It’s Not What You Buy (or don’t buy), It’s HOW You Buy It.
Saving money is not about “not shopping”, it’s about changing HOW you shop.
Many people go to buy an item and say “I really can’t afford this.” While some people truly don’t have the means to afford much, many can buy much more than they think. If you learn to SHOP THE RIGHT WAY, you’ll suddenly find ways to afford a significant amount more than before.
There’s a sweater at Macy’s you’ve been eyeing. It’s $79.99 and you can’t afford to spend more than $30. While many people would put the item back (or buy it anyway and deal with the consequences), I always find a way to buy what a want for a reasonable price. When shopping at a store like Macy’s or any other store for that matter you have to understand that all stores have sale cycles. It’s about waiting for the right sale where the brands you buy are about 40-50% off. (This can occur once per season, several times per season, once a month or even once a week). Ask a sales associate when that brand goes on sale (or ask if you can pre-sale* if that’s an option) and pair it with a store coupon. Don’t know where to find a coupon? Check the company’s website for printable coupons and sign-up for e-mail promotions.
“Pre-SALE-ing” is pretty much just what it sounds like. You ask a store to give you the price of the item for the store’s next big upcoming sales. It’s usually only department stores that do this. I know for a fact that both Macy’s and Bloomingdales pre-sale.
Shopping online is very similar to shopping in-store. You can’t pre-sale but you can use coupon codes and you can save extra money by using a cash-back website like Ebates (that’s the one I use). While shipping costs can be a deterrent, simply add enough items for the free shipping minimum* and return items you don’t need to the store when you have a chance. (Note: You should only be doing this if you are a couple dollars away from the shipping minimum, otherwise you may be cheating the company out of money.) You can also call customer service and ask them if you can get free shipping as a courtesy. I’ve done that plenty of times.