Welcome to Shopaholics Anonymous. Except here, I'm not going to tell you how bad shopping is for you. Don't put down the credit card. Pull out your rewards cards. Bring out the Benjamin's.
There is a right way and a wrong way to shop, believe it or not. Chances are, you've been shopping the wrong way your entire life. You may know me as Laura, your Fashion and Beauty Blogger for Style-House, but today I'm Laura your Shopping Guru. You can get the best deals and spend the least amount of money possible. Listen up:
- Never say no! You're in line paying for your stuff when the cashier asks if you want to sign up for a rewards card. Your automatic response is "No." It doesn't matter how little (or how much) you think you shop there, SIGN UP FOR IT! What people don't realize is it only takes a few trips to rack up points. These points turn into actual money you can spend on future purchases. Why would you not want that? You also get special coupons in the mail for being a member of their little club. Some stores (like Ulta and Sephora) even give you free gifts on your birthday. My birthday just passed yesterday (I'm 24- so old!) and i got a full size BareMinerals lip gloss from Ulta and two lip pencils from Sephora. It pays to be a member.
- Sign up for emails. I'm not saying sign up for emails for every store you shop at. Then your inbox will be barfing up coupons everyday. However, if it's a store you frequently visit, definitely sign up and you'll be notified of any upcoming sales and coupons. When a big shopping event is coming up (such as Black Friday, Christmas, or even a birthday) sign up on the stores email list two weeks before you plan on shopping. This way you get all the deals when it matters most. After you've shopped 'till you dropped, simply unsubscribe from the email list.
- Pack light. This should be obvious, but bring the least amount of items you can into the store. Countless times I've seen women lugging around a purse the size of a suitcase while trying to shop. Spoiler alert: Doesn't work out so well! Clutches you can strap around your wrist and small shoulder purses are ideal. You wanna keep your hands free. You never know when you might have to grab the last pair of leather skinny jeans.
- Ditch your coat. This goes along with the previous tip: packing light. You're probably going to get hot, maybe even sweaty, while shopping. You want to peel off your layers, and then you're carrying this ten pound thing. Solution: Leave your coat in the car. Instead, wear a heavy shirt like a sweater or sweatshirt so you don't get cold on the walk from your car to the store.
- Bring provisions. Pretzel dogs with gooey cheese and strawberry shakes are tempting (I gave in the other day- oops) but control yourself! Pack a little snack to stuff your face with when you get hungry instead of spending loads of money at the food court.
- Dress smart. If you know you're going to be trying on clothes, dress accordingly. Don't wear your hot pink bra, laced boots, and five different shirts. Your bra and panties should be nude so you can clearly see what the clothes look like without obstructing the view. It helps to wear a strapless bra if you're trying on strapless tops or dresses; it's annoying to fold down bra straps. Wear only one layer so it's easier and faster to dress! And as for those lace-up boots? It's probably best to leave those at home. Opt for a pair of shoes that slide on like flats.
- Be quick about it. As fun as shopping is, you probably don't want to spend all day doing it. If you're trying on a dress, instead of completely undressing, just take your shirt off. Simply slide down your jeans to see how the dress looks. Unfortunately, stores only let you try on a few items at a time. Take the first few in, and when you're done, don't change back into your clothes. To save time, keep on the last outfit you had on, and switch out the clothes you already tried on for the ones you haven't tried yet.
- Let them take care of you. If you have a lot of items in your hands that are getting really heavy, give them to a cashier to hold for you until you're done shopping. If you have a question about a price or anything at all, make sure you ask!
- Sleep on it. Literally. I've found items I really really really (really) love, but it's a bit expensive. I love it, so obviously I want to buy it, but I don't know if I should spend all that money on it. If you find yourself in this predicament, walk away. Either leave it in the store or put it in hold, go home, and go to sleep. If you dream about it or can't stop thinking about that item, go get it! It was meant to be! If you forget about it, clearly it wasn't special enough. Someone else can cherish it.
- If the price is right, don't buy it! While browsing the clearance section, you spot a cute top that's $5.99. There's nothing too special about it... I mean, it's cute... It's your favorite shade of blue... You might wear it once or twice... I could get it... Nope! Stop! Put it down! There are too many times I've bought an item simply because it's cheap! This resulted in a few shirts I never really wore that have hung around in my closet for years. If you don't absolutely love/ have to have it, it's not worth it. Even for that price. Sorry okayish blue top. You lose.
- Read the fine print! Again, I feel like this is something everyone should know by now, but as a cashier, I've found that clearly you people don't pay attention! For any coupon you have or promotion you see, look for stars next to the text. This means there is fine print! Read the fine print! Most coupons exclude specific items from the promotion. Make sure to check expiration dates as well! It doesn't help yourself at all if you don't read the fine print. You'll end up in line yelling at the cashier "Why doesn't this coupon work?!" letting the whole store know how mad you are when in fact it's nobodies fault but your own! Don't be that person.
- You're not a Shopaholic for nothing. If you have this title, it's because you actually like to shop! Why ruin this happy time for yourself by going when you know you'll be in a rush (during your lunch break) or when you don't have enough money? Go shopping when you have the time, like after work or on weekends. If you really want a gorgeous Christmas dress, but only have a few bucks for an inexpensive one, just wait.