I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. I used to love to shop. That was back in high school & even college, when my mom bought me clothes and would patiently wait while I tried on 10 different items and found out that no jeans fit my 5'10" frame and all the skirts were too short to wear to school. When something did fit, it was often purchased at full price. (I have a generous mother.)
That changed when I got married and started spending my own money. I can't remember the last time I purchased something at full price, let alone a whole outfit or a dress at full price. Heck, I can't remember the last time I went shopping at a mall!
A few shopping secrets that help me keep my family's clothing under budget each year:
1) Shop toward the end of the season. Things are often on sale or clearance. Try shopping after things have been returned after Christmas.
2) Start with the back of the store. Check out the items on clearance.
3) Shop often, but rarely buy.
4) Buy basics. I have very few patterned clothing in my closet. I wear a lot of black & white or other solids. That way I can wear them year after year and they don't look 'trendy'.
5) Don't buy something you don't LOVE. You won't wear it.
6) Don't buy things that don't fit. You'll be sorry.
7) Don't be afraid to return things. I usually don't wear a purchase right away. I let it sit in my drawer (ok, on TOP of the dresser, because I hate to put things away) for about a week to think about it. I change my mind a lot. Save your receipt. See my tips on sticking to a budget.
8) If you are going to order online, make sure you order from somewhere that grants free shipping. Also, make sure you can return it to the brick & mortar store or ship it back for free. Sometimes I order multiple sizes of a certain item. I return what I don't want.
And this is off the clothing topic, but while we're thinking about the mall, if you're going to buy something at Bath & Body Works, PLEASE don't pay full price! Just wait and buy what you want during their semi-annual sales in June and right after Christmas! They practically give things away during these times.