Is there a right way or wrong way to shop? I mean the end result in any shopping trip is a transaction of your money in exchange for an item of your choosing. So how can you do this wrong?
Well, I will not say its wrong per se, I will say that there are ways to shop smarter and more effectively. Have you ever went to the store for one thing and ended coming home with a whole bunch of shit and forgot what you originally went for? I know I have!
Not only that but you end up spending way more money than what you originally intended. How did this happen? Well, you may have not have had a plan as to what you needed, you did not write anything down. You know nothing about sales or coupons you could have used.
So you start just picking up shit and throwing it in the cart and before you know it you lose sight of what you were in there to purchase to begin with. You get home and realize you overdid it!
I know this to be true because this person I am speaking of is me and I am him, lol. I tell myself all the time to write out a list and ALWAYS forget. I have a bad case of the shiny object syndrome, so if I go to Target with no list or no pre-work or research done beforehand, I get myself in trouble and I am sure you do the same.
This is why I decided that I would write a blog post with some ways to avoid this. I know you may be thinking if you are making the same mistake as me, how you gonna try and tell me, lol!
Well, I know better, I just need to do better. I actually have 7 tips on some ways to always nail your shopping trips and save money too! So let me break this down for you!
Know Your Style Personality
This is VERY important my friends! When shopping for clothes you have to know what your style is! If you do not know, you can end up buying the whole store because you think everything is “cute” but it’s not even something you really would wear.
Your style personality is pretty much knowing what your style is and what you feel most confident in wearing. If you want to read more on this, check out the blog post here that I wrote all about the differences of fashion and style.
So knowing this before going shopping for clothes helps you narrow down your options and selections the stores may offer and this way you do not end up buying a whole bunch of stuff that you really are not going to ever wear.
I know its easy to get caught in this. You may see one of your favorite influencers wearing something and you feel like you have to have it! That’s not a crime, but it may not be smart if that influencers style personality is not the same as yours.
With this being said, be careful of not impulse purchasing just because someone you saw on IG or Youtube wore it and it was “cute”. Also, keep your body type in mind as well when you shop, I speak all about body types and the importance of knowing that that is in this blog post here.
Set A Budget Beforehand
This one is a hard one I know. Who really wants to set a budget, but that is a very smart thing to do before going on any shopping trip whether that is in-store or online.
I know for me my biggest weakness is having access to stores 24 hours a day on the internet. What I do sometimes to combat that is to keep cash instead of keeping money on my debit cards. This has proven to be very successful in the past for me.
Before I moved from Detroit to Austin, I managed to save over $6000.00 in cash for my move. I made it my mandatory for me to only use cash and not use any cards because that money would have been gone if I had it on a card easy. I would have bought the whole Fall/Winter ASOS collection if $6000.00 was at my disposal on a debit card.
That may not be your way of going about it, but it can work. Whatever you do, just set in your mind how much money you are wanting to spend and keeping track of that. Keeping your debit card at home when shopping in-store and using cash would be an effective way to do this.
Being resourceful is very important when shopping for clothing. What I mean by that is knowing all the options you have to shop to make it easier on you and also save money. For example, if you do not want shop for clothing at ALL on your own, there are companies that will actually do this for you.
The one I think about on the top of my head is Stitch Fix. You literally tell them what kind of clothes you like or your style personality and they send you clothes monthly that fit your style.
You also could hire someone like me, who is a Style Coach/Personal Stylist and we do the shopping for you based on your style and budget.
If you prefer to do the shopping on your own, I advise looking for deals and coupons for stores before heading out or even while you are out. Every time I go to any store, I open my RetailMeNot app and see if there any coupons available to save some money.
There are also apps like Drop and Dosh where if you shop at certain retailers you can get points and use those to redeem them for gift cards. I have gotten alot of gift cards this way for stores like Sephora, Asos, and Old Navy just to name a few.
Both of these apps can keep of list of items you want to purchase but want to purchase them on sale and notify you when they go on sale. Honey goes a step further and locates discount codes you could possibly use and tries them all to see if you can save any money.
