Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

With the arrival of spring, it’s time to pack away those sweaters and long underwear and bust out short-sleeves and skirts! However, you may or may not have donated the majority of your spring wardrobe to the local Goodwill (or maybe last year’s clothing just isn’t in style anymore). This means that it is time for some shopping! However, funds are low and it’s unlikely that there is $500 lying around for spending. Here are some tips from Jenny the Cheap-o on how to shop on a budget.

1. Shop “classics.” What is meant by “classics” is something that will not go out of style any time in the near future. Examples may include an LBD (little black dress) or plain shirts. Essentially anything that does not scream “current fashions.” This will really help with saving money, because your wardrobe will never really be out of style, so you won’t have to re-stock all the time. This does not mean that you should not purchase current trends; I’m just trying to say that you should not necessarily follow every single trend because you never know how much it is going to last. Once the trend ends, that piece of clothing you bought will be worthless (other than for a themed costume party or something along those lines).

2. Shop between seasons. Basically, shop for your seasonal clothes once that season is over. It might take awhile to get used to, but it’s one of the best ways to save money. Stores are trying to get rid of old inventory, so there are always massive sales between seasons. Sometimes, there will be sales up to 70 to 80 percent off the original price.

3. Check the original price of sale items. Sometimes stores place items in the sale section that are only a couple dollars cheaper than the original price. Be sure to check the price tag to make sure you  aren’t being ripped off. When a store has a 20 percent off original price sale, you are definitely not getting a good deal. Be careful not to assume that just because something is on sale it is a good deal. The prices are sure to drop in the future. If it’s not totally necessary right at the moment, then you can probably wait awhile.

4. Purchase clothes that are wearable year-round. Try to buy clothes that can be worn in any season, like the Lilttle cowboys shirt collection. One way to do this is by layering clothing. It is totally possible to wear a short-sleeve shirt in the winter – just throw a zip-up hoodie over top of it. By doing so, you will have a larger wardrobe at a fraction of the price.

5. Look for “Additional ___% Off.” These types of sales are the best. The way to get the most out of these types of sales is to look for “final sale” items. Basically, the store really  wants to get rid of said items and is dropping the price to basically as low as it is going to get (though it might drop a little more in the future). Therefore, with the additional percentage off, you would be getting a great deal. The only drawback is that you have to be very set on the item since it can’t be returned.

6. Online shopping might be more expensive. Despite the conveniences online shopping provides, it can sometimes be more expensive than purchasing an item in the actual store (at least in my experience). Much of the time online stores do not have as many great sales as actual, physical stores because they sell out of items a lot quicker, so there is not much of a chance for items to get down to “final sale” status. Also, the cost of shipping has to be thrown in as well. If you do shop online, look for free shipping and online coupons.

With these tips, it is very possible to look great and update your wardrobe without spending a ton. Good luck!

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the author

Jenny Zhang is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, who is thinking about majoring in economics (but that is definitely not set in stone). She has many talents such as falling asleep anywhere at any time (this can be verified by her roommate) and procrastinating. Jenny likes to spend a lot of her time on YouTube watching baby videos and obsessing over anything Jeremy Lin-related while eating various forms of food that are high in sugar and/or fat. She is currently trying to learn how to play Ultimate Frisbee to avoid the Freshman 15 and attempting to perfect her street-crossing techniques. Her spirit animal is a panda. You can follow her on Twitter @JenKnee_Z

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  1. Alexey on February 26, 2015

    Good advice! We linked this article back to our back, hope you don’t mind!

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