Hi everyone! I did a quick poll on my Instagram today and a majority of y’all wanted this week’s post to be about how I shop on a budget so that is what I am talking about today. If you would like to be able to vote on what I post each week make sure you are following me on Instagram! Click here to follow me!
Last night I went to a birthday dinner with some girls for one of my very good friend’s birthdays and while we were at dinner some of us got to talking about shopping and trends. I talked about how I shop and save money and gave them some tips. They thought they were great so I decided if they had never heard of my tips some of y’all maybe had not heard of them either. I will start off by saying that I do not shop every weekend nor do I shop a lot right now because I am on a post-graduation budget (LOL). I have however, been a major budget shopper my entire life. My mom (aka Carol) taught me the shopping tips that she learned from her mom and I have used them for as long as I can remember. My mom and I used to have some major shop ’til you drop shopping trips and when we got home we would add up how much money we saved and it was always so much fun. I am talking about HUNDREDS of dollars saved here people not a few dollars. Some people gamble, I shop. I am not joking either! Shopping is like a sport to me and it is such a great feeling to know I saved a ton of money, and it feels even better when I wear a new outfit knowing how little I spent on it and getting complimented on it. Anyways, keep reading to find out my MAJOR budget shopping tips and tricks!
1. When shopping in store, go straight to the back. The sale section of any store is almost always in the back. This ensures that you are not paying full price for anything that you purchase. My mom instilled in me that you do not need to pay full price for anything and to this day I abide by that rule. I find a lot of stuff in the sale section that is similar to what is full price. When I am window shopping and not really looking to buy anything I will look around the whole store just to see what is trending in every store and to get inspiration.
2. Always look for coupons! Seriously a lot of stores have coupons for you to use and there are plenty of apps to find them. Honestly, when I am in a store I Google the store and search for coupons if I do not already have one to use. If I do not find one I ask at the register and most of the time if a salesperson knows about a coupon they will tell you. I know when I worked in retail I used coupons to my advantage and used coupons to help sell items to customers. If there are not any coupons that is fine too, but it never hurts to ask.
3. Speaking of coupons, join the rewards programs for your favorite stores! I know getting an email a day from a store can be annoying, but those annoying emails come in handy when you want to save some money when you go shopping. Also, some stores will ask for your email address after you make a purchase and I always give the salesperson my email because I usually get a coupon from it.
Some of my favorite stores with rewards/coupon programs include:
4. When online shopping, sort low-high and try to have a limit in your head that you want to spend. For me, if I know I want to spend less than $15 on a sweater (are you freaking out reading that price? I do it all of the time no lie) make sure you stick to that price and do not spend any more than that. I also use price filters when I can to make sure I am not shown items over my budget.
5. Use websites like Ebates and RetailMeNot. A few years ago I remember a lot of YouTubers I followed talked about Ebates and how it saved them soooooo much money and I honestly thought it was a scam, but throughout the years I have saved a good amount of money using Ebates. Essentially, Ebates is a cash-back system that retail companies partner with. Ebates offers a rebate based on a set percentage of your purchase. It could be anywhere from 1%-40% cash back, but most percentages are 1%-10%. Ebates also has double cash back for some stores periodically which is super helpful too. When you sign up for Ebates you get $10 back when you spend $25 on your first purchase. Ebates also recently started offering in-store cash back which will help you save even more money! You can sign up for Ebates here! *When you sign up for Ebates I will receive a small monetary amount for referring you. I would not ever recommend anything to y’all that I do not love and use myself and I truly use Ebates when I shop.*
6. I NEVER pay for shipping, EVER! Honestly if a retailer does not offer me free shipping I will not make a purchase and that is because paying for shipping to me is a huge waste of money. I have received free shipping from a few companies by adding items to my cart and then waiting a few days to purchase the items. A majority of the time, I will receive an email from the retailer offering me free shipping and sometimes even a percentage off of my purchase. If a company has a live chat function I will chat with a customer service representative to see if they can offer me free shipping and the majority of the time they do! Shipping seems like a small amount to pay, but if you do a lot of online shopping it can really add up!
7. Shop off season. Essentially what this means is that I buy summer and spring clothes in the fall when they go on sale and I buy winter and fall clothes in the spring when they go on sale. This helps me ensure I never pay full price and I save more than 50% off usually. I also make sure what I buy is not too trendy that way I am not stuck with clothing that will be out of style by the next year. I purchase a lot of basics and layer items to stay on-trend. I also try to forecast what will continue to trend, and what trends will carry over to the next season or the next year. I do not always stick to this rule, but I do most of my major shopping during the off season.
8. Shop around major holidays, but know that some of these sales are not as good as retailers would like you to believe they are. For example, Black Friday is great don’t get me wrong BUT I find major deals and sometimes even better than Black Friday deals all of the time! The point of this tip is to know your prices and know the difference between a sale and a really good sale.
9. Keep track of your coupons! I receive coupons from stores all of the time and sometimes I forget to use them and it is the worst feeling! When I get a good coupon I make sure to put a reminder in my phone a week before it expires that way I do not forget to use it.
10. The last and final tip, use your birthday to save a lot of money! Tons of stores give you birthday discounts and they are usually pretty good! One of my favorite birthday discounts is from Kendra Scott because you get 50% off of anything you want. If you do not live in a city with a Kendra Scott store no worries! You can contact their customer service and provide them with the proof of your birthday and they will give you the discount. Pro Tip: use your husband, boyfriend, brother, or any other person’s birthday to get even more discounts!
Okay, I think that is most of my tips and tricks but if I think of any more I will be sure to update this post.
Do you use any of these tricks? If not, what trick do you plan on using now?