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Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Tips and Tricks for Shopping Wisely

If I could pride myself on one thing, it's that I'm pretty good at being frugal. Not in a "why buy ketchup when the burger king packets are free!" kinda way (which I've never done..ever..). I just have the ability to tell myself no a lot. This mostly stems from a constant fear that I'm going to wake up one morning with no money and regret all my life choices that led to that point. Whatever the reason, it's a necessary skill if you're like me, and shopping with your best friend is a weekly inevitability. In fact, this post is in large part being written for said friend.

I thought it might be fun to share my tips with you, in case there are like-minded shoppers out there. I hope they give you some ideas, or at least allow you to take a peek into how my mind works. So without further ado:

shopping smart...

Tip #1: Tell yourself to try it on. Holding something up and saying it's cute and you love it and yada yada is all well and good, but I often find that when it comes to trying something on, I just... don't want to. It's too much of a hassle, the fitting room line is too long, it looks like it'll fit, etc. If you're "in love" with something, but you're not super excited at the thought of going to put it on right now, you probably don't want it as much as you think you do.

Tip #2: Be wise about shopping for the same item twice. How similar is that nude polish to that other nude polish sitting on your desk? I tend to look at items in a store that are just clones of items I already own. The two things to take away from this are 1) your tastes are in line with what you already own, hooray for sticking to your style, and 2) you don't need to buy it!

Tip #3: Would you work the amount of time it takes to earn the money for it? If I'm making $11.30 an hour, and that shirt costs $20, I think about whether or not I would work 2 hours for it. I've weeded out a lot of stuff thinking about my purchases this way. On the other hand, it's also helped solidify things that I really like. I would work 8 hours for jeans that fit me perfectly and are going to last for years.

...or just not shopping

I impose a no shopping month on myself once in a while. It started last June (my birthday month), as a way of making it a little easier for Ryan when it came to getting me a gift. It actually turned out to be a fun challenge. For a whole month I will not buy anything for myself that isn't a necessity (food, shampoo, and the like). Heck, I went to Target last night for bread and put back a $1 sharpie. This is the essence of the challenge, people!

Some ways to avoid temptation:
• Unsubscribe from emails. You can't be tempted by what you don't see! If there is a store you normally want to hear from, write it down so you remember to re-subscribe when the month is over. The first time I did this I was surprised at how many stores I didn't add back.

• Re-evaluate what you already own. In the process, you'll find things you've probably never worn and totally should. You're also bound to cut out things you really don't need/want anymore, leaving plenty of room in your life for future purchases.

• Get a hobby! I'm currently in the middle of a no-shopping month and I'm taking this time to start getting familiar with all of my craft supplies My sewing machine is uncomfortable with my new closeness.

I hope this helps! Do you have any tips to keep yourself from impulse buys?


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