Saturday, December 26, 2009

How to Budget Shop: Sales, Thrift stores and Shopping Your Closet

This is part 3 of the Budget Shopping series. If you haven't already, please check out part 1- How to Budget Shop: The Rules, and part 2- How to Budget Shop: Investment Pieces, Basics and Classics.

A major part of budget shopping is knowing how to make use of your limited resources and stretching these resources as far as they can go. This is why knowing how to make the most of sales, thrift stores and your personal closet is so important. The better you utilise these low cost places the less money you will spend on trying to achieve that 'whole new look' every morning.

Sales: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the sales we know and love:
Everyone loves a good sale so I'm not about to tell you not to indulge. I mean what's not to love?Its the perfect opportunity for a little retail therapy without the accompanying debt. However, if you don't keep the following things in mind you may end up with a more chaotic wardrobe situation than you bargained for.

  • Always ask yourself how much of the trend factor does the item have- truth is, if its on sale the trend really is on it's way out anyway. However, if it is currently a trend, is on sale, but suits you and flows with your personal style buy it anyway because its a deal.

  • Remember the cost-per-wear (or use): If it's on sale because its already defunct, really low quality or won't last as long as you'd like please pass it over. Because, even if it cost $1 and you only wore it once, instead of buying the $7 sister, you would have worn at least 14 times, it still wasn't worth the $1 you paid for it.(Do the math)

  • Don't leave the list at home: It'll stop you from buying things you just don't need, in the heat of the moment.

  • This is perfect time to buy your classics and basics, investment pieces will have an even greater cost-per-wear than they have usually.

  • Don't rush to the cashier: Please try it on when possible, and if you can't try to visualise yourself wearing it. How do you look? Does it flow with the rest of your wardrobe? If not, its a no.

Thrift stores, vintage shops and other discount stores:

From Ebay, Amazon and Etsy to your local thrift store, discount stores are the not-so-secret gold mines of many a budget fashionista. Whenever I walk into (or end up on) one, I feel like a child let loose in a candy store, on a mission to discover the next precious treasure to add to my wardrobe. A few tips to improve your next shopping trip include:

  • When shopping online look for sellers with a good reputation and a good return policy.

  • Look for quality material first before anything else: if the material is still good it can be fitted to your size or used in a DIY project.

  • Be resilient: It took me a couple of days of rummaging through several flea markets and vintage shops to find the brooch of my dreams.

  • Classics (not really basics though) and unusual accessories that reflect your style are things you should keep an eye out for when shopping in these stores.

Shopping your closet:
For a lot of people the idea of 'shopping your closet' became real when the recession hit. 'Shopping your closet' is when you arrange your closet in such a way that it becomes very clear to know what you have and what is available to you, so that coming up with an outfit becomes a whole lot easier. Also, when your wardrobe mimics the clarity of your favorite store, it is easier to identify the gaps in it, which will enable you to know what to buy the next time you shop.

  • Hangs ties, scarves and belts so you can easily get to and see them.

  • Hang long necklaces and earrings on jewelry trees if you can.

  • You can pin smaller earrings on a board or something similar.

  • Keep rings in a little partitioned drawer if you can.

  • Hang as many clothes as you can.

  • Get rid of any and everything you haven't worn in at least a year.

  • Keep similar items together.

  • Store away things you will not use for awhile e.g. winter clothes in summer.

On the next part of this series I will talk about making the ultimate shopping list, budgetting and the financial nitty-gritty in budget shopping. If you liked this post and what to follow the series, follow this blog either by email or using one of the RSS feed links in the sidebars.

Love you all and Stay inspired,

P.S. So let me know what you think. Do you shop your closet? What are your favorite budget shopping venues? What's the best thing you've ever got on sale? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

(Photos from: drinksmachine and zach_machester)

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