There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you are going to succeed at smart shopping.
1) Patience in required. There’s really no way around it. Just because you want something, doesn’t mean that you should buy it now…even if you can afford it. Buying a shirt now for $30 isn’t smart when you can buy it a month from now for $5. It’s as simple as that.
2) It takes time. You may need to research whatever it is you want to buy, look for coupon codes, check out several different sites to compare prices, look through racks of clothes at Goodwill, etc. This is one of the biggest reasons people don’t do it. The good news is that the more you do it, the faster you get. You figure out which sites are likely to have the best prices, which stores to go to and when, what to look for, etc. I might spent 15 minutes searching for something, but if I save $30 in the process, to me it’s well worth it.
3) Shop out of season whenever possible. Buying sandals in the summer time is a complete waste of money to me when I can buy them out of season for a fraction of the price. I bought two pairs of sandals in March for $6.55 each (they were originally $40!). It requires thinking outside the box and planning ahead. Buy your summer clothes in the fall when the stores are trying to make room for their winter clothes, and buy your winter clothes in the spring as the summer clothes are coming out.
4) Plan ahead. You don’t want a ton of stuff to store, but you do want to be thinking and planning ahead. We have 5 children and I spend *very* little money on clothes for them. I keep bins of clothes in my basements marked by size. I’m always looking for clothes 1-2 sizes ahead of where my children are at so that by the time they are ready for the next size, I have just about everything they need. The same goes for projects around the house. I set stuff aside so that when I’m ready to tackle the next project, I have everything I need to do it and don’t have to go out and pay top dollar for stuff.
5) Just because it’s a bargain doesn’t mean you should buy it! Yes, you heard me right. 🙂 There are a lot of bargains out there and it can be tempting to purchase everything just because it’s “such a great deal”. Too many of those “great deals” and you have not only not saved the money but you’ll be drowning in too much stuff/clutter, creating chaos in your life and home. Know what you’re looking for and stick with it.
So, are you ready for some fun? The next post will be about shopping for clothes. That’s always fun! 🙂