See how you can save when shopping (ultimate guide)

#saving #budgetfashion see how you can save when shopping post banner
Contents
  1. Most women are on a budget sort off
  2. How to mMaster to save when shopping
  3. Save by getting rid of misconceptions
  4. Money saving strategies
    • Know the turn-over basics and buy new ones when on sale
    • Check in store, save online
    • Search for great deals
    • Have no shame to use promo codes
    • Put the sales and clearance schedule of your fav brands/store on your calendar
    • Avoid impulse buys
    • Fit is a Must
    • Avoid costly surprises by being disciplined about what you do
    • Make the pledge to save on trends
    • Say no no to complete outfits
  5. How to get the most out of you fashion budget
  6. Save time when shopping
  7. Best practices to save when building a wardrobe
  8. Conclusions

Disclosure: Sponsored post. The shoes are a sample of my choice courtesy to Wikibuy. The post is not endorsed by them and I am not affiliated with them. I wrote the post entirely myself and all opinion are my own and 100% honest.

Most women are on a budget sort off

Who would not love to pay a billion dollar in taxes if one had the income to pay them? I would, but I contribute much, much less to Uncle Sam’s budget as my income even over my entire live will never reach that number.

Don’t get me wrong! When one is not born as a heiress, married rich or won the lottery, one most likely is on a budget all life long. The budgets may look different depending on income, but the normal woman – even when she is a fashionista – does not buy a Hermes bag, Valentino skirt, Chanel jacket, Celine T-shirt and Burberry coat plus a Juste un clou de Cartier bangle out of their wallet on a day shopping with her girlfriend. On the contrary, the credit cards of most of us would be maxed out just by the Hermes bag, and would be immediately locked for any of the “low” price-tag items on the above list or even a Starbucks coffee. At least, mine would.

Leave your credit card at home when clothes shopping. Just have cash in the amount of what your budget allows. Click To Tweet

How to master to save when shopping

Like all things in life, getting great clothes on the cheap means efforts. One has to learn how to find the best deal and how to shop like a pro.

In life, you often need a specific piece of clothes right now, i.e. you can’t wait eons to find the perfect piece at a great deal eventually. That’s something you can only do with Lust pieces. But what about the Must-haves? Like a new office look because you were promoted and have to upscale your office wardrobe or you are sent off for training at another office in a foreign country or a city with a more formal dress code than at your home branch of the company?

style book author in frugal high and low price work outfit
Abstract print top with wave hem c/o Shein, skirt c/o Lilysilk, own statement earrings, Hermes collier de chien cuff, bangle, and Ivanka Trump suede heels c/o Wikibuy

I am not talking trendy It items here, but things like the real wardrobe basics like a new pair of pumps for the office, a new sonic tooth brush which works with different voltage, baggage that has to be replaced, or even a garden hose when you will move in your company’s guest house with attached yard. The day-to-day pieces, the basics that have to be covered. How can you save when shopping for them?

Save by getting rid of misconceptions

Let’s get back to updating your office look. You can’t expect to find a gem at a great deal just in the first store you visit. The same applies when you google. The first page that comes up most likely doesn’t have the best deal ever. Yes, and the fact that you got a great deal at so and so last time, doesn’t mean you get a great deal there every time. Also the inventory changes quickly, so they may not have what you look for.

budget work outfit created from cheap and expensive items
Multi-color print top c/o Shein, flare silk skirt c/o Lilysilk, own statement earrings, Hermes collier de chien cuff, bangles, and Ivanka Trump suede pumps c/o Wikibuy

Money saving strategies

Many of the points discussed in the following also apply to other items. However, let’s speak here of first hand clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, etc., the things every stylish professional woman needs. The five action items that cannot be emphasized enough are the importance to learn

  1. To shop for your primary style first. Not sure what’s your primary style? Take this free online quiz to determine your primary style.
  2. How to find fashion that you can turn into style. Fashion is what you buy, style is what you make with it. #quote Click To Tweet
  3. What to wear when to dress for success in all kind of dressing situations in life. I summarized this know-how in my How to Dress for Success in Midlife style recipe book. You can buy the book at the link.
  4. You have to learn recognize when you should splurge and when see a bargain. Check the link to learn more.
  5. To shop for the body you have, not the body you had in high school, pre-children, pre-menopause or the body you want to have when you finally loose those XYZ pounds.

