How I Shop on a Budget & Still Save Money While Doing It

This article has been syndicated from Kelsey at First Glance, an InfluenceHer Collective Member. Read the full post here

Last night I went to a dinner for one of my very good friend’s birthdays, and while we were at dinner some of us got to talking about shopping and trends. I talked about how I shop and save money, and gave them some tips. They thought the tips were great, so I realized if they had never heard my recommendations some of y’all maybe have not heard of them either.

While I do not shop every weekend (nor do I shop a lot right now because I am on a post-graduation budget), I have been a major budget shopper my entire life. My mom taught me the shopping tips that she learned from her mom before her, and I have used them for as long as I can remember. We used to have some major shopping trips, and when we got home we would add up how much money we saved and it was always so much fun. I am talking about HUNDREDS of dollars saved here, people – not a few dollars. 

Some people gamble, I shop. I am not joking either! Shopping is like a sport to me, and it is such a great feeling to know I saved a ton of money. It feels even better when I wear a new outfit knowing how little I spent and getting complimented on it. Keep reading to find out my MAJOR budget shopping tips and tricks!

1. When shopping in store, go straight to the back.

The sale section of any store is almost always in the back. This ensures that you are not paying full price for anything that you purchase. My mom instilled in me that you do not need to pay full price for anything, and to this day I abide by that rule. I find a lot of stuff in the sale section that is similar to what is full price.  When I am window shopping and not really looking to buy anything I will look around the whole store just to see what is trending in every store and to get inspiration.

2. Always look for coupons.

Seriously a lot of stores have coupons for you to use, and there are plenty of apps to find them. Honestly, when I am in a store I Google the store and search for coupons if I do not already have one to use. If I do not find one I ask at the register and most of the time if a salesperson knows about a coupon, they will tell you. I know when I worked in retail I used coupons to my advantage to help sell items to customers. If there are not any coupons that is fine too, but it never hurts to ask.

3. Speaking of coupons, join the rewards programs for your favorite stores!

I know getting an email a day from a store can be annoying, but those annoying emails come in handy when you want to save some money while shopping. Also, some stores will ask for your email address after you make a purchase, and I always give the salesperson my email because I usually get a coupon/reward from it.

Some of my favorite stores with reward programs include:

4. When online shopping sort low-high, and try to have a limit in your head that you want to spend.

For me, if I know I want to spend less than $15 on a sweater (are you freaking out reading that price? I do it all of the time no, lie), I make sure to stick to that price and do not spend any more than that. I also use price filters when I can to make sure I am not shown items over my budget.

 5. Use websites like Ebates and RetailMeNot

A few years ago I remember a lot of YouTubers talking about Ebates and how it saved them soooooo much money. I honestly thought it was a scam, but throughout the years I have saved a good amount of money using Ebates. Essentially, Ebates is a cash-back system that retail companies partner with. Ebates offers a rebate based on a set percentage of your purchase. It could be anywhere from one percent to 40 percent cash-back, but most percentages are one percent to 10 percent. Ebates also has double cash-back for some stores periodically, which is super helpful too. When you sign up for Ebates you get $10 back when you spend $25 on your first purchase. Ebates also recently started offering in-store cash back which will help you save even more money! 

Read the full post here.