Shopping on a Budget

When money’s tight, shopping can be difficult, especially when shops are filled with trendy clothing you may feel like you need to buy. Although some would advise to simply stay away and make do with what you own, sometimes that is simply not possible. Maybe your favorite jeans just ripped or you need a new coat to stay warm. Whatever the reason, here are some tips to shop smarter (even if you aren’t on a budget).

Wait for the perfect moment

Although it requires a bit of patience, waiting for sales is one of the most common ways to save money. Black Friday is just one example of a time of the year when you can get discounted clothes but there are certainly others. Follow your favorite brands on social media to know when there will be major discounts. Sometimes it really is a matter of waiting a few days (or months) for the same exact piece of clothing to be at a fraction of the price. Sure, there might not be many sizes left or it might run out completely, but living dangerously pays off sometimes. If you prefer to be guided by precises statistics rather than simply waiting it out, check out this Time article about the best day or month to buy different clothing pieces. Although I’m not sure how accurate it is, it might be interesting to put it to the test.

Use coupons

If you’re an online shopper, you can also benefit from coupon codes given out by signing up to newsletters, usually around a 10% discount. You’ll also be up-to-date on that store’s sales and weekly deals. If you prefer to sit back and let an extension do all the dirty work, check out Honey (available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera). It automatically scans its database for any available coupons for any shop and helps you save money. Currently, it is only available for the US, Canada, the UK, India and Australia.


Sifting through your wishlist is a must. Unfortunately, when you’re on a budget, it’s clear you won’t be checking off all the items on it (at least not right away!). Identify the items you need and those that aren’t so necessary. When doing this, take your entire wardrobe into account so that you know which types of clothing you have most of and which you are missing. Also keep your wardrobe’s overall style and colors in mind. Buying a scarf that won’t match anything you own won’t be very useful. You’ll probably throw it in a corner and never use it or you’ll have to buy more things to wear it with. Having said all this, treat yourself sometimes! If it’s at a reasonable price and it will make you feel confident and beautiful, forget your budget for that one time.

Give outlets a chance

Finally, you might want to reconsider where you are shopping. Outlet stores such as Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx offer great opportunities to snag designer items at a fraction of the retail price. You will have to rummage through many racks and piles, but it will definitely be worth it. Another option is to go secondhand. Although you could take the traditional, local thrift shop route, there are more modern alternatives. ThredUP is a website that works exactly like a secondhand store, in which you can either buy or sell clothing. The only difference with your local store is that all the items are required to be in perfect conditions and stylish!

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