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How to shop ’till you drop without dropping your bank account

Shopping sounds like an easy task; however, if you don’t know how to spend your money efficiently, it can leave you with no money and no clothes.

Shopping requires skill. Contrary to popular belief, shopping takes a lot of effort.

When working with a limited time and budget, you have to do everything efficiently. The first thing you have to do is plan where you need to go. Personally, I like to cruise the mall left to right, stopping in the middle for food. By going straight through, you spend more time looking for stores and walking.

When you need to go to multiple stores with a short time frame, you need to set a time for each store. If you allow each store a certain amount of time, you won’t get caught walking around and buying useless items.

When buying something, you have to ask yourself a few important questions:

  1. Why am I buying this?

  2. Where are three places or times I will wear this ?

  3. Do I have something like this at home?

  4. Will I wear this to school?

It is important that you don’t buy something just because it is on sale. Likewise, you should not buy the same shirt three times in different colors. Yes, you can and do have enough V-necks.

It is also important that you buy something in season. That sweater may be on sale, but you probably won’t want to wear it next winter, or you might even forget you have it. Even though it was on sale, it is still a waste of money.

“My mom always yells at me for buying things I do not need,” says freshman Rebecca Martin.

Another important tip is to not buy something that can only be worn in one place. Make sure you can wear it to at least three places or occasions.

When shopping, it is vital to use coupons and shop during sales.

Most sales are in the back of the store. The cheapest stuff is hidden while the most expensive is right in the front and on mannequins. Always look for sales.

If you fall in love with something in the front of the store, don’t be upset. Wait. Most items go on sale in three weeks. If a month goes by and it’s still not on sale, consider whether you really want it or if you should wait it out. Almost everything ends up on sale.

Coupons are a vital part of shopping. Over the past several years, they have saved me so much money it is unbelievable. Always look online for coupons with apps like coupon sherpa and even Twitter, too. If you have trouble finding one, ask the cashier. Most of them will give you a coupon or tell you where to look.

When shopping, it is very useful if you are successful in math. Math comes in handy when determining sales or total cost. It also is useful when telling your mom how much money you saved with your coupons.

“Math is surprisingly important when shopping. My friends all come to me when they need to find the sale price,” says freshman Megan Wang.

What are your shopping tips and tricks?

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