One of the subscribers to the Frantic But Fabulous email newsletter, The Style List, had a succinct request: “More bargain shopping tips, please.”
I’m always on the hunt for ways to get a deal, too, so this is the perfect opportunity to round up some of the best advice from the penny pinching experts.
Best bargain shopping tips
- Know what’s really a deal. Mark Ellwood, the author of “Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World,” says anything lower than 30% off isn’t a deal. (Another one of his tips: interact with the sales staff; they will often get you the best deals.)
- Let the internet find the deals. RetailMeNot is the go-to source for online coupons; before you shop online, search for discount codes for that site. ShopItToMe will send you alerts when what you’re looking for is on sale. Sign up for the email newsletters of your favorite brands to get alerted to insider sales. If you’re on Twitter, follow bargain-focused accounts like @slickdeals and @couponcabin.
- Don’t be fooled by the coupon. If a coupon requires you spend a minimum amount in order to get a discount, be careful. You may wind up spending more than you’d planned, and going over budget is never a bargain. And speaking of coupons, remember to stack them.
- All low prices aren’t created equal. A pair of shoes priced at $29.99 full retail will never be of as high quality as a pair of shoes that cost $29.99 after they’ve been marked down 60% from $100. Your goal is to get a great price and a great value. Think “deal,” not “cheap.”
- Never stop looking for savings. Follow Pinterest boards devoted to deals, or periodically search for tags like “coupons,” “deals,” and “savings.” New tips for bargain hunting will pop up all the time.
And if you find a really great deal on those wardrobe staples you know you’ll wear again and again, consider whether it makes sense to pick up not just one steal, but two.
Get more tips on shopping smarter for clothes that fit you and the way you live. Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! It’s all included in your instant download of the “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” style makeover workshop.