We all agree that there is nothing more fantastic than dropping half the amount of $$ for an item we’ve been eyeing for months when it finally goes on sale. Better yet, how about paying the amount of money that would’ve been the regular price of one item, for two? Or three? Or more! But is it just a matter of hit-and-miss luck? Or can a girl actually plan her shopping expeditions to coincide with the best deals being offered? With a lot of trial-and-error, patience and discipline, I have managed to do just that –most of the time!
♥ First and foremost, here is a Fashion Calendar that will help give you an idea of when to expect the best prices on seasonal items.
♡ January – Perfect time to look for winter items as stores are looking to clear these out as fast as possible for the upcoming Spring merchandise. Coats, winter accessories, and sweaters are all heavily discounted.
♡ February – Lingerie stores tend to hold fantastic bra events in preparation for Valentine’s Day. Also, hit the sale racks – you may find hidden winter treasures at the right price.
♡ March – Not much. Cruise collection may be on a ‘slight’ sale. Most Spring items are still ‘new’ at this time, and if you’re shopping for the current season, you won’t find good deals unless you have store coupons/ use a student card to get a slight discount at participating stores.
♡ April – First markdowns on Spring dresses and other items. Raincoats may be reduced more as stores usually want them out before May. If you’re travelling, luggage usually goes on sale past spring break.
♡ May – It’s the month characterized by Mother’s Day! Bath and body sets, sleepwear and ‘motherly’ things tend to go on sale during this balmy month. Final Spring markdowns abound, too.
♡ June – Initial price cut on swimsuits. If you can wait, and your coveted item isn’t selling out soon, wait for…
♡ July – to find the perfect bathing suit at an agreeable price. Steeper markdowns for dresses, cropped pants, and ¾ sleeved jackets. Metallic jewelry + accessories also tend to go on sale at this time.
♡August – Back-to-school discounts start. Expect full clear-out of summer items.
♡ September – Lingering summer items at deep discounts. First markdowns on autumn items and Back-to-school inventory.
♡ October – More discounts on Autumn items.
♡ November – The lovely Black Friday sale, where all consumers go wild. Canadians tend to cross the border at this time for superb deals State-side. Miss Cathie thinks Canada needs to step up its game… hehe
♡ December – major markdowns on autumn items. Don’t be tempted by Boxing Day ‘sales’ if your must-haves aren’t going fast – they usually don’t receive steep markdowns until January rolls around.
Rinse and repeat this cyclical calendar. ;)
Helpful Hints & Tricks…
♡ If you have a smartphone, be sure to compare prices with online boutiques when shopping in stores, and always make sure that you factor in the shipping costs (if applicable) to the total cost of an item. If it’s selling for, say $20.00 at the store and $15.00 online, but the shipping costs $10.00, you’re better off buying it at the store unless you have a great coupon that will negate that cost online.
♡ It’s ok to leave a store/e-store empty-handed. Sleep over your ‘wants’. Take a week if you have to, and there’s no danger of it selling out. If you’re worried it might sell out, go ahead and buy it –but keep the receipt and all tags on, and make sure you know the return policy.
♡ My favourite strategy is to keep an eye on store sales where I purchased an item for as long as a price adjustment is possible. This can be anywhere from 7 -14 days, depending on the store’s policy. How amazing is it when you buy an item on sale and it gets marked down even further? Never say no to money back!
♡ If you’re shopping online, scour the Internet for coupon codes and discounts! RetailMeNot.com is a great place to see if an e-tailer you have your eye on is offering any promotions at the moment. And head on over to FreeShippingOn.com for free shipping (exactly what it says!) coupons/promotions. Remember, a sale’s not a sale if the included shipping bumps the item back to its ‘original’ price, or higher. Canadians get the short end of the stick with most e-tailers, I’m afraid. You’ll notice that brands like Juicy Couture and Kate Spade all ship to Canada for around $40.00; it makes a $15.00 blouse absolutely not worth it. So do some research! And if you have a willing friend in the States, ship it to them, and pay a load less to have them ship it to you. If you don’t have a friend State-side, or if for some reason they can’t ship it to you, well… splurge if you want it that badly. More often than not, I just walk away from the item –and don’t look back.
♡ Having guidelines/discipline helps! For example, I know that synthetic fabrics don’t age well. If I see a dress that I think is absolutely cute, there are four things I ask myself before I decide the item is worth the purchase: 1. What’s the price? 2. Is it on sale for a reasonable discount? 3. Is there a chance of it going on further discount? 4. What’s the fabric content?
If the fabric is a polyester, and I know it’s not going to wear well, and isn’t as breathable as natural fabrics – I move on. You don’t have to base your decision on whether to buy an item or not by the fabric content –this is my personal guideline; but since fabrics are important to me, it plays a huge factor in whether or not I make a purchase. It’s a good way to take it easy on the wallet if you have rules that you won’t ever break! Besides, who wants to pay $100.00 for a polyester dress when you can get one made of silk for the same price?
♡ Give a gift! Sometimes when I really-really want a bag or pair of shoes, but know that I can’t justify spending X amount of money on it, I give a tiny amount to a charity of my choice instead, then walk away from the item completely. It’s a nice feeling, and good to remember that my happiness does not depend upon a frivolous item.
Do you have any tips for saving? Do share! I’m always eager to learn new ways to spend less, and get more!
– Miss Cathie
Image Credit: Google search results