Like many, shopping is one of my favorite things to do. I can find joy in shopping for just about anything; it’s sick!
People often ask where I find certain pieces of my wardrobe and are so surprised when I tell them where I found it and what I paid! There are definitely occasions where it is appropriate to drop some cash, but those moments are few and far between for me because this single lady is ballin’ on a budget 🙂
When searching for a good deal, you should know a few things about where to start and what to look for. Below are my nine tips for looking trendy without breaking the bank!
Know what you have and only buy what you need: Yes, I know this can sometimes suck (well most of the time) but I have recently started living out this statement more. Many times I go shopping only to buy things I already own in a different color in my closet. Not because I want a million things in the same color, but because I forget what I have. Now that I have trimmed down my closet, it is much easier to see what I have and what I need. The caveat here- there are shopping moments when you splurge and buy something you don’t need, and that is okay! I just try not to make this a habit.
Wait for the sale: Never have I ever bought things like underwear or bras at Victoria’s Secret for full price. This is insane! Big retailers like this have great sales if you wait for them- like a semi-annual or annual sale. I love to wear pretty things, even if no one else sees them but am not going to pay $10.50 for something like panties. hahaha.
Shop outlets: I have a love/hate relationship with outlets. They are always crowded and on the outskirts of town, but the deals can be totally worth it. I find that it’s hard to find trendy pieces at these malls, so I stick my basics here. You can usually find a Nike store, Anne Taylor, Banana Republic, Kate Spade, etc. These are excellent retailers that always have your staple items for the year!
Buy trends and fads at places like Forever 21 and H&M: Don’t waste your money on things that probably won’t be in style this time next season. Forever 21 and H&M always have the latest trends and styles at affordable prices. The pieces I buy at these types of stores I don’t expect to last long, but still do a careful inspection before I purchase to get the most out of each item. I always check the seams for tears or poor sewing and ALWAYS check the area where the security sensor was taken off. These spots are notorious for holes and ripping first!
Know a good tailor or learn to sew: One of the greatest gifts my mom ever gave me was the time spent teaching me how to sew. Because of this skill, I can hem a pair of pants, fix a zipper or button, or patch something up. If you are not is this boat, do not fret!! Finding a good tailor is also a great option. Many times the items at discount stores or the ones you find on sale may need some work. If you know your tailor well or do the work yourself, you can figure that cost into your purchase to make sure it’s worth the buy.
Shop consignment in wealthy parts of town: Rich people throw away the best things making this one of my favorite ways to shop! It is so true when they say, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I have found wonderful pieces at these stores, many of them new! Keep in mind, you do have to dig a little, and these are NOT the places you go when you have something specific in mind. But when you have time to browse, this is a great place to start. About two months ago I found a brand new pair of Christian Louboutin’s at the consignment store by my house. My jaw dropped! When I asked how much and why they were here the answer I got floored me– A lady received them as a gift and didn’t like them, so she brought them in to sell. Ahh, yes please! The shoes I bought retail for $875, and I walked away with them for $160. Just saying that these stores should not be overlooked!
Don’t shop when you are tired, hungry, lonely, bored or upset: I will be honest, this is hard for me because it is my go-to when I have feelings I don’t know what to do with OR am bored. Don’t make my mistake. Stay home and read a book or go workout. LOL. When I am upset, I try and mask the pain with stuff. And for the moment it works, I won’t lie. But the next couple days, as I look at the bags and usually still feel sad, I then start also feeling mad that I spent all of my hard earned money.
Be willing to browse the discount stores: Places like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Nordstrom Rack, and my favorite dive, Last Chance (a Nordstrom store only in Phoenix, AZ) are the absolute best places to find steals! I know these stores can be a lot to handle with the amount of unorganized merchandise so only go when you have the time and energy to look through the masses. I have found some unbelievable pieces by randomly stopping into some of these stores. You can find name brands and designer items for a fraction of their normal cost. Some of my treasures from these places have been: Cole Haan boots for $30, Tori Burch flats for $45, Kate Spade purses for less than $100, and a North Face jacket for $20! The best part is hunting and finding the diamond in the rough; you feel so accomplished.
Practice telling yourself NO: Again, I am not perfect and struggle with this all of the time. I find every excuse in the book as to why I “deserve” the item instead of why I shouldn’t buy it. Learning to tell yourself no will not only save your wallet, but it usually will translate over to other areas of your life where you need to say NO. i.e. poor food choices, the drink that tips us over the edge, texting the person we shouldn’t be texting…. Remember, God wants us to say no, so we have more room in our hearts to say yes to the important things in life!
Shopping is and probably always will be one of my favorite past times. I find it’s something my close friends and family can bond over, but this year, my goal is to start seeking joy in the experiences rather than the things themselves.
**I bought my flats from Last Chance for $12. They don’t have a website so I linked a retail site you can purchase them from**