I consider myself a smart shopper.
I rarely go out with friends to the mall or stores and just blow oodles of money on meaningless items. The few items that I do buy nowadays are a necessity, or occasionally something that was really on sale and I couldn’t pass it up. College students don’t really have the luxury of just buying to buy, and any money that does come in goes straight to the bank for books or other annoying college must-haves.
Since I have worked so hard this summer I decided to treat myself to some shopping. Being as broke as I am, I have a couple tips that I use when I shop with a budget that will leave you with a smile, rather than tears and a pathetic bank account.
I always make sure I have tons of coupons in my wallet when I go shopping. If you are a frequent shopper at your favorite stores, they send you discounts and special deals for the next time you shop. Stores almost always ask for your email or mailing address, which is a bit annoying when you are in a rush to get on with your shopping, but don’t hesitate to give out the information. They send out an email when the best deals are going on, and they give you great coupons. To shop at Victoria’s Secret, I sometimes feel the need to take out a loan it’s so expensive. But, since I am on their mailing list, every so often they send me coupons like “$10 off a Bra!” or “Free Panties!” Who doesn’t love free panties? One of my favorite stores, Bath & Body Works, always sends me great coupons. I recently got a free lotion, and I gave my friend a 20% off coupon that she used to purchase body spray. Saving and sharing!
If hesitant with an item, take it for a walk.
When I am buying something, and I have the smallest bit of doubt with it, I take it around the store with me while I look at other items. As I hold onto it, and perhaps look at it some more, I have time to think about if I actually want to purchase the item. Instead of just rushing to the check-out line, I consider buying it while browsing other options. If you have doubt with an item, it may be wise to put it back. I usually think about how often I will wear it, what will I wear it with and is it really worth the price?
Sales people are annoying, but it’s their job.
One thing I cannot stand when shopping is when women/men who work there bombard me with questions and comments, especially because they are so darn perky while I am trying to be depressed about how little money I have.
“HI WELCOME TO _____!!!!! WE HAVE ALL THESE PANTS FOR $50 AND SKIRTS FOR BUY THREE GET ONE FOR MAYBE A DOLLAR OFF WHICH ISN’T REALLY CHEAP BUT IF I TALK SUPER DUPER HAPPY MAYBE YOU WILL WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!!”
The other night this girl was desperatley trying to get me to take this dress to the fitting room. I had commented to my friend saying how it was cute and the saleslady swooped down like a hawk on a baby mouse. “Oh. Em. Gee. Seriously this dress looks good on anyone who tries it on I swear, you should totally try it. It looks good on everyone.”
I don’t know about you, but I like wearing things that not everyone in the universe owns. But thank you anyway.
I know that it is their job to be nice, helpful, and to get people to buy their clothes. Sometimes a girl/guy can persuade me. All of a sudden it’s like I’m hypnotized.
If I try something on and the saleslady is just gushing over how wonderful and hot and adorable I look, I sometimes have to remember that while she probably is genuine, she is also trying to get me to spend money. Don’t let a salesperson sway you one way or another. It’s their job to get you to buy something, and if you don’t really want something, don’t get it. They aren’t your BFF and they probably don’t know what you really like. Which leads me to my next tip…
Shop till you drop with you best friend.
Best friends know you better than anyone. I was at Aerie (the cousin of Victoria’s Secret) and all of these salesgirls were attacking me with questions!
“What size are you?” “What are you looking for?” “What do you want your bra to do?” “What colors do you want?” “Do you want underwear with that?” “Do you need another size.”
I wanted to run out of the store and hide under a bench! Too many questions! If I knew what I wanted, why would I be browsing the store? And no I don’t want to tell you the size of my breasts to you and all of your fellow employees, thank you very much. While the saleswomen were not so helpful (I only spoke to one girl who was helpful, probably because I went to high school with her) my best friend Alexa led me to freedom.
She picked out what she liked, and picked out what she thought I would like. Boom! A minute later I had found the one I had wanted, quickly got in line, and raced out of there. I hate buying bras. So, lesson learned, listen to your best friend. She will tell you what is ugly, what looks hot, and won’t bombard you with a zillion annoying questions about your boobies.
Do it like a dude.
When I first met Colin, we went to the mall to get one of my friends a birthday present. I already knew what I wanted to get her, and we were out of the mall in less than 30 minutes. Colin was so surprised, “You shop like a guy!”
Well, only sometimes babe.
What he meant was, guys apparently go in for one thing, and leave with one thing. Girls are easily swayed by shiny objects or cute things on sale (Ooo nailpolish!) We go in for one dress, leave with shoes and earrings and a new bag. If you are on a budget, go in for what you need, not what you want. If you see something that may be worth buying, well, follow the rest of my tips and I think you will have success!
Sometimes it is hard to budget your money. Going to the mall or shopping can be depressing when you see all the things you can’t have. I try to think about what I did buy, and how that item is worth it and nothing else is. Be a smart shopper, not a sad one!