Know the turn-over basics and buy new ones when on sale

Accept that white T-shirts, white blouses and/or button-down shirts last a season, not more. After a while, they turn yellowish and shabby whether or not you used bluing addition or bleach in your laundry or both. It’s the natural aging process of the fabric.

Traditionally, women white T-shirts are more expensive than men’s T-shirts of same quality. Thus, buy your white T-shirts in the boys’ or men’s department. They are much cheaper than in the women’s department.

Buy white button-down shirts or blouses only on sale. Since you know they are short-lived, you can buy a new one on sale as a spare when it is a classic cut. But don’t overdo it. You have a closet, not a warehouse. 😉

Check in store, save online

Another great strategy to save money when shopping for new work clothes is to first try out an item in the store for fit. Once you know that it fits and which size you need, you search the internet for the best online deal of that piece or for a promo code, and order the piece online. But be careful, always do your math! They may charge shipping, and then your item might have been cheaper in the store in your mall. Thus, take note of the in store price tag, and find your best deal online and add the shipping fees before you hit “buy.”

Search for great deals

Of course, you not always can wait for a (clearance) sale. What then? Today there are apps for almost everything in live. Thus, there are also apps that search the internet for the best deal for you. They don’t sell the products, they just match you with the best prices. My favorite one is Wikibuy. It operates as a website and Chrome extension and finds you the best deals across the web. This page lets you not only search by brand and/or item, but also the size, and even better, by all these characteristics at the same time. I love that you can browse combinations like color, item name plus size. It ensures that you won’t land on a store page where they have the item, but not in your size. In other words, this cool feature not only saves you money, but also time.

Time is money. - Uncle Scooge #quote Click To Tweet
shoe beauties in pink
Zoom-in on the Ivanka trump pink suede high heel pumps c/o Wikibuy

I found the shoes of my OOTD, for instance, that way. I wore them to a meeting with a new colleague and my new boss. These pink shoes are perfect for the office on hot summer days when the dress code asks for closed toe pumps. The color well works with all kind of summer dresses. The pink sticks out of the crowd of nude or white summer pumps. It’s a real statement.

Pro tip: Wikibuy is also great to find the best deal for hard to find sizes like pumps in size 11 or 5 or the often hard to find extra long pants in size S or M. <3

You get the idea. I bookmarked the page. As a fashion/style blogger, I shop a lot, right?! 😉

Bookmark a price comparison page like Wikibuy to find the best deal. #saving Click To Tweet

Have no shame to use promo codes

Always look for promo codes and use them when shopping online. You don’t have to be ashamed of it. Remember: The lower revenue on sales and promo codes is already part of the full price. This means not using the codes you pay not only more, but also the fraction that’s added to cover the sale/promo codes. You can find promo and coupon codes of some of my favorite brands on my gift guide.

Shop online clearance sales. Look for professional clothes that you can wear at least in two seasons. And always remember,

Less is more, and more is just more. #budgettips #saving Click To Tweet
In other words, go for quality over quantity. You can find more on how to avoid mistakes when shopping the sales in the post at the link.

Also know which trends will remain when shoping the sales for trends. More on trends to look for in the sales at the link.

stylist in cheap multi-color top, teal skirt and great deal pumps
Multi-color boxy top c/o Shein, teal silk skirt c/o Lilysilk, own statement earrings, Hermes collier de chien cuff, bangle, and Ivanka Trump pink shoes c/o Wikibuy

Don’t forget the shipping costs

Many online stores offer free shipping over a certain amount. Sometimes it is actually cheaper to add something that you need and would buy somewhere anyhow than paying for the shipping costs. Also with some stores you have explicitly click “free shipping” or put in a promo code.

Read the fine print when you live outside the Lower 48s. Many sellers offer free shipping within the US, but not to the Last Frontier (Alaska), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam etc.

Put the sales and clearance schedule of your fav brands/store on your calendar

Identify brands that fit you perfectly. Know what brands and fabrics work well on your body type, and stick to them. Don’t know your body shape? Here is a free quiz to find it out.

