So many of you have commented on what great prices I find when shopping. I thought it would be fun to share some of my techniques with all of you! The only thing better than finding items you love is finding them on sale!
The dress below was a huge bargain at only $6!! (Check out a recap of bargains I found below my 5 tips!)
5. Hunt for the best price – If you know you are seeking a specific item always start by hunting for the best price. I do this by checking sales flyers and looking the item up online. Polyvore has a great shopping feature where you can type in an item and it will bring up links to buy that item from a whole bunch of websites. For instance, if you search “black pumps” you will get a list showing hundreds of black pumps sold on hundreds of different websites. Once you have that list you can select a price range. Start with the lowest price range. Chances are pretty good you will find just what you were looking for at a low price.
4. Use the sort by price options on websites – When shopping online I always use the filters which allow me to view items by price. I make sure they get sorted beginning with the lowest price. This comes in handy because then you don’t spot a fantastic expensive item from the start. Let’s be honest, when that happens, nothing else seems good enough. Once I have my items sorted I set a price point for myself. For example, if I knew I needed a new white button up shirt and didn’t want to spend more than $20 on it I make myself stop looking once I reach the $20 items. If that website doesn’t have anything I like in the right price range I move on to another website. The great thing about the internet is you don’t have to worry about driving from one store to another digging through racks. Type in a quick web address and you’re browsing a whole new selection!
3. Join FREE rewards clubs (DO NOT open credit cards!) – Many stores have jumped on the rewards club bandwagon. Rewards clubs offer you bonuses for shopping at their store. You may earn points or receive special coupons based on your purchases. For example, I have an American Eagle Rewards card. Every time I shop at American Eagle or Aerie I earn points. Every 3 months I am sent an email letting me know how many points I have earned. 100 points saves you 15%, 200 saves 20%. 350 saves 30%, and 500+ saves 40%. Aerie has a special bonus that for every 5 bras you purchase you get one free (no limit on how long it takes!). They also send you a 15% off coupon for your birthday.
Some other great free store rewards programs I have are Sephora’s Beauty Insider card and DSW’s Reward card.
**Make sure that you clarify that you are not signing up for a credit card. Many stores call their credit cards a reward program or club. Having too many credit cards open can lead to many problems down the road. The only exception is if you have a specific store that you shop at so regularly that it would be a major advantage to have the card. Rewards cards associated with credit cards often require hundreds of dollars in purchases before you even begin receiving rewards. If you should sign up for a store credit card make sure you pay it off every month. The interest rates are incredibly high. If you have to pay interest you really are not saving at all.
2. Shop Outlet Malls – I find some of my best savings at outlet malls. Outlet stores offer fabulous deals not offered in their regular stores. Stores like Banana Republic and The LOFT offer exclusive clothing at their outlet stores. I have yet to walk into an outlet store that is not running a huge sale. For example, the last time I went to The LOFT Outlet everything in the store was 40% off. The other great thing about the outlets is that they often have coupon books available in their office. Tanger Outlets offer special coupon books to AAA Insurance holders as well. All you need to do is show them your card. The outlet stores themselves often run promotions for AAA members as well.
And last but certainly not least…
1. Shop Clearance First!!! – Whenever I go shopping I head straight for the clearance racks first both in store and online. So many of my favorite outfits came from clearance racks. There is nothing wrong with these clothes, they are simply marked down to make room for new styles. Shopping clearance online is even more fun than shopping clearance in stores because stores tend to have all sizes in stock. I often find myself not even browsing regular priced items when I shop online simply because I find everything I was looking for in the clearance section.
Bonus Tip for online shopping – NEVER check out until you have googled promotional codes or coupons for the store. Almost all stores that have a place to enter a coupon code have a promotion running at all times. I try my hardest to never pay for shipping online as well. Searching for coupons often results in free shipping. The $5 here and $7 there can really add up.
Here are some items I got at great prices!
Ann Taylor Sweater: $12 after savings!
Express Pencil Skirt: Last one only $20 off Mannequin!
ModCloth Dress: Only $12.99 on clearance!
LOFT Outlet (only available in store): Shirt $9.99 on Clearance/Shorts $14.99 on Clearance
Banana Republic Outlet (only available in stores) Top only $9.99 on Clearance
Forever21 Dress with Belt only $14.80
Banana Republic Outlet (only available in stores) Top only $12.97 on Clearance
LOFT Outlet (only available in stores) dress only $12.77
How do you save money? Do you have any store rewards cards you couldn’t live without?