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4 strategies to shop big sales without going broke

By Aramide Esubi, Tribune Content Agency on

There are some big sales going on and coming up, so I wanted to share some tips to shop without going broke. One of the biggest sales (and one of my favorites) is the Nordstrom anniversary sale; however, it turns out that stores including Banana Republic, Macy's, Best Buy, Sears and JCPenney are all having sales too in order to compete. All the sales and good deals can be overwhelming, so I'm sharing four strategies to shop big sales to help you stay calm, collected and on budget.

1. Give yourself a strict budget ahead of time.

Before shopping, go over your finances and determine what you can spend. Part of successfully navigating big sales without going broke is being financially responsible. Pay attention to your finances, and give yourself a hard budget that you cannot go over. By outlining your max budget ahead of time, you'll be able to make smart purchasing decisions and prioritize what you really want/need without going overboard.

2. Utilize your online wish list.

One of the easiest ways to save money is to be patient. Many online stores have a wish list where you can add items you like and wait for the price to go down. Check your wish list to see if any items you were eying have gone down in price, then snatch up your item for a percentage off.

Using your wish list as a guideline during sales is also a great way to stay on budget. Figure out what you need or have been wanting for a while to give you a better idea on what to buy during sales. It's the spur-of-the-moment sale item purchases that often break the bank.

3. If you're a consistent shopper at the same places, consider getting a store card.

Don't want to affect your credit? Many stores and websites have this option, and if you do frequently shop there, the discounts WILL add up. Target and Amazon both have fantastic loyalty programs where you save 5 percent on each visit and get additional coupons, whereas Nordstrom mails you gift cards equating to a percentage of your purchases and provides free in store alterations. Stores like T.J. Maxx are even offering great store card options! Do your research, and see what's best for you. If you're going to shop, you might as well get money back from it!

 

4. Make sure that your purchases are useful.

When shopping, it is important to buy items that a) you truly love and b) that will be useful. We all buy items that aren't super practical but oh so worth it, and that's fine, because if you can't treat yourself sometimes, what's the point?

With that said, the key when shopping a big sale is to stick with items that will help you build a wardrobe that boosts your confidence and works with your everyday routine. Invest in timeless pieces like a great leather jacket, a perfectly fitted blazer or pants that fit you like a glove. Items that you can repeatedly wear and style into different outfits are what will keep you going and let you build your personal style.

Before you go shopping take inventory of your wardrobe and see what items you'd like to add to it. By figuring out pieces that will be useful additions, you'll have a better idea for what to look for during the sale.

If you don't have a plan, it's easy to completely derail your budget during a big sale. Items at a discounted rate seem alluring, and you forget all about what you really need or what your budget is, but if you use these four strategies to shop big sales, you'll be just fine. Happy shopping!

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(Whether she's dishing out advice on how to wear the latest trends or putting fun looks together, fashion writer and stylist Aramide Esubi is always on the move keeping up with the latest in fashion. Email her at thesassypeach@gmail.com, or follow her on Instagram at instagram.com/thesassypeach.)

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