Shopping? Eight Helpful Tips to Consider When on a Budget



Improve your wardrobe by shopping smartly
Improve your wardrobe by shopping smartly

What is your shopping dilemma? Do you secretly long to wear clothing that fits, right off the rack? Or, even if they do not fit, you do not need to do much down cutting in order for your clothing to fit? Contrary to what some people think, it is possible  for women, and men to find trendy clothing which fits or requires minimum adjustments. I am not that materialistic; however, I have always loved wearing well-fitted clothing. In my community I found it difficult to find clothing which fits at a reasonable price. And being on a budget, I often settled for the closest things that fit, just to save money.


Over the years, my shopping smarts started evolving. I went from buying over sized or badly tailored clothing to finding the right size to fit me. Gone were the days of running to the seamstress or tailor to cut my pants’ foot because it was too long. Gone were the days when I had some many stitches in the waist and arms of my clothing that it made me feel uncomfortable. Today, I share with you some of the things I do when shopping for trendy clothing without breaking my pocket and going broke.


  • Unlike some people who shop at the end of each month, I shop only once a year. This way, I am able to save towards buying clothing without sacrificing on my other basic needs.  Be in control of when you shop instead of allowing when you shop to be in control of you. In other words, rather than being reactive to your shopping needs, take the initiative and plan for what you need in advance.


  • I only shop when stores are having sales; one thing I quickly realized is that the same clothing you will pay a hundred and more dollars for, you can get at maximum 75% off at certain times of the year. For example, I only shop in certain months of the year close to holidays such as Labor Day, Independence Day, Christmas and New Year’s holidays. So, terms like semi-annual and annual sales became my friend.


  • I found a few stores which sell trendy tailored clothing and signed up online to get alerts when they have sales. For example, I love shopping at Ann Taylor’s, Aeropostale, Levi’s, and Forever 21. I have no problem finding my perfect size without having to cut or adjust in anyway. I buy shoes of good quality and great prices at places like Payless, Macy’s, Ann Taylor, and Kenneth Cole. At the time when I am ready to shop, I monitor the alerts and start putting items I need in my basket. Sometimes, the best deals can go for up to 75% discount on already discounted clothing, but these deals may often last for a few hours. So, I get a head start by adding them to my basket while they are 50% and climbing.


  • One of the best times to shop is when you travel. For me, I usually make a list of the things I need prior to my travel: that way, I can plan my shopping time, around my fun time. Even if the item is not available in stores, I can always order it online and have it shipped to the place I am staying when I go on vacation. I know my clothing size so I feel comfortable shopping online. Besides, shopping online often comes with free shipping, which saves on time and cost for hiring a taxi to take you to the shopping center. Need tips on planning your vacation? Read Nine Steps to Planning an Enjoyable Vacation.



Make your vacation more economical by shopping when the big sales are on
  • Be patient, do not just grab an item because it looks good; consider what you will be sacrificing, if you succumb to the urge to buy something at its full price. While you may miss out on some lovely pieces when you wait for items to go on discount, there is always the chance that you can get the same item for even less. For instance, an item which may have cost $75.00 can be reduced to 50-75% less in a matter of months.





affordable men's wear when shopping
quality and affordable men’s wear
  • Buy clothing with your wardrobe in mind. Having a good wardrobe is not about the quantity of clothing you have, but rather the quality and ability to mix and match for different occasions. For example, it might not be in your best interest to purchase a skirt that you do not have a top to wear it with; or a pair of pants that you do not have a top that goes well with it. Pay attention to things like colors, appropriateness to the occasion, and the likelihood of mixing and matching with other pieces.


  • Remember, variety is the key. Avoid buying one style of clothing. The idea is to have a variety of clothing which you can wear at different occasions. This will prevent you from having to run to the store just to get something to wear, every time an event comes up. Popular events include, church, wedding, funeral, dinner party, seminars. Make sure you have something which can be worn to any of these occasions.




You do not need to have 50 pairs of jeans. Avoid buying so many jeans that you cannot wear: pick a few shades that can be worn for a variety of occasions. Instead of buying all in one shade, I usually go for a variety of colors

choose clothing that are versatile

such as a black, a white, a dark blue, a faded blue, and a red. After that, I can always buy if I have money to spare. If nothing else, consider buying a good pair of dark blue jeans from Old Navy, Levi’s, Guess, or Aeropostale: these jeans are more durable and the colors do not fade as easily as other brands. For a nice pair of black or white jeans, I go to Forever 21. If you wait for sales, you can often get a pair of any of these brands at $25.00 or less.



  • Take care of your clothing; although this is not a shopping tip, I think taking care of your clothing can help you save money on buying new clothing. Pay attention to washing instructions as much as possible. Avoid washing mix colors in the same bundle, and washing dark colors with detergent that has bleach in them. When unsure, go safe and wash on hand with regular plain washing soap that grandma used a long time ago. Before you put that iron on it, make sure that you follow ironing instructions. Get rid of stains promptly; if you spilled sauce or accidentally got your clothing dirty, blot or wash it out as soon as possible. Frequently check your wardrobe, or wherever you store your clothes for signs of rust and moisture: this will prevent your clothing from getting spots which are often difficult to remove.

While I believe in wearing well- tailored clothing, I also believe in not spending more than I can afford on clothing. If your aim is to be financially healthy, shopping for clothes in a smart way is just as important as shopping for food. Implement these shopping tips today and watch yourself save money that you can use for something else.

If you have any shopping on a budget tips, I would love to hear from you in the comments box below.


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