like an odd suggestion, I actually put my hand behind shirts and stretch it a bit over my nails to see if can see the colour beneath! I cannot tell you how many times I have been disappointed by an unforeseeable sheer top. Granted, sheer tops can be cute, as long as you wear a tank-top underneath it or be prepared for everyone to see what colour bra you chose for that day – or the forbidden flash camera that reveals all! I personally do not like having to wear a tank-top under a top because it can easily look frumpy. So, I wear my nail polish to avoid cluttering my closet with sheer tops!
Sales First, Then Regular Price
If I am going to a store with the intent to shop around, I am usually digging through the sale section first before I head to the rest of the store. If you find some great items in the sale section, your standards change. You will look around the regular price items and actually begin to think, “is this really worth that price?” You may find an item not on sale that is too beautiful to put down, but you will reflect on what is worth your money.
If you are thinking, aren’t sale items only out of season items? Not always. Stores tend to stock up on items for the season coming up and put them on sale when you actually need them! Some basic wardrobe items can also be found in the sales section.
Also, work clothes are the best items to get on sale! Sometimes you can find tops that could be worn all year – just add layers for colder seasons. I prefer wearing boot cut and skinny trousers, but both of these cuts are not sold year round in the stores around me, so I always check the sales rack for these.
Try on Your Clothes
Especially when a store’s return policy is 7 days to decide if you hate the item and/or not be able to get a refund on your purchase. Then you feel obligated to keep it in your closet until you loath it entirely and give it to Goodwill. Also, the cut and material will fit different even if you are one size in that store. Besides who fits the sizing to a tee anyway? Everybody will look different in clothing because our bodies are all different. With my shorter torso, there is no way I would look the same in a one piece as someone who has a taller torso.
A lot of times for events, activities, or anything else, I never need to head to a store to purchase an outfit because I already own something that would work well for it. However, only use this trick if you are going to be honest with your current lifestyle. If you know you are heading to a lot of formal events, wine & cheese, restaurants or any other occasion in the upcoming year, then purchase outfits sooner than later. This is not necessarily the most budget friendly shopping trick because you cannot guarantee you will go to all these events or will not find a better outfit along the way. However, I have saved myself a lot of time, and possibly money, by not waiting until an event comes up to buy an outfit. So, instead of it being the day of the event with absolutely nothing to wear, I am usually looking around for added pieces to enhance the outfit or helping a friend with her outfit. No stress here.
What shopping tricks do you do? Do you have certain shopping routines?