Shopping like a Diva on a Dime: How to Live Debt Free, In Style!
Shopping is something most of us like to do. If you’re anything like most of us women (and more men, lately, too!), you like to stay on top of and shop all the latest styles and trends every season. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that most of us would like to look like we just stepped out of a magazine! On the other hand, living in style on a budget can be tricky, but not impossible. Let me show you 10 easy steps to dress and look your best, for less while shopping!
- Sale, Sale, Sale
If you’re buying clothing for full price, you’re doing it wrong. Sale shopping is what you should be doing! Be a savvy shopper by going into your favorite shop and simply ask the sale consultant if there are any upcoming sales you should know about, or if there is a sale section already set up in the store. Most sales rep’s have no problem sharing the inside scoop. Also, make sure you pay attention to signs posted outside and around the shop. If the sales rep is hesitant to tell you about some hot deals, the signs never lie.
- Plastic Princess
Nearly every store or boutique has a customer loyalty card. Some cards offer discounts all of the time, while others have birthday or other loyalty programs. Bootlegger, for example, offers a 10% discount card, and you can apply the discount to items that are already on sale, getting an additional 10% off ! If you are into frequent shopping you will want to make sure that you sign up for all of the loyalty programs you can! Now that’s smart shopping.
- You’ve got Mail
Sure, signing up for email notifications from your favourite retailers may end up filling your inbox, but there are some emails that you just don’t want to miss! If you’re okay filtering through mail every once in a while, it’s a really great idea to sign up for emails from your favourite stores in order to get the inside scoop on upcoming deals and steals. This way you always know when it is the best time to go shopping!
- Sofa Shopping
Online shopping can be a dangerous venture; it can also be a really smart way to shop savvy! Many times you’ll find deals and discounts that you won’t find in-store, and, if you get your items shipped to the local store near you, you can usually get away with no shipping fees! Online shopping is a convenient way of shopping when you can not always make it to the store! This is a great way to not miss out on a great deal.
- Damaged Goods?
Almost every store has a rack of seriously discounted clothing. The items on the discount rack are usually in pretty great shape, but may have been deemed as “damaged” because they were returned by other customers or may have arrived at the store slightly damaged because of shipping or handling. Usually, the damage is only a missing button or a hole along the seam of a shirt. These are all minor fixes that can be repaired at home with a little ingenuity and a needle and thread. I once bought a sweater that had a pulled thread on the inside (where no one could see it) for 80% off regular ticket price. It’s one of my favorite sweaters.
- Deal or No Deal
Be smart about your bargains by making sure the sale makes sense when shopping. For example, the ever so popular “buy one, get one half off”, also known as the BOGO deal, is really only a deal if you need that second item. You’re always paying full price for the most expensive item of the two, so if you originally picked up shoes that were $19.99, but then you ended up looking at a pair that were $80.00 because there is a sale on, keep in mind that in this case, you would really only receive a $10.00 discount, and you would end up spending $90.00 instead of $20.00. That’s not a bargain. Also, beware of the liquidation stores, or stores that always sells items for WAY lower than the ticketed price. Typically these stores inflate the original price tag in order to make you think you’re getting a stellar deal. Be savvy by pulling out your smartphone to make a quick comparison at their local competitor stores ensure you’re getting a deal.
- Get Your Nails Did. At Home.
Do you want salon colour without the salon prices? Your local drug store has the solution to that! Gel polish is a sure fire way to have gorgeous looking nails, at a quarter of the price. You get the look of a salon manicure without breaking the bank. Invest in a gel kit for at home, and in what would be less than two visits to the salon, you’ll have made your investment worthwhile. You can always find great deals on nail polish while you are out shopping!
- Baby I Was Born This Way
There are literally hundreds of professional quality hair dyes that you can buy at any drug store that will give you shiny, healthy, natural looking hair color that will put a spring in your step. Clairol has a root touch up product that makes DIY hair coloring a snap! And at only $8.00 (on average) a box, it’s a steal. If you’re unsure of doing an at-home color job, there are products that can boost the shine and volume of your hair without having to worry about long term commitment. John Frieda’s Luxurious Fine to Full Blow-Out spray is amazing, and at $10.00 a bottle, you’ll feel like a million bucks, without spending a million bucks!
- Bling-On a Budget
Accessories are your friend. A smart looking belt, scarf, or long necklace can take your look from dull to fun and fabulous in seconds. Stores like Ardene are great for inexpensive jewelry. They often sell 3 items for $10.00 or 2 for $25, and you can walk out with a bag full of fun bling for a bargain. Accessories are a great way to wear last season’s staples for many years to come.
- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
No need to be jealous of your besties look, just borrow it, or take it off of her hands when she’s done with it! Gather the girls for an evening of fun and fashion – go through your closet, including your purses, scarves, jewelry, and clothes, and instead of selling your items, or giving them away, swap for clothes that your girlfriends are parting with! You get some cute new items without paying a penny. It’s that simple and everyone goes home with some “new to them” goodies. Shopping from someone else’s closet is an affordable way to stay in style!
A debt free living doesn’t have to be just a dream. Get creative and get shopping!