Bargain Shopping Like a Boss

The holidays are quickly approaching, and that means lots of holiday shopping. Once Black Friday rolls around, there will be packed shops, crazy discounts, and some really great deals. But shopping during the madness can be overwhelming. We want to make sure you are getting the best deals, and making the most of your time out there in the shopping jungle. Here are our best tips for bargain shopping to get the most out of your time and money.

Second Hand Stores

platos closet

Places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, and smaller boutique vintage stores are great for finding gently used designer clothing and accessories.

Pro Tip: If you usually stay away from second-hand stores because you are adverse to wearing a strangers used clothes, stick to outer-wear like stylish trench coats and other articles of clothing that you can layer on top of your basics (vests, cardigans, sweaters).

Warning: Inspect clothes carefully for damage and smell them to make sure you can live with the scent!

Discount Stores

marshalls tj maxx
Stores such as TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and Ross are great for your staple items like bras, panties, quality t-shirts, camis, athletic gear, socks, tights, and sleepwear. They are also a fabulous option for work dresses.

Pro Tip: Go mid-week when there are fewer people crowding the store. Notoriously understaffed, so you also want to go when fewer people are there so you can see inventory without having to wait for it to be sorted and set back out on the floor. New inventory is typically received on Tuesday mornings, so Wednesday is a perfect day to go.

Warning: Don’t fall prey to buying things you normally wouldn’t just because it’s designer and discounted. Stick to your true self and true style. Be sure to also set aside a good chunk of time. These stores are not the most organized, and you might have to do some serious hunting to find the items you really want/need. Give yourself plenty of time to avoid frustration or stress.

Chain Stores

anthro
Place like Forever 21, Express, and Anthropologie usually cater to individual styles and are great for accessories and statement pieces.

Pro Tip: Find which stores best suit your style, and set your budget for spending. Store like these are often impractical for day-to-day clothing, and are best used for outfit accents. Make sure you know what you are willing to spend before you go in.

Warnings: These types of stores are notorious for impulse shopping! The path to the checkout line (and the line itself) is usually stocked with small accessories and knick knacks that can seem inexpensive, but will quickly add up. Shop those areas first to avoid temptation while standing in line, and stick to your budget.

Department Stores

nordstrom 35 logo
These big anchor stores such as Dillards, Nordstrom, and Macys are one-stop shops for wardrobe staples such as denim, cardigans, everyday shoes, and even makeup.

Pro Tip: Make a friend in your favorite department. Sales associates will definitely help you out, especially if you are a regular shopper. Get to know someone in an area you shop a lot (misses clothes, shoes, formal wear, etc) and don’t be afraid to ask for insider scoop. They can let you know when your favorite item goes on sale, when a new item from your favorite designer is in, or when they are getting low on something you love. That relationship can save you time and money, as well as make sure you get first dibs on great items!

Warning: There will always be sales. It seems like every week, some department store has some huge sale. But don’t get taken in by the sales pitch. Keep a list of the items you like and purchase from that store, and if they are not a part of the sale, then steer clear.

Supercenters

target logo
Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart are great examples of the supercenter that caters to all of your shopping needs, even grocery.

Pro Tip: Skip the staples (Hanes t-shirts will be pretty much the same price anywhere) and focus on cute trendy pieces. If you are looking for an item that is very current, but probably won’t be in style more than a season, pick it up at a supercenter to get the lowest price. You can also get great multiples of items you wear a lot. For example, Target has every color of v-neck t-shirt and cardigan sweater under the sun. If those are items you wear on a regular basis, you can get multiple pieces for a great price.

Warning: The quality can definitely be hit or miss. These stores are not the best for buying your staple and foundation pieces since those are the ones you want to last a long time.

What are some of your best bargain shopping tips?

Cathy Benavides

Cathy is a native Austinite, and writes a plus size style blog called Austin Slave to Fashion. She is a blogger and the social media manager here at Fling Fashions and hoards lip gloss, owls, and fine point Sharpie markers.

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