Make a list of stores that offer clothes that fit you best. Find out their sales and clearance schedule and add these dates on your calendar. When the sale/clearance goes up, make sure you go there/browse their merchandise on the first day!

On eBay buy out-of-season. You can find more tips for shopping on eBay in the post at the link.

Avoid impulse buys

Never buy something that is just so so. Even when you need a certain piece right now. The best way to stick to this strategy is to ask a salesperson how many they still have in your size or whether they could hold it for you for 24 hours. When you are still excited about the item the next day, go get it.

You can find more tips to avoid impuls buying at this link.

Make the pledge to save on trends

Do the pledge to never ever spend a fortune on a trendy item. Trends are what the word says: A trend. This means it will go away sooner than later. You never know how fast.

But you also know that every item in your closet should go down to less than a dollar per wear. Otherwise it was a pricey item. Thus, ask yourself how often will you wear that trendy piece of clothes. If the trendy item costs, for instance, $30, ask yourself whether you will be able to wear it this season 30 times? If not, kiss it off, no matter how cute the trend is.

Fit is a Must

Never buy something that doesn’t fit. Tailoring may be very expensive. If the store doesn’t offer it as a complimentary service, your new office look may become much more expensive than you had budgeted.

Hoping that a dress, skirt, pair of trouser – you name it – will fit when you loose those stubborn 10 lb (4.5 kg), can be very frustrating and expensive too. You may finally reach that goal when the item is out of style. Guess what? You will never ever wear it! You could as well burn your money. If it doesn’t fit, skip it!

Fit matters, size doesn't. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet

Avoid costly surprises by being disciplined about what you do

When shopping at a mall, always check the tag before you buy. Then use an app or web page on your phone to see what the item costs online. As I said, I have bookmarked Wikibuy for that purpose. Don’t forget to take fees for shipping into account in your comparison and decision making whether buying at the mall or online is cheapest.

Never forget to consider the shipping costs when ordering online. #budgettip Click To Tweet

When shopping online check the shipping and return policies before ordering. Check whether you can or can’t return an item that is on sale. Your item may become much more expensive than you think when shipping and return are not free.

Say non no to complete outfits

Never buy complete outfits! #styletip Click To Tweet
They may only work that one way! Instead buy an item only, when while being in the store, you have – out of the top of your head – already ideas for at least three new outfits with items you already own.

beautiful pink pumps
Other view of the Ivanka Trump suede heels c/o Wikibuy

How to get the most out of you fashion budget

Here are couple of easy-to-apply tips to stay on budget – whatever the number is – and look effortlessly stylish. The three most important things in staying on a budget in fashion is knowing your style, discipline and being prepared. If your not sure about your style take this quiz to find out your primary personal style.

