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Shopping Without Breaking the Bank

Who doesn’t love to shop? Well I do know a few, but I can’t imagine. I bet my husband dreams of it though. I do try and save money....really I do! Here are some ideas:

When you feel the need to go out clothes shopping, first step into your closet. Even better, invite a friend or two over to help with style. A friend with style you admire will bring a great perspective on your closet! Put some music on and have a little food (don’t get any stains though). Now start mix and matching. Try those accessories! Accessories are your best friend because they are cheap and can be seasonal without a big hit to the pocketbook. Put items together you have never tried before. You may also want to go through a magazine (at the library you can check out some, FREE) and look for the latest styles for inspirations (if you like the recent styles). Give away or consign what you can’t use and jot down a few items you can shop for when you go shopping next. Keep a little notebook so you know what you are looking for when you do go out.

I have also thrown a clothing swap that was fun and a great way to get clothes that someone else just can’t use anymore.

Take the list you made and go to any consignment shops or goodwill. These shops are sometimes big and there are lots to go through so make sure you have the time to search the areas you need to look in. If you can, this is a great alone activity (or should I say without the kids, if possible).

If you don’t have the time, or wish to use a department store go to a stand alone department store rather than a mall. A mall is time consuming and you WILL spend more money. Get to know that department store very well. Find out when the sales are, where the clearance is at, and how to take advantage of the best buys at that store. For example, I have the credit card at my department store and they send me special coupons twelve times a year (regular customers don’t get). I then can pay my bill right at the register after I have used my card-no finance charges.

Keep in mind to purchase off season will save you the most money. Now is a great time to buy summer items. This is even better if you are not a traditional size. Almost all the clearance racks I visit have tons of smaller sizes. If you get in the habit and update last season’s clothes with accessories instead of clothing you will save money. I have containers for my seasonal clothing that I can just add to. But don’t forget to use your list or you will purchase duplicate items or things you can’t use.

Once at the store, wear clothing you can slip on and off easily for trying on clothes. Pull your hair back and use slip on comfortable shoes. If you are not wearing socks you may want to put a pair of socks on your feet so that you won’t have bare feet on a floor where others have had their bare feet. Try to only go to the dressing room once if they allow you to take all your items in. If they have a limit of items ask if they can switch them out for you if you hang unwanted items outside. Or you may be able to do this on your own once you have tried on something that you don’t mind other people seeing you in.

Keep in mind the mirrors at the stores want you to go home with those pants. If you have a friend with, don’t forget to ask them. If you are bold, ask the non-commission salesperson. Or when you get home, try the clothing on again in your home with your lighting. This may change the decision. I keep the bag and the sales receipt with me and walk straight to my closet to try the items on again. If it still works, I hang it up. If it doesn’t, it goes back into the bag with the receipt.

Whatever store you end up at, either consignment or department store, go at off times. You will not be rushed at the register, so you can check the prices carefully. You will also have time to talk with the people at the register to find out as much information about the store as you can. Don’t forget to check merchandise very carefully. If any item, at any store, has something wrong with it I will ask for a discount. I usually get one. If the store is busy they will not be as interested in this type of question.

Well I hope you found a couple of ideas you can use. I do love to shop...do you?

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