10 Tips To Help You Shop Smarter

tips to help you shop smarter

There's so many things my Mom taught my sisters and I growing up and one of them is how to shop.  As we've gotten older and started to shop for ourselves, we've picked up a few more tips and tricks along the way.  So, I reached out to my Mom and two sisters to combine a list of tips that we all use to share with you to help you shop smarter.

1.)  Keep a list of items you want and need.

-One thing I like to do is keep a list of items I want and need so that when I'm out shopping, I'm not just aimlessly looking for random things.  As I look through my closet to get dressed, I take a quick inventory of what I'm lacking or items I need to replace and I make a note of those items.  I also discover items I need when I'm trying to put an outfit together and I don't have exactly what I'm looking for.  Keeping a list of things you want and need can help you not overspend when you're shopping as well as help make your shopping trips much quicker and easier.  We tend to spend more money when we impulse buy as oppose to when we plan ahead.  

2.)  When it comes to shoes, pay attention to the material they are made out of.

-Real leather and real suede should cost more than manmade materials.  Don't pay the same price for manmade materials as you would for real leather.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't buy manmade materials.  I'm saying, don't overpay for manmade materials.  Look inside the shoe or on the sole of the shoe to see what the shoe is made of.  Then look at the price and decide if the shoe is worth the price.  For example, what I typically do is see a shoe that's a certain price and say, "Oh it's only $50?"  Then I look at what the shoe is made out of and if it says manmade materials, I usually decide that I can probably find that same shoe or similar somewhere else cheaper.  Spend according to the quality of the shoe.    

3.)  Pay attention not only to sale prices but original prices.

Being the financially conscious person that I am, I LOVE a sale!  When I walk into a store or shop online, I am quickly drawn to anything that has a sale sign.  However, one thing I always pay attention to when I find something I like that's on sale, is the original price.  Sometimes, when you look at the sale price and the original price, you'll discover that the item is really not discounted.  You may only be saving 50 cents.  Now, if you're ok with saving just 50 cents, by all means buy the item, but if not, wait until the item goes on sale for real and you can save dollars as opposed to just coins.  Don't let these stores make you feel like you're saving money when you're really not.  Pay close attention!

4.)  Wait for sales!

-This tip goes along with the previous tip on appreciating a good sale.  Some stores have sales all the time especially department stores like Dillard's, Macy's, etc.  What I typically like to do is, when I find something in those type of stores that's not on sale, I leave it there and wait.  I have seen so many times where an item is the original price one day and the next day it's on sale.  So, don't waste your money paying full price when you can just wait for it to go on sale unless the store offers price adjustments.  

5.)  Buy during off season.

-At the end of every season, most stores tend to have major sales on items that will soon no longer be in season.  This is your chance to rack up on items that you can wear to close out that season or wear next season.  This is a great time to buy things that are typically more expensive like coats and jackets.  

6.)  Don't spend a lot of money on trendy items.

-Save your money when it comes to super trendy items.  Trends come and go so quickly that you don't want to spend a ton of money on something this season and next season it's no longer hot and poppin'.  If you want to try the trend, try to find it at a very affordable price.  

7.)  Buy quality staple pieces.

-In contrast to the previous tip, focus on quality when it comes to your staple pieces like outerwear, denim, and some of your shoes.  These are items that won't go out of style anytime soon and you can wear them over and over for years to come.  Sometimes you may have to spend a little more to get better quality, however, the items will have a better chance of going the distance with you.

8.)  Compare prices.

-If something isn't in your price range in one store, look for it or something similar in another store or online.  Many of the same brands can be found in different stores and different stores have different pricing and sale schedules.  Also, you may be able to find the same item online for a much different, cheaper price.  I mean Amazon is taking over the world and you may be able to find whatever you're looking for there.  

9.) Don't forget about the basics.

-When shopping, don't forget about looking for basics like solid colored tops, black pants, simple blazers, etc.  These type of items can go a long way.  You can easily mix and match these items with statement pieces like patterns, ruffles, and bold accessories.  Basics hardly ever go out of style and you can wear them for years and years to come.

10.)  Choose your shopping partners wisely.

You. Can. Not. Shop. With. Everyone!  Only bring people with you that you trust to be honest with you about what looks good on you and what doesn't.  Not everyone will be honest with you and will have you buying things that are not flattering on you.  You also want to shop with people that you actually like the way they dress themselves.  You can't have people that can't dress trying to tell you how to dress.  It just doesn't work.  Also, leave your friends and family at home that will have you overspending and shopping outside of your price range.  It's your money so spend it the way YOU want to spend it.  Not the way THEY want you to spend it.  But with all this said, sometimes it's just best to shop alone.

I hope these tips help.  Have any more tips?  Leave them in the comments!  Help a Sole Sista out!

Until next time...

Love, peace, and sole!