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Shop smarter! Save better!

By: Janelle Lynnea

Blogger of After the Morning Blog

Welcome to the Holiday season! At this point, I think we can all agree this year zoomed right past us. And we are already back to the end of another year, which for us shopping gals means SALES, SALES, and MORE SALES! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or don’t celebrate anything at all, one common denominator we can all believe in is that this time of year is always great for sales and to even get those items you may have had your eyes on for a while. The probability of the items you want going on sale may be more in your favor around this time of year so we all gear up to check these gifts off the list or splurge a little bit on ourselves.

Now if you’re anything like me, I am a shopping advocate. Yup an ADVOCATE! I will never use words like addict, it’s degrading to my joy in shopping. And I am always trying to find a great deal. I get a natural high whenever I know I am saving some cash. I believe this has become a part of my nature due to financial challenges I experienced in the past when things were a little more difficult. I would have to find ways to fulfill my advocacy, whether it was looking for deep discounts or becoming the thrifting expert I am today. Nonetheless, the feeling of knowing I am saving money exhilarates me more than words may ever be able to describe.

So every so often, I get asked the question “how do you do it? You walk in the store, no matter food, clothes, shoes, everything, and you find ways to save. What is your secret?” Every time I’m asked this question, I literally tell everyone to subscribe to my course on ways to make it happen. It’s a lifetime course where you commit your soul to me (this is a joke by the way!) Seriously, those hard times where I had to make things shake played a huge role in how I’m able to save now. What was once something I had to do to be sure I stayed afloat became a lifestyle change for me. And although I am far from a minimalist, I keep a minimalist mindset of being intentional in the way I shop which helps me stay the course to always shop smarter, which will make me save better.

Now it took me a LONG time to learn this concept, however, I have three suggestions to help you all save during this Holiday season and going forward in your shopping excursions:

  1. Sign up for emails, coupons, and price alerts!

I have an email mailbox specifically dedicated just to this! And yes, it is always filled with emails from brands about sales, coupons, in store events, and so forth. And yes again, I know this one can become very annoying with the amount of emails and texts received from the brands. However, this is where I tend to save the most. Unless it is an item I am in dire need of or want, I will wait 90% of the time until the item goes on sale or hoping to come across a good coupon, whether it is a coupon through the regular website or a third party website. As well, some brands will have surveys in emails (or on receipts) that will allow you an extra percentage off to help save money, as well as surprise sales or percentages off online at a specific time during the day that may save you quite the change as well.

  1. Do your research!

Whether you are looking for a specific item or a specific look, shop around! Read reviews. Gauge what exactly will work for you and your price range. I always reiterate: style is not the designer you wear, but the person wearing the designer. You catch that? Take time to look around and compare prices. Utilize platforms such as Zappos, Farfetch, SSense, and Net-a-Porter (just to give examples) that compares the prices of an item throughout multiple different stores and boutiques. Then from there, use websites and apps such as Honey, RetailMeNot, and Coupon Cabin to see if there are any additional coupons scurrying around the web that will save you more money. Even if it is a penny, I am the type where saving is saving. And every dollar to cent counts. Which brings us to the last point….

  1. Have patience my friend!

I think all of us fashion gals know this can be VERY hard at times. Trying to tread the thin line between I need it and I want it is a super confusing place, especially when you feel you need EVERYTHING you see. Yes, I love to shop. A LOT. However I also have control of knowing when to pull the plug and when to be a little patient. The reality is everything goes on sale (well not everything but the majority of it does). A best practice I do is write down the item I want somewhere and then I have to curate three looks in my closet with that item. And the additional pieces have to be in my present closet (not more that I have to spend on). If I am unable to do that, I typically will tend to wait until it goes on some type of sale. Because realistically speaking, it would be sitting in my closet anyway until I got the other pieces.

Now will these suggestions work for everyone? Maybe. Maybe not. At the end of the day, do what’s best for you when it comes to your shopping experience. And if one of these suggestions ever resonate in your spirit while you are out enjoying your shopping trip in store or online, give a small fist pump in the air for me, in recognition of how some of this advice may have helped you out. Whatever you do or don’t celebrate in this season, I wish you a happy shopping season! Now let’s shop smarter and save better!

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