If there is one thing you should know about me it’s that I LOVE shopping! I probably go shopping every other week just to pick up a few items that would enhance my wardrobe. My shopping habits are probably borderline obsessive, but we’re not here to talk about that today. Today I want to give you all a few tips on how to shop when your wallet tells you not to shop. Because let’s be real, most of us don’t just have a bunch of extra money sitting around for frivolous shopping expenses. I certainly don’t, although based on how many clothes I’ve acquired the last few years, it would seem like I do, but that’s because I know how to “ball out” on a budget!
Most people still envision shopping as spending a weekend afternoon at an overcrowded, over expensive mall. And for those who are wealthy enough and have the time and patience to do so, that’s shopping for them. But for me, someone who often only has a few extra dollars lying around, shopping means going to stores like Marshalls, Ross, TJMaxx and Goodwill (Yes, Goodwill, like a thrift store) and finding good quality clothes for great prices. I have walked into Ross with only $30 and come out with 5 dressy, work appropriate tops! Other places would barely give you a pair of socks for that price, but I’m not going to mention names. Recently, Goodwill and I have been reacquainted and I’ve been purchasing large amounts of clothing for under $30. I found a $5 designer skirt that had originally been marked at $89.50. Talk about a steal! There is definitely still a stigma in some social circles about thrift store shopping, but the clothing that is donated and put on the racks is in great condition and many times from higher end stores like Ann Taylor, The Limited, and Black and White. So if it wasn’t clear, my first tip is shop designer quality, but not designer prices!
One of my worst shopping habits is not keeping track of my spending when I’m grabbing clothes from racks and ultimately checking them out. My greatest fear is having my card declined in front of a bunch of people in line behind me. Most likely, this would be a result of not knowing how much I’m spending in different stores and just happily swiping away, thinking everything is fine. My next tip is bring cash! If you take out or bring a certain amount of cash and more importantly, leave your credit/debit cards at home, you know that you’re on a fixed budget and you’ll be less inclined to go over the top with the shopping.
If you’re opposed to shopping at Marshalls or other similar stores, then my next tip is for you! Not many people know this, but if you ask the sales clerk, “Are there any additional discounts today?” as he or she is ringing up your things, there’s a good chance they’ll say yes! Many times, stores won’t advertise some of their sales, and many more times, you can end up getting 25% off your items just by asking at the register. Macy’s is notorious for having secret sales that no one knows about (That’s the magic of Macy’s).
My last tip is to hit the sale rack! The sale rack is truly the place to be when you’re out shopping. The new arrivals at any given store will often be overpriced and marked down within two months whereas the sale rack usually has great discounts for the same clothing that just a few weeks ago was double in price. My favorite sale rack is at DSW because I can find designer shoes for up to 80% off! I’ve gotten shoes that were originally close to $200 down to about $20, which is insane! Scope out the sale racks before you start grabbing things that are out of your price point. You can get double the amount of shoes you want!
Shopping can be a tiring, tedious activity if you let it, but if you’re willing, try out a few of the tips listed above. I guarantee you’ll want to shop til you drop!