Shopping can be stressful at the best of times.
Most of the time we are trying to ram in a quick dash to get something for an occasion and we simply do NOT go prepared.
Here's how to make it a stressLESS occasion and actually enjoy spending money on yourself!
1. PLAN PLAN PLAN!
Have a plan and stay focused. Seriously.
This may sound boring but it will stop you impulse buying.
So make a list:
• What do you need?
• What are you going for?
• Which stores do you want to visit and which will get busiest first? Hit them first, while you have patience
• Be there when the shops open to avoid being left with the dregs! If you are lucky enough to be taking a child (!) then which shops have the best buggy access or would drive you insane when they get too busy?
TRY TO PLAN BEFORE YOU GO
2: COMFORT IS QUEEN!
Dress appropriately! Nobody wants to have blisters when queuing in Next or sweating in Primark. THINK about where you are shopping: indoor or outdoor?
- Wear a crossover bag so your hands are free if needed
- Carry water
- Ensure you're wearing your comfy footwear and wear or take suitable underwear
- Don’t overheat and stay hydrated (that’s the mum in me!)
3. BE CAUTIOUS
Beware of ‘up to’ large discounts.
It’s a classic way of shops roping you in.
For example, their sign could say ‘up to 75% off’.
You think WOW, but in fact most items could only be 10% off.
The ‘up to’ part is usually in very small lettering and SOMETIMES even pencilled on the tags.
COMPARE BEFORE AND AFTER PRICES!
Don’t be drawn to styles and colours that don’t suit you solely because of the discount. Lose focus = lose money.
We’ve all been there: ‘Wow, that lime green French Connection bomber jacket is half price!’
Do not be blinded by the price.
You will never wear it; it’s a complete waste of money.
This is where knowing your best styles and colours comes in handy.
5. SOLO IS SUPERB
Go it alone or with me, the expert.
If you’re indecisive like me, I like to go to all the shops twice (at least) and I really take my time before I splash my cash.
Do not take your whiney, hand-in-pockets, shopping hating significant other.
YOU WILL REGRET IT! Men claim they don’t hate shopping, but they have this way of ‘lingering’ and making you feel you must make a snappy decision. So, you end up either buying something out of pressure or leaving the item before you have weighed up whether you want to buy it or not.
OR, I have heard of some fellas who HATE shopping so much that they will shame their partners into leaving the shops, by telling them they don’t look nice in whatever it is they are trying on. This does not make for an enjoyable shopping experience. My advice would be go it alone.
6. SEASONS! THINK SEASON.
Don’t be buying next year’s swimming costume or a dress for a friend’s spring wedding if you are a yo-yo dieter. It’s a total waste of money and it will sit in your wardrobe waiting to be eBayed.
However, if you can afford to splash out a little, then invest in those bargain leather studded sandals you had your eye on in the summer that have 50% off. You can put them away. Buying out of season can save a bomb if it’s something timeless that can be worn whatever your weight.
Another handy tip is to really plan WHEN you’re going to wear the item in your hand.
Look at it and ask yourself:
• When will I wear it?
• How often?
• Is it worth the money?
Ask yourself what the cost per-wear might be.
Divide the number of items you might wear the item by its original cost.
Just being a little more conscious and aware of your initial goals when you’re in the shop can really aid the right decision.
Again, if it’s a high fashion item it won’t be in fashion next year. #FAIL
DO buy classic pieces you can wear all year. So, as I just mentioned spend your money in the right places. Buy classic. Quality coats, leather boots, real denim, leather court shoes and, of course bags and belts.
Leading on from number seven, bags are fab to buy in the sale as most brands have 25-75% off in January. Avoid buying them JUST because of the discount, though.
I was once tempted to buy a gorgeous Jasper Conran Tote but stopped myself because, although it should have been in the hundreds and was down to £50, it still wouldn’t stop me thinking about the slightly more expensive Aspinal or Mulberry one a day later.
You have to weigh up putting that £50 towards your dream bag and keep on saving!
Accessories sales are a great time to stock up on belts, scarves, earrings and statement necklaces. I LOVE chunky statement necklaces but refuse to spend more than £15 on one as I buy them frequently and like to have a choice. H&M, Zara and French Connection have some great accessories that are usually at least half price in the sale.
9. GO ONLINE FIRST
Preview items online and save yourself lots of time. Pick your favourite brands and scour them online for bargains. Or if you’re after a certain thing, check websites of stores you love to see if they have one. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, don’t be tempted to buy other garbage you don’t need.
• Do you need it?
• Do you love it ENOUGH?
• Do you have at least two items that you’d wear it with?
• Will you still love it in a week or will you be thinking about a better version?
• Will you be thinking about it non-stop at home if you DON’T buy it?
• Look for things you wanted full price but couldn’t justify the full price cost. Also, cotton on to things like Next Sale VIP slots to preview items and sign up for emails in advance of sales. See what the items you have selected look like on the models. This will tell you how tall the model is and what size she is, so you can gauge how long or short the item would be on you.
Also read customer feedback - they will tell you what the stores won’t (in terms of quality and fit)
GOOD LUCK ladies, I hope these shopping tips give you the help and support you need when shopping and that you save loads of cash in the process.