June 27, 2011

What's Your Shopping Strategy?

Recently, after a major change in my job situation, I have begun the task of evaluating my budget based on my current income. I went through each category of my expenses, most were basically at the bare minimum, but I paused when I got to my shopping budget.

I thought about the average amount I spent each month.  I always stayed in my budget and I didn't spend a lot, but it was glaringly obvious, I was going to have to cut back.  The first step is acknowledging the problem, the second step should be the solution right, well that is where I was stumped. What is my solution?  I would have to change my shopping habits yes, but was it my habits or my shopping strategies that needed adjusting? So many questions, it got me thinking about how often I shop, how I shop and how my clothing choices could be more effective and while still being frugal.

So what is my current shopping strategy? Well I used to be the kind of girl who would enter a store and make a bee-line for the sales rack, that did not serve me well. I would up with a closet full of pieces that might have been on sale, but didn't look right or fit well and moreover didn't last through a season.  Tired of plunking cash into "throwaway" fashion I changed my strategy. I started to look for better quality items and timeless pieces that would help build my wardrobe, classic things like ballet flats and black slacks.  This is my current strategy, and serves me well, but I need more flavor and variety in my closet.  The classics, while mix and matchable, when used alone end up a little bland. I feel like I have my basics covered so now what?

Needless to say I still don't have the perfect system and have a couple of new shopping strategies I am considering.  One strategy is to pick one highly covetable (a little more pricey, but gotta have it) piece each month and then have a certain amount for other things that as needed.  Or maybe buying a couple of complete outfits each month. Pieces that I could wear together or mix and match with things I already own.  The outfit solution would limit my shopping trips and any danger of additional shopping to get something to match the piece I just bought, I am just not sure it's practical.  I have some ideas I'm just not sold on them yet. By making a decision now of how, when and what I will spend on will help me stay within budget and plan ahead.

This is where you come in, I want to know what is your shopping strategy?  Do shop in store or online?  How do you decide what to buy, do you have a list or do you buy spur of the moment?  How do you set your clothing budget and stick to it?

Thanks so much to all of you who visit my blog on a regular basis, I love reading you comments and getting feedback on how I am doing and how you feel about the posts.  It means the world to me that you take the time to post a comment and I do my best to respond to them all.

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