No matter how much I was raised to save money and be wise with it, my mom gave us a love for shopping. We don’t do it all the time, probably 4 or 5 big shopping trips a year. But when we go, it’s a well planned mission. My friends and family always say to my mom, my sisters, and I how they can’t believe how cheap we get stuff and how good we are at finding a deal. Even though they probably think we are crazy, I take pride in getting something and not paying full price. Most would say we do it because we are cheap, my mindset is the cheaper I get one item means I get to buy more items 🙂
When it comes to shopping I do not use a budget. Heck I love budgeting my fixed income and expenses don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like the idea of putting aside a certain amount of money each month and using it for shopping trips and having to stay within a budgeted number. I don’t want to go into a shopping trip with a budget, because I plan to buy things that I only need. If it is something I need or plan to wear a lot, I am getting a good deal on it. I just don’t think that having a money mindset it a good idea. And I am usually only spending the money Kyle and I make from second jobs when shopping and that money fluctuates month to month.
About a day or two before a trip I start to round up coupons that I have seen in my emails, coupons in the mail (Kohl’s and Victoria’s Secret have the best ones), and checking sites to see what kind of sales there are. I write a list of items that I am wanting, sometimes print of pictures, and a list of the stores I want to hit. I find that the better prepared I am, the less time I waste in stores I don’t need anything from and the less likely I am to spend money on things I don’t need.
With all that ready, I make sure that I have a time planned to meet with my sisters/mom so that we can be shopping at the malls as soon as they open at 10. We find that getting there early beats the rush, I don’t have to get frustrated with long lines or busy stores, and we like to hit the stores and get home on a decent time. I also set aside what I need to bring to eat and drink while driving between malls and stores so that I don’t need to spend money on restaurants. I’d rather spend money on more clothes and home décor than go out to eat while shopping 🙂 I get pretty crabby without being well fed and having enough to drink and it makes shopping unenjoyable if I don’t feel good or have a headache, so packing lots of food and drink is vital to a successful shopping trip!
After this week’s shopping trip I will let you in on a few more tips that I used for this specific shopping trip and some of the deals I was able to get because I was well prepared.