  1. Take stock to know what you have, and identify what you need to replace and/or what is missing. Create a list with these items on your cell phone. Doing so ensures that you always have the list with you when you browse sales.
  2. Know the fit of the various brands. If a more expensive brand has great pieces you would like to have, try them on and check them for fit. Take notes on your cell phone which size it is and the type of cut, name of the item and brand and the uppermost price you would be willing to pay for what you saw. Thus, when you see the item is on sale online with the right price tag for your budget you can order it as you already know it will fit.In other words Prepare yourself for the sales. #budgetfashionista Click To Tweet
  3. Try on the high-end brands’ blazers. Look how they fit. Of course, these items – even on sale – will not have an acceptable price tag, ever. However, these items teach you how a perfect fit should look like. Then you will recognize when you try out an affordable item that (by accident or luck?) has this great fit. So to speak you train yourself being a better shopper by just being able to identify a great deal even when it is not on sale. Learn to recognize a great fit. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
  4. Accept that white T-shirts, white blouses and/or button-down shirts last a season, not more. After a season, they look yellowish and shabby. Thus, buy white T-shirts in the boys’ or men’s department. They are much cheaper than in the women’s department. Buy white button-down shirts or blouses only on sale. Since you know they are short-lived, you can buy a new one on sale as a spare when it is a classic cut. But don’t overdo it. You have a closet, not a warehouse. 😉
  5. The short-lived items is were you can go for trends. The item and trend most likely have the same lifetime. 😉
  6. Identify all other short-lived items that you need, e.g. bras, underwear, socks, tights or hosiery. Stock up on them at the end of their season when stores sell them for half or less.
  7. Spurge on sunglasses (UV protection and polarization are a must), bags, shoes, belts. Buy the highest quality item you can afford. Think quality is better than quantity. Go for classic with a twist in your style. Not sure which sunglasses flatter you? Take this free online quiz to find out which sunglasses look great on you or read this post on which sunglasses are best for you.
  8. Get informed. When you need, for instance, new prescription glasses, you can save money when you know how to buy eyeglasses by paying less and getting more.
  9. You may also consider buying glasses online, with quick and safe delivery.
  10. Only buy a new item when you can come up with at least three new outfits with items you already own in the store (without thinking too hard!). Tip: It helps when you build your wardrobe around one or two neutrals and two or three colors in various shades. This way you can combine them easily and you have many possibilities and outfits. Never buy complete outfits! They may only work that one way!
  11. Focus on getting items that you can wear at least in two seasons. This way you can spend a little more on them (read higher quality meaning a more polished look) as you get more wear out of them. In other words, before you pull your credit card always think about how many wear you expect to get out of the item. If the price of the item divided by your guestimate of wear is less than a latte or coffee at your fav coffee shop, go for it. A trendy item is too expensive if it exceeds this value, even when it would fit in your budget. Have a price-per-wear value that fits your budget for all items on your list. If a non-spurge item exceeds that number it is too expensive for your budget.
  12. Always pair cheap and more expensive items. You want to strive for effortlessly stylish, not non-affordably rich or cheap.
  13. For lust items that are outside of your budget range, learn to shop on eBay.
  14. Make it a habit to browse thrift and consignment stores and to sell your good clothes that no longer work for you. You can find brands there that would otherwise be outside of your budget range. Furthermore, you get some extra money to spend on fashion from the clothes you sold. Here are links with tips on thrifting successfully and not wasting time when thrifting.
  15. When you are new to thrifting, start out with scarves. A nice scarf can always up your style.

Save time when shopping

Time is money. Scrooge McDuck #quote Click To Tweet

Have a list of items you need to buy. Decide which item you buy and dress for shopping this chlothes. When you like browsing flea markets, fairs,second hand stores or when thrifting see these time saving tips.

Best practices to save when building a wardrobe

As already said, build your wardrobe on one or two neutrals and two or three fashion colors of your palette. Doing so allows you to combine your clothes easily. This means you have many possibilities for great outfits. Again less is more, and more is just more.

    • Before you pull your credit card always think about how many wear you expect to get out of the item. If the price divided by your estimate of wear is less than a latte or coffee at your fav coffee shop, go for it.
    • Always compare prices, but include costs for shipping. You can do a price comparison with apps or online price comparison pages like Wikibuy that even when you are in a store.
    • Aim for buying the best quality you can afford. Over time you will look like you have an expensive wardrobe even though you might have bought on sale/clearance.
    • Be prepared to try things on in a mall, when shopping thrift or consignment store, or even garage sales.
    • Have a list of designer brands to look for at thrif shops or other place where you can buy second hand.
    • Save with second hand wardrobe additions.
    • know why buying exclusively designer clothes doesn’t make you look effortlessly stylish.
    • Learn how to save with second hand wardrobe additions.
    • Before buying a piece read the reviews. You can find my reviews in the archive under the “review category” or just use the search button in the sidebar and type in review of brandname. Here brandname stand for the brand and item.

Pro tip: Leave your credit card at home. When you only have cash, you will be more picky or selective with your purchases.

If you liked any of these outfit inspiration ohotos, it would mean a lot to me if you pinned them to your own Pinterest board. It’s a great way that your friends, family, and others can see them too.

Conclusions

Shopping for fashion on a budget is learnable. You can save a lot of money and get more for the money you spend when you put in the efforts to shop wisely, disciplined and competently. Great style is not a question of money, but a question of know how. #budgetfashion #agelessstyle Click To Tweet

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Photos: G. Kramm

© 2013-2020 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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