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Create your best summer looks on a budget

Use credit cards wisely and pay them off as soon as possible
Use credit cards wisely and pay them off as soon as possible
Petr Kratochvil

Some may be familiar with the old saying ‘Use it up, make it do, wear it out or go without.’ Over the years, this has proven to be excellent advice. It helps to avoid impulse buying, one of the biggest pitfalls of thrifty fashion shopping.

How many times have we gone to the store looking for one new pair of shorts, and walked by a sale that really attracted our attention. We all have a tendency to stop and look through the selections, and almost invariably find something that looks too good to be true at a price too good to pass up. It may not match anything we own, it may not fit exactly right, it may not be comfortable to wear, but it was 80% off on clearance!

Most of us make grocery lists when we go to the supermarket to do our weekly shopping. It’s a good idea to make shopping lists when shopping for apparel and accessories – and stick to them. If we go with the intent of buying one pair of shorts, we have to make ourselves walk by all those alluring sales of items we really don’t need. Whenever possible, avoid impulse buying and use it up, make it do, wear it out or go without

  • Avoid impulse buying.
  • Shop with a well thought out list.
  • Compare sales and specials before leaving home. Check this column, department store websites and local newspapers for weekly sales and specials.
  • Keep receipts in case you need to return items.
  • Never remove tags until you are sure you will keep the item. Try it on in the store whenever possible to save a trip.
  • Do not buy what you do not need.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Has the price been raised to create a BOGO sale? If the ‘free’ giveaway really free?
  • Use coupons and shopping passes whenever possible. Some stores, such\h as Walmart, accept coupons from other stores and both Academy Sports + Outdoors and Dick’s Sporting Goods will match lower prices found elsewhere.
  • Use department store credit cards cautiously. Pay them in full each month, if at all possible.
  • You may save or get a single-time special offer by applying for a store credit card
  • Ask if a flawed item might be discounted. Check buttons, seams and zippers, Look for dirt or marks on clothing before buying
  • Do not shop on a whim – plan your trip before leaving home.
  • Shop out of season and end-of-season for the lowest prices.
  • Always ask about military and other discounts.
  • Use Reward Points, store 'cash,’ and other store credits. If you stick these in your shopping bag, they are easy to throw away. Keep them in your wallet like cash.
  • Seniors take advantage of senior discount days. Check your favorite stores to be sure which day offers senior a discount.
  • Look through consignment shops for incredible buys.
  • Check out local thrift shops for thrifty fashion finds.
  • Watch for neighborhood rummage sales, garage sales, and tag sales on weekends.

As always, happy thrifty fashion shopping~