Posts Tagged: shopping

Bargain shopping tips roundup: More ways to save

By IN Advice, Find Your Style

Bargain shopping tips: More ways to save on style, in the stores or online

More ways to save when shopping: Coupon codes, cash back and sales alerts.

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.

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How to survive holiday shopping

By IN Create Outfits, Find Your Style, How-To Tuesdays

Holiday shopping survival guide

The Christmas gift-buying marathon: sometimes it can feel more challenging than cheerful.

How-To Tuesdays: Style advice and answers for working momsWhile I can’t tell you exactly what to buy your Aunt Sally, I can give you a few tips that will make the process a little bit easier. (I find an eggnog latte helps, too.)

Consider this your holiday shopping survival kit.

Above all, breathe! Pace yourself if you can. That’s another reason I love shopping online; you can do a few gifts at a time, over several days or evenings. Give yourself permission to just stop from time to time, sit down, and savor the season. (Again: eggnog latte.)

And mamas, if it comes down to it, there ain’t no shame in gift cards. Just sayin.’

  • Fab mamas: How do you keep your sanity during holiday shopping season?

No More Yoga Pants: The personal style workshop series that will teach you how to dress better, shop smarter and reclaim your style!Shopping for yourself this season? Buy the clothes that flatter you best (and will live in your closet the longest). Learn how with “No More Yoga Pants: How To Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” the fun, easy-to-follow style course. For less than the price of a new pair of jeans, learn how to look like a million bucks. Get started today!

Don’t let anyone tell you where you “should” shop

By IN Advice, Find Clothes You'll Love, Find Your Style, Personal Style, Try This Thursdays

Sometimes it feels like fashion is high school all over again. Stylish people shop here, but not there. They wear this label, but they wouldn’t be caught dead in that one.

Try This Thursdays: A weekly series bringing you something new to try in your working mom style life.But personal style isn’t about where you bought it, it’s about how it looks on you. And that’s just as true whether you found it at Kirna Zabete or K-Mart.

Be true to yourself when you shop; forget the labels and wear it anyway.

  • Fab mamas: Do stores or labels matter when you shop?

This is your year to be more Fabulous and less Frantic! Get your style mojo back with “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” the system that will guide you through the steps from “nothing to wear” to Fab Mom. Sign up to be the first to hear when it launches and get special access to the sneak preview.

Last-minute holiday sales roundup (you’re welcome, procrastinators)

By IN Find Clothes You'll Love, Try This Thursdays

Are you one of those last-minute Santas? Still searching for the best deals?

Try This Thursdays: A weekly series bringing you something new to try in your working mom style life.In addition to last week’s advice on how to find the best holiday deals online, here are a few more:

  • Kohl’s is giving an automatic 15% off on all orders for customers who pay with a Kohl’s charge card (ends 12/24; see kohls.com for details)
  • Macy’s has a Wrap It Up sale: use code WRAPIT on an order of $99 to get free shipping and an extra 10-15% off (ends 12/20; see macys.com for details)
  • Toys ‘R Us has a whole page of deals good through 12/22, including 25% off all Radio Flyer scooters and wagons
  • And SmartBargains.com will actually let you order as late as 12/22 for guaranteed Christmas delivery; some products are marked down as much as 90%

This late in the game, you’ll need great savings to make up for that overnight shipping, right?

For many retailers it’s even too late for that, but most deals are good in stores as well; a trip to the mall is your best bet. (Pro shopping tip: get there as early as you can stand it to reduce your odds of parking garage rage …)

Try this today: Make your list, check it twice, and hurry up! Your shipping and shopping windows are about to close, my friend. And if you order from the first 3 retailers online, I suggest signing up for ebates.com first; you’ll get cash back in addition to the sale. (Coupon stacking, remember? 🙂

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Get your style mojo back with “No More Yoga Pants: How To Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” the step-by-step system that will take you from frantic to fabulous. Get instant access today!

Reader request: Where are the best places to shop for weekend casual clothes?

By IN Create Outfits

Where to shop for weekend casual clothes

Sara writes: “Is there a fast and best place to shop for Level 1 clothes?  I would love to go into one store, spend an hour, and leave with a new wardrobe.  What do you recommend?”

Oh, how I wish there was a store so wonderful you could pick up an entire wardrobe in just an hour. But you might be able to get pretty close.

The first step is to do a little bit of homework. The more you know about yourself, the better you’ll be able to pick a store or stores to shop at–and the easier your shopping will be once you get there.

