Pinch a Penny ‘Til It Screams
By Laura Lee Jones / Red Dirt Couture
I always seem to hear people say, “I’m too busy to budget shop”. While my first reaction is always, “who doesn’t have time to bargain shop?” the more I think about it, the more I understand.
Budget shopping can be time consuming and, if you have ever been to a weekend sale at Macy’s you can attest, a bit daunting. It takes ample time to scour through racks and racks of merchandise. And I know, in order to maintain our budgets, many of us need to stick to our frugal shopping guns.
So I came up with a list of five quick, shopping tips that can save you both money and time. You don’t have to spend hours shopping each week to find great deals on designer fashion. Check out these quick (and simple) tips.
1. Shop on Weekdays. A major rule of budget shopping is to go during the week. Besides missing the long weekend lines, most stores put new merchandise out on their shopping floors on the weekday (mostly because their stores tend to be a bit calmer). Also, many stores mark down items that didn’t sell well over the weekend.
2. Shop the Hidden Areas of the Store. When entering a store, go straight to the back or the racks located on the walls of the store. Most retail stores place their new, more costly items in the front of the store because those are the items that will catch your attention. Also, other shoppers (and you know who you are), will often “hide” items in these corners that they plan to return and buy.
3. Sign up for Email Sale Alerts. Sign up for email alerts from your favorite department stores. Top department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus all have email alerts that notify you of a sale days before it happens allowing you to plan accordingly. Some stores, like Neiman Marcus’s outlet, Last Call Neiman Marcus, send out coupons to their newsletter lists.
Note: When I sign up for these lists I make sure to use a “shopping email”. That is an email that’s used only for registering for store newsletters. This will save your mail inbox from a ton of spam.
4. Shop Online. Shopping online is great option for those who have a limited amount of time. Stores like Bluefly.com, Shoe Mecca, and Endless, have great designer fashions at low prices. Plus they allow you to shop without leaving your computer. You can often find great coupons for additional dollars off. Just type in the following formula into your favorite search engine: “name of store/brand + coupon”.
5. Get A Personal Shopper. Most major stores now have personal shopping and it’s FREE! For busy shoppers this is a godsend. All you have to do is call up the store, give them your size, preferred styles, and budget. They’ll pull items for you so all you have to do is go try them