How To Shop On A Budget

I’ve been feeling a little uninspired. I think it stems from not knowing what to focus on here. I get so much great feedback and suggestions but don’t know how to execute. Do I have to have pics for every post? I’m not a fashion blogger but I still like cute clothes. I’m not a fitness snob but I’m still knowledgeable - I’d like to say sometimes more than certified personal trainers. That’s a story for a different day. I’m definitely a foodie but don’t want to write restaurant reviews or create recipes. Ahhh what’s a girl to do?

Anyway, today I wanted to share how I find cute clothes/shoes for the low low. LOL. I’ve wanted to share this for some time because I feel like I keep tagging expensive brands on my posts. And, I don’t want people to be fooled into thinking I have money like that. I don’t.

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There are three questions I ask myself when I’m buying something expensive.

  1. Can you live without it? Spoiler: most of the time, I can.
  2. Is it a staple that will last you through several seasons?
  3. What’s the quality of the material? If it’s not quality, can you find an alternative elsewhere?

Honestly, most stuff is probably made by the same manufacturers but slightly different.

How do I shop without breaking the bank? Here are my tips:

Wait
As a retail veteran, I know that almost everything goes on sale. That’s why I hardly ever buy full price items. If you really like something, just WAIT! Unless it’s Louis Vuitton, then go ahead do you.

Off-price retailers
I’m talking places like TJ Maxx, Saks Off Fifth, Nordstrom Rack etc… These are actually great places to check because their buying departments are often buying from the same people the regular department stores buy from. These stores get their items in two ways that I know of. It’s either excess inventory from the full-price stores or it’s excess inventory from the brand itself. Stuff that didn’t sell during the season or stuff that’s not as high quality. These stores can be hit or miss but when you find something, it can be gold.

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Competitive Shop
This really only works if you are looking for a type of something. A perfect example of this, is the shirt I’m wearing in this post. I really wanted a cute floral shirt that didn’t look cheap. I found several that I liked at Nordstrom but didn’t want to pay $60 plus. Instead I started looking around at several stores to see who had something that was affordable but not too cheapy looking. I searched Target, H&M, Forever 21, Zara, J.Crew, etc…and ended up at TJ Maxx. The shirt was $12.99!

Sign up for email
I know flooded inboxes are annoying but email is key for higher priced items. I’m signed up for every store I shop simply to have a discount code handy. DSW, West Elm, Madewell, Nike, Under Armour...those are people that have codes to give.

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Online shopping filters
This might come as a surprise but online shopping gives me slight anxiety. I don’t like having too many options. To curb any impulse buys I start with filters. Shirts I filter to about $50, pants $100, and dresses about $150. I also always go with lowest price first because I can quickly scan and go from there. This method really only works for me when I get bored and start looking at stuff. ASOS has really great options and filters.

I don’t necessarily have a strict shopping budget. I’m still working on figuring out that process. (If you have any tips, share them with me. I can write a follow-up blog post on how to set that budget). For now, these are the methods I incorporate because they help keep my savings account cute. What are some tricks you’ve learned to shop on a budget?

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Outfit Details
Top: T.J. Maxx
Jeans: J Brand from Saks of Fifth
Shoes: Dolce Vita Shaun Wedge from Nordstrom Rack