There are but a few things in this world that can beat the euphoric feeling you get when shopping. It stirs up a whirlwind of emotions—imagine the ecstasy you feel after a long deserved day of shopping, the competitiveness to get the items you want and need before someone else does, and then there are the bills that come in after. Oh, how we hate the bills. If only you could spend without having to worry about them. And with the sales on offer come payday weekend, you’re probably wondering how you can get the most out of your money. In these trying times, frugality is a virtue by necessity, so here are five sale-savvy shopping tips for frugal females.
1. Save up for sale season.
Sale season usually comes up twice a year. The first is around late June to early August and then at the end of the year which is on December to January of the next year—sometimes sales even extend up to February. You have got to look out for these days and save up since this is when most (or some) of the items you have been eyeing go 10 to 70% off. How much you get in discounts depends on each store. You’ll have plenty of time to save up in the months between these two sale seasons.
2. Set a limit on how much you’re going to spend.
Yes, you’ll probably going to stretch you money farther than you otherwise would during sale season. But that doesn’t mean you can allow yourself to go crazy and blow all your money during this period, either. Setting a limit on how much you’re going to spend or a budget will help a lot when shopping sales. You’ll probably want to go crazy with all the red signs coaxing you to spend the moment you step into a store. But there are certain things you have to let go of for the sake of things you truly want or need more. If you just shop and shop, even during a sale, you’ll end up with an empty wallet and possibly a pile of debts. And we wouldn’t want that would we? So here’s one tip: instead of calculating how much you’ll save when you buy something marked down, calculate instead how much you’ll get out of the item, based on how often you’re likely to use it or how much you need it.
3. Prepare a list of things you want or need.
Even without sales, it is good to shop with a list. Make the list in the months before sale season, so when those red signs start popping up, you know what to look for and where to go. For example, if you’re there in the mall for a new pencil skirt and blazer, write it down and stick to it. You may be tempted to stray from your list, but once you go there, you could find yourself diving down into the rabbit hole of sale frenzy and resultant credit card debt. Control yourself and keep your focus on what you need. This way, you still get the satisfaction of buying stuff on discount, but you don’t end up with things you can’t use.
4. Check out the items with the biggest discounts first.
To really, really get the most out of your money, we suggest heading for the items with the biggest discounts first. Imagine getting something that used to cost a hefty P15,000 for the discounted price of P3,000. Now that’s a really great deal, isn’t it? The only problem, though, is these usually come in broken sizes, so you’ll have to spend a considerable amount of time scouring the racks for items that fit you. Still, when you do luck out, that’s money that doesn’t leave your pocket, and a great sense of triumph too.
5. Shop at outlets.
Since sales don’t happen all year round, another great alternative would be to shop in outlets. In the Philippines, there are outlets in Laguna and gasoline stations in the north Luzon expressway (NLEX). All you have to do is a little research, reserve a Saturday or Sunday, and you’re good to go. Outlets have original goods at a fraction of the price. For fashion items, these may be from seasons past, but there are still a lot of good buys and classic pieces to be found.
Just because you have to economize in this day and age doesn’t mean you need to give up retail therapy altogether. And oftentimes things like an updated wardrobe and set of gadgets are more than just indulgences—they’re investments that aid you in your career. But don’t use this knowledge to rationalize sale frenzy; instead, shop smart to save as much money as possible and make the most of the money you do spend.