Level 1 is Weekend Casual, so that means simple, solid wardrobe basics: T-shirts, jeans, sweatshirts, cardigans.

Within this relatively narrow category, however, there are variations. Answering these questions will help match you to the store or stores that best fit.

The best places to shop for weekend casual clothes

  • Style. Do you have an aesthetic preference?
    • If you want to go more young and trendy, think H&M, Madewell or Abercrombie & Fitch.
    • Sticking to the classics? You can’t go wrong with the Gap, Banana Republic or J. Crew.
    • Looking for a looser, comfort silhouette? Think J. Jill or Coldwater Creek.
    • What about something a bit unusual? Anthropologie might be for you.
  • Silhouette. Do you have particular body shape needs: tall, petite, plus size? (Not sure? Take your measurements.)
    • Tall girls: Look for pants that come in “long” in addition to regular at many of the chains mentioned above.
    • Petite: The same goes for you; chains like LOFT and Talbots also have entire Petites sections.
    • Plus: There are several boutiques for the curvy girl; find them here.
  • Spendiness. Do you have a budget?
    • I want to save: Chains like Old Navy and H&M are made for low-cost staples. Or try mass retailers like Kohl’s and Sears; keep an eye out for coupons, both paper and digital.
    • I’m ready to splurge: If you really want to invest in your staples, Banana Republic and J. Crew are at the upper end of the chain-store spectrum, or try the casuals department in your better department stores like Nordstrom.
    • I’m in between. Everything else above will generally fall in between “no money” and “no worries.”

And if you really want to get in and out as quickly as possible, here are my best tips:

  • Make a list. Which Level 1 items do you need the most? In what colors? What sizes?
  • Enlist help. If you’re willing to shop a bit upscale, take advantage of the personal shopper services at the higher end department stores (like the aforementioned Nordstrom). Be prepared to provide the information on your list in advance, including any brands you prefer. When you show up for your appointment, your shopper will have your items ready and waiting.

Good luck!

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Learn more about where (and how) to shop: sign up for my email list and as my thank you, you’ll get 7 Days to Better Shopping, a series of daily tips to shop smarter.

Coupon stacking: The secret to saving more online

By IN Find Clothes You'll Love

Coupon stacking and sites like ebates.com are the secret to saving more online

Like you, I love a good deal. I rarely pay full price for clothes. But usually my deal comes from a sale or a coupon code, not both.

Then I was inducted to the world of coupon stacking, thanks to Adrien of Looks Good From the Back.

As the name implies, it’s a method for using multiple discounts on a single purchase while also leveraging cash-back programs like ebates.com.

Result: I bought shoes on sale at 6pm.com, saving about 40%—and by shopping via ebates.com link, I’m getting a check in the mail as well.

What’s not to like?

Try this today: Read Adrien’s post for tips and techniques and then sign up for ebates. (You’re going to shop at most of these online stores anyway; why not get paid for it? And yes, that’s my affiliate link.)

Struggling to identify your personal style? Don’t know the difference between “chic” and “boho”? What’s My Style?, the Frantic But Fabulous step-by-step guide, will show you how to find the style that’s just right for you with detailed tips and fun activities.

Black Friday shopping survival tips

By IN Find Clothes You'll Love, More Fabulous Fridays

More Fabulous Fridays: Wrap up your work week with a working mom style treatThe Biggest Shopping Day of the Year is upon us (and for some stores, it even began on Thanksgiving day itself) … are you ready?

Before you head out the door, get prepped with these tips:

  • Make sure it really is a good deal. Don’t let the excitement of the moment overwhelm you. Before you snatch that item, give the barcode a quick scan with a smartphone app like RedLaser or pull up a site like pricegrabber.com. It’ll tell you how much stores typically charge so you can compare the sale price to them.
  • Track your spending. Trying to keep to a budget? Head out with a max dollar figure in mind, then keep track of what you’ve spent as you go. When you hit your total, it’s time to sit down and enjoy a Cinnabon. (Even better, only take cash in that max budget amount and leave the plastic at home).
  • Take the high road. Frenzied shopping has a way of bringing out the worst in some people. If that lady with the sharp elbows has to have that item, let her. No good price is worth the tension. And spare a kind word for the harried souls behind the cash registers, too.

And don’t forget to stay hydrated … 🙂

Good luck!

Fab mamas: What are your Black Friday shopping survival tips? And don’t forget to report back on your biggest deals of the day today!