Shopping on a budget

If you’ve perused any of my older posts, you’ve probably realized I don’t live in a big, glamorous city like New York. I live in the Midwest, in one of the hardest hit areas by this lovely economic downturn.

I live in Michigan, just west of Detroit. Auto capital of North America (or at least, it was) – sidenote- go Ford!

I still have a job, thanks for asking. I also know what it’s like to budget and not have a ton of money for clothes. I certainly do not have a huge budget. Most of my clothes is either bought secondhand, on sale or given to me by my sister (thanks Cher!). Other than that, I tend to shop at inexpensive locals, such as Forever 21, Old Navy or Charlotte Russe.

I have some tips for those of you who are like me – shopping on a budget.

Shopping tip #1: Only buy it if you’re going to wear it within the next few days. If you love it that much, you’ll wear it more often. The exceptions? Off season coats, swimsuits or accessories.

My Pet Octopus necklace $14.99 Modcloth

Shopping tip #2: Buy things that you can dress up for work, or dress down for weekends/dates/etc. If you love a velvet blazer, buy it. You can wear it to work for a clean, polished look, but also throw it on over jeans and a t-shirt for an effortless weekend look. This way, you get more bang for your buck and a $45 blazer worn 25 times means you only spent $1.80 per time you wore it. Totally worth it.

Fitted Jacket $32.80 Forever 21

Shopping tip #3: If you are unsure, ask the store to hold the item for you. Go grab a coffee or continue looking around another store and think about the item you’re unsure about. Sometimes you’ll decide you want it (like I’ve done with a pair of shoes) and sometimes you’ll realize you won’t really wear it and it isn’t worth the money. Whatever you choose, asking the store to hold an item can be very helpful.

Found at Charlotte Russe- thought about them and bought them! And I still love them!!

Shopping tip #4: Be weary of a salesperson that tells you “you look great!” I’ve had it happen to me a few times and the item is too small/bad color/too big/unflattering etc. Some salespeople really mean what they say, but some are just trying to sell you something because they work on commission. Which brings us to…

Shopping tip #5: Don’t feel like you HAVE to buy something. Sometimes it can be fun to go shopping without money, just to see what’s there. You don’t need to feel like you have to buy something because the salesperson was helping you.

I’m sure there are many more tips I can go into, some about shopping online, some about altering the clothes you already have. But, I’ll save those for another time!

How do you save money when you shop?