How to have great shopping experiences without breaking the bank

Not all of us can spend a care free day in the High Street, buying designer labeled (and priced) items for our wardrobes. Care free you may be when hustling home to admire your purchases, but when you’re confronted with the latest bank statement the mood changes for the worse. Consider a few tips that can leave your bank account and your mood in fine shape.

First, keep an eye on the sales. That designer outfit you crave may still be there at a much better price if you hit the mid-season sale. A good tip to remember always is that it doesn’t pay to buy something just because it’s on sale; you may still pay too much for an item you won’t even wear, so be choosy.

Just because a dress or jacket or any other item of clothing has a designer label doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on you. Lots of designers seem to target bodies that only appear on runways, not on the average street. If it has a designer label it’s going to be more expensive, and it may be all wrong for you, so look for clothes that flatter your figure and your personal taste, and avoid buying just for the big name label. Spend some time in your local supermarkets and you’ll find excellent options.

By all means check out the charity shops, especially those in higher-end neighborhoods. You’d be amazed at some of the items that wind up in thrift shops, some of them almost new. One reason can be found in the tip above; somebody made the wrong choice because it was a ‘label’ and quickly realized they made a mistake, so you can profit from their mistake.

However, if you’re like many who simply must have designer labels in their wardrobe, look for retail outlets. They tend to have those designer clothes at deeply discounted prices, but remember it’s not worth buying even at a discount unless the item is something you really want. Sample sales are another good possibility; you can often find terrific deals but you have to search for them. Most sample sales are not heavily advertised but there are websites that list them, so do your homework.

Shopping online is sometimes the best option, and if you have a current Lloyd’s TBS account you can register for online banking as well, to keep track of your spending. Online prices are often lower than those in stores, but remember shipping charges almost always apply. Make sure to check the policy for shipping and returns.