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Shopping: How To Maximize Your Purchases On A Low Budget

Most of us shop on a budget whether online or off.  In fact,  these days, with the economy as it is,  the average Jane only shops for what she needs and learns the many different ways to wear what she already owns. For those who wait till the list builds up however,  there is an urgent need to make sure you get your money’s worth.

The big question is how do you do that?

As you know, I have my office at home and while I may not have to show up at work all dressed up everyday, I still have meetings, consultations, events to attend every other weekend etc., so keeping a wardrobe that represents what I do is essential;  and that means buying stuff….  Not that we have any complaints…

So how do you shop on a budget for best impact?

-Make A Wish List : based on what you already own in your wardrobe,  make a list of what you intend to buy and plan to follow it. This means no repeats.  If you have 5 pairs of black pants and what you need are tops to go with them,  don’t go ogling the first black pants you see just because you think the fit could be different.  Not the time girl!

– Scrimp On Trends: Trends come and go so this is no place for you to spend a lot of money on. Since we sew clothes almost as much as we buy here,  find a tailor / seamstress who sews well and is affordable to make those trendy outfits for you.  Save the big bucks for things that should last longer than just a season.

– Sales: Much as you don’t always have to wait for the discount bells to go off,  shopping when your favourite shop is selling off at high discount rates, has it’s many advantages.  Chances are that you probably won’t find all you need from the mark down rack, and there is always the pull to make purchases you really don’t need- if you can resist the urge and take the time, you’ll find something worth your while but if not,  move on to the next shop.

– Buy Quality Essentials: You work a corporate job Monday to Friday,  don’t buy shirts that cost you N2,000 because you want to save,  I’d rather buy a 10k shirt that has a lot more mileage, gradually building up my wardrobe with maybe a shirt or two each month depending on how much you earn plus expenses. Build a strong wardrobe.  No one said it had to be done in a day,  a week or even a month!  Buy yourself that one timeless- not trendy- pricey but strong black or brown bag,  depending on your wardrobe palette,  that will carry you for years if you can afford it.

If it’s not in the manufacturer’s retail store,  make sure you are buying good quality though,  learn how to spot them – if it’s clothes, check out the seams.  They should be even, firm and straight with no lose threads hanging out.  Same for bags too.  The ends should be well closed and even patterns should follow through.  Also make sure you go for natural fabrics/blends- cotton,  wool,  silk etc . They tend to keep longer and not fade or wear out as quickly as maybe polyester would.

Buy For Opposite Seasons: If you live in any of the regions with the four seasons (not the hotel)  you should understand that retailers offer sales at the end of each season against the next. Summer clothes are on sale as Fall sets in,  why not prepare secure your Summer wardrobe then? Good quality clothes can be bought for half the price at these critical shopping periods.

Shop For The Size You Have Now: Shopping for the ‘new you’ is a waste of money. The shops will still be there when you meet your target weight and size.  Trust me.