It’s time to take control of our shopping experience and take the bag by the horns – er, handles!
Shopping can feel overwhelming. Between messy dressing rooms, finding our sizes, and making fashionable decisions, there’s a lot involved!
Let’s rock our next shopping trip with these tips.
Shop with intention.
It can be tempting to walk into a few stores and browse for random items. Maybe we’re lured in with the “WHOLE STORE 50% OFF!” sign, or the strategic sneaker display.
Shopping is always a little spontaneous, so let’s keep ourselves focused by purchasing with a purpose!
Consider the following:
- What colors do we need?
- What look are we trying to convey?
- Are we shopping for a specific season, or a special occasion?
Set a realistic budget.
Pick a budget and stick to it! Setting a realistic budget keeps us mindful of our spending.
Work out a number that allows us to 1) purchase everything we need, 2) find a few spontaneous items, and 3) still have money left in our wallets.
Visit 3 – 5 stores.
There’s A LOT involved with shopping. Be mindful of driving, gas mileage, parking, and navigating through crowds.
Organize purchases per store, prioritize per location. I.e. check out stores that are next to each other.
Save department stores for the last stop. These larger stores might distract from our original plans.
Set a time limit.
Check online or call the stores for their business hours. Write down what time each store opens, and plan accordingly.
Get out there as early as possible to avoid crowds on the road and in the stores. It’s great having a store to ourselves with no lines!
Invite a trusted friend to hold us accountable for our shopping promises, including the time limit.
We’ll get a second opinion, and a reliable source to bug us with, “Did you plan to buy another pair of sneakers, or are you getting swept up in that ‘deal’?” and “It’s lunchtime. Let’s add some fuel to this fashion!”
Be an investigative shopper – search for deals.
RetailMeNot is the go-to place for retail coupons. Simply look up a store, and voila! We’re presented with a whole coupon catalog.
Check store websites for an email signup incentive. Stores often provide a percentage off the total purchase for signing up!
Be cognizant of which deals are online-only, and which are in-store offers.
Speak with a manager if we’re unsure when we’re in the store, or if a coupon isn’t working.
Most times, the manager will help make it work! They understand saving money to us is just as important as it is for them to acquire happy, repeat customers.
Put the phone down! Unless it’s for coupons.
Let’s keep our heads out of our phones. BE PRESENT! Those little red notifications will still be there later.
Keep ourselves in check by turning off notifications for the day. Avoid logging in to social media, and commit to the mission: to walk out within our time limit, with items we intended to purchase, within our budget.
Avoid texting and posting for the first hour of the shopping trip. Let’s see how much free time adds up! Enable phone data ONLY to use an online coupon.
It might sound restricting at first. But the less distractions, the better! We will enjoy the experience more if we’re fully immersed in the moment.
Remember: shopping with a close friend will fulfill our social needs.
Let’s keep our heads up, our hands free, and our wallets (and phones) full…of coupons!
I love asking people questions and inspiring them to tell their stories.
Check out Kelly’s Blog, Twentysomething Vision.