Who doesn’t adore shopping? But are you doing it right? Here are 15 ULTIMATE shopping tips to save money that every girl should master.
Hey gorgeous! Shopping is something every girl loves. Shopping time is often used as bonding time between friends, and even therapy time when we’re sad.
But the aftermath of shopping isn’t always awesome. Having new items we don’t wear in our closets makes us guilt-ridden every time. And excessive shoppers are able to save much lesser over time. If you’re not shopping smart now, how’ll you save up for that dream house tomorrow?
Personally, I hate wasting things. So my closet is mostly filled with things I actually wear. A lot. But that said, I used to be a big, crazy shopper myself. Over time, I learned that shopping smart can bring me even more happiness than excessive shopping can.
So let’s get started with these smart shopping tips I’ve learned over time. Think of this as your shopping tips & guidelines list: one that ever girl who loves to shop should know! These will not only save you money, but also time & energy.
15 Smart Shopping Tips to Save Money
1. Never buy something just because it’s on sale.
Or just because it’s a good “deal”. This is one of the most important smart shopping tips. Always ask yourself, would you have bought it for the same price, if it weren’t on sale? Do you really need it?
2. Find out your body type and shop accordingly.
Master the art of dressing for your body shape, it’ll help you avoid buying items that don’t flatter you.
3. Never buy anything that you don’t plan on wearing at least twice.
Except your wedding dress maybe.
4. Invest in wardrobe basics.
They can be paired and reworn to create many outfits, so having good quality basics is a great way to have all your outfits look rich. Moreover, basics are timeless items that never go out of fashion. So you can even buy last season’s basics on sale and save a ton of money.
5. Never shop when you’re hungry or sad.
This is one of the most important tricks to master, and even one of the grocery shopping tips for you. Hunger makes us buy more, since our body is not “satisfied”, subconsciously. And sadness may let you make wrong decisions. Although they say that shopping is “retail therapy,” understand that that’s just a marketing gimmick, to make you spend more. The truth is that when you’re upset, you may feel like buying too much more than you’d have otherwise, since you’re subconsciously trying to fill a void.
6. Set a budget.
Whenever you’re going for a major shopping trip, like updating your wardrobe for a season, or buying for a special occasion, make sure to tell yourself beforehand how much you’ll limit your shopping at. This will help you avoid overspending (and regretting later). This is also one of the important holiday shopping tips to rememeber.
7. Discover your signature style.
It can keep evolving but you need to be aware of it. Understand the type of tops, dresses, shoes, etc you wear often. Like I always ask myself when I’m trying to decide whether to buy something, is this Shilpa Ahuja? Or as my friend calls it, Shilpish!
You can dress in different ways depending on mood but at least you have a stylish comfort zone to turn to when you’re feeling confused. Also it’ll help you shop faster.
8. Always consider the complete outfit, not a single item when shopping.
This is one of the online shopping tips, too. And it doesn’t mean that you have to buy a whole outfit every time. However, keep in mind what you’re gonna be pairing the item with. Never ignore details like lingerie and accessories when shopping for anything. Especially when you’re planning your outfit for an important occasion.
For example, if you’re buying a dress, visualize how you’re gonna pair it. Do you have the right bra for it? Do you have the right shoes for it? If not, buy them with it. Otherwise the dress may just slip to the bottom of your closet, never to see the light of day!
9. Try before you buy. Buy only if it fits perfectly.
So that you can avoid wasting money on things you don’t feel comfortable in or confident in. Buy only if it fits you now, not in some unforeseen future, when you’ll have lost 10 pounds. Also, only buy what feels comfy and feels like you actually see yourself wearing it.
10. Never take too many people to shop with you.
Just go by yourself if you trust your judgement, or take only one trusty shopping friend/ your mom/ sis. Too many opinions may make you feel confused. Plus shopping time should be a self pamper time. Taking too many opinions into consideration makes your trip about the others rather than about yourself.
11. Have a shopping wish list.
Keep making a wishlist when you’re not shopping, whenever say, you come across an interesting style in a magazine or see on someone. But not a wishlist in your favorite online store. Don’t keep adding wish list items to cart because then you’re fixated on a certain style or out of budget item. Instead, it should be an actual written list of general ideas you’d like to buy on your next shopping trip.
For example leather skirt, off the shoulder top or dress. This will help you avoid disappointing trips like you went to buy jeans but came home with a top. And then you need to go again next week because you still need jeans… uh.
This will also help you actually have a purpose on those impromptu shopping trips. Moreover, it’ll also make you more satisfied when you do find that item. When you’ll actually think of it as a prized item, you’ll wear it more.
12. Review the latest trends before your shopping trip.
Be in the know of the latest trends and review them before you go shopping, so you know exactly the styles you’re going to shop for. This will help you avoid buying out-of-fashion items that you’ll want to return. It’ll also ensure that you do try the new trends and see whether they look flattering on you or not.
To know what to buy, you also need to know what not to buy.
13. Don’t buy if you’re not 100% sure.
This is one of the smart shopping tips I have learned by experience. If you try something new and feel it’s not for you then don’t buy it and just give it a week to think. You can go buy it if you still want it later. This habit has saved me lots of money!
14. Avoid thinking of shopping as relaxation or therapy time.
Although buying new things does make us happy, but that’s never permanent happiness. Try to reward yourself with other (inexpensive and healthy) activities you enjoy. Plan a shopping trip only when you run out of essentials or actually, badly need something. Not when you’re just looking to kill time. Shopping wisely means that shopping cannot be a “hobby”.
15. Set a time limit by planning an activity afterwards.
Plan a lunch or coffee date after your shopping trip so you only get a limited time to shop. This will trick your brain into time management mode and you’ll buy only what you need. It’ll help you avoid unnecessary shopping. The time shouldn’t be too less – you should actually be able to buy what you’re completely satisfied with. But it shouldn’t be too much, so you don’t start trying on those extra shoes you don’t need!
Hope these shopping tips were helpful. Understand that these tips may seem simple but making them your habit takes lots of self-understanding and practice. These tips have saved me lakhs of rupees over the last few years, and I hope they’ll help you too.
Do you have any of your own smart shopping tips to save money and/or time? Let me know by commenting below or tweet me @shilpa1ahuja!
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]