This a way to save money AUTOMATICALLY without you really having to do anything which is definitely a smarter way to shop. I used to go to the “coupons” websites looking for discount codes, but with Honey, you do not have to do that.
Another one you can use to get money back from when shopping online is Rakuten which used to be called Ebates and with this, they give you cashback for particular retailers you shop for and they pretty much have all the major online stores to choose from. I always forget about this one which is foolish because I am leaving money on the table.
All in all, looking for some ways to save a couple of dollars for your purchases is always smart. You do not have to be a veteran couponer to save some money. Remember these options the next time you are about to shop online or in-store.
Shop Out Of Season
One of the best ways to save money and shop smart and effectively is to shop out of season. What that means is in January, when retailers is gearing up for Spring/Summer and they start selling those collections, you shop for the Winter collections.
They clearance all the Winter clothes out in January to make room for the Spring/Summer clothes. You can pretty much steal clothes from these places getting all the clearance items.
A lot of you may already be doing this, but not with clothing. The Bath and Body Works Semi Annual sales they have are examples of getting rid of the previous seasons items to make room for the new seasons items.
This is something that I wish I was more on top of because I sometimes see items that are saved in my wishlists get marked down as much as 75 percent. I’m never ready at the time that I see this and end up missing out.
Learn from my mistakes and stay perusing the stores during transitions of the seasons and see what kind of deals you are able to take advantage of. You can potentially build your whole wardrobe this way and do so without breaking the bank or spending all your rent money, lol!
Try Clothes On
If I told you how many times I took home something that I did not try on at the store and brought home and was not happy, MAN, it’s crazy. Trying on clothes at the store can save you so much disappointment and money.
If it’s busy in the store and you have to wait for a dressing room, I know that can discourage you from wanting to try clothes on before you buy them.
However, think about you taking home an outfit and you get home and try it on and don’t like it and you have to go back to the store to take it back. That would be a lot of time wasted that could have been prevented.
You’re doing yourself a disservice not doing this. So ladies and gents, get in that dressing room and try before you buy. You will be much better at shopping by doing so.
Do Research Online
This could also be considered being resourceful, but I have a different angle with research when it comes to shopping. Mostly what I mean by this is searching to see what stores offer and pricing before going to the brick and mortar location.
It’s smart to do this beforehand if you still shop at the physical locations because you may not even like what some of the stores are selling that you may see at a mall or stand-alone store.
For example, I like Zara but they are hit and miss for me sometimes when it comes to men’s clothing. So I look to see what they have online often and by doing this if I am out shopping and I pass Zara, I already know that the collection at the moment is not hitting on nothing. So I can save time by passing on by and not going into that store.
Also, if you look up items before going to a physical store location, you may see that they are offering a different price online that they have in-store.
This happened to me at Target once. I was looking for a pizza pan and found one and looked online in the store for it and saw a $9.00 price difference online than the one in store. They used to price match the online prices, but I think they stopped so I just purchased the one from online right then and there.
If you only shop online, how you research would be a little different and to be honest with apps like Honey and Shoptager, they will do the work for you, so you save time and money by just installing those extensions to your browser.
Whichever way you shop via online or in-store, do a little looking around online and see what you see or use the apps to help you. Its worth it!
Keep It Real With Yourself
You have to be honest with yourself when it comes to shopping. You know what you can or cannot fit or afford, like or dislike etc.. If you are not being honest about these things, that leaves you very vulnerable to get in some trouble.
This is why it is important to know your style and body type, your budget and where you like to shop. Trying to be like Mike or Michaela is not going to serve you when shopping, TRUST ME!
It’s ok if you cannot afford to purchase something or not able to fit something at the time of a shopping trip. There is always next time and sometimes you may not really want the items you are wanting to purchase anyway.
Before purchasing anything, have a second thought about what your purchasing or clicking BUY. Really think about all the things I mentioned above and if the purchase is going to make you cuss yourself out in the end or it be something you can really stand by. I need to practice this myself for sure, lol!
I hope that these tips helps you become the shopping pro that I know you can be to shop smarter for clothing. Its easier said than done, but is achievable with some self disicipline and planning. You got this!