Best Ways to Shop on a Budget


As University students, we don’t have loads of money to spend trying to keep up with fashion trends, or trying to revamp our wardrobes. Sometimes, we can get too carried away with how much we spend, especially on clothes or accessories, and especially when we want to “treat” ourselves. But shopping doesn’t always need to be expensive nor excessive. Here are a couple tips on how to save your money on clothes in the long run, and still look good while doing it!

Quality > Quantity

When looking for certain must-have pieces or investment pieces like jackets and shoes, sometimes it’s better to spend a bit more. Now, this does not mean you need to buy designer clothes (!!), but rather, spend a bit more time researching