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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saving Money on My Shopping Expeditions


It’s no secret that I enjoy shopping. Even if I leave the mall without making one purchase, I almost always find it exciting and relaxing to stroll between stores, check out the newest outfits, and look for great deals on items that can improve my wardrobe. But, of course, I very often do make a purchase. I rarely buy more than one or maybe two pieces of clothing in any given trip -- but the costs certainly add up over time.
If you’re like me, then, you’re probably looking for ways to cut back on your purchases when you go to the store. I don’t want to stop going to the mall; I just want to avoid having to take out loans just to keep my habit afloat. Here are some steps I’m going to take in order to reduce my costs but not my time in the store:

Set Deadlines
If I head to the mall on a weekend morning and don’t have anything else planned for the day, there’s a good chance I’m going to wander around, try clothes on, and ultimately make a purchase. But if I instead plan my mall trips at times when I have commitments shortly thereafter – for example, by going to the mall only an hour before a doctor’s appointment – I can satisfy my shopping itch without giving myself time to make a purchase.

Cash Only
I think it’s imprudent to go anywhere without some money on hand, but there’s no reason why you can’t leave your credit card at home -- especially if it's a store credit card -- and just take some cash in your wallet. This means that I’ll have money if something comes up or if I see something at the mall that’s really attractive and reasonably priced. But I’ll be much more hesitant to buy something unnecessary when I have to count out $20 bills in order to make the purchase.

Stick With Sales
There are a handful of stores that I regularly visit when I go to the mall. On any one given trip, however, I usually make it to only two or three of my six regular stops. With this in mind, I’m going to restrict those two or three I visit to stores that are advertising an ongoing sale. Since most store-wide sales are advertised in the retailer’s entranceway, it shouldn’t be too difficult to weed out the good choices from the bad during a given mall visit.

These are some of the main tricks I plan to follow in an effort to reduce my mall costs without limiting my shopping or my purchasing altogether. If you can relate to my situation, hopefully these tips can benefit you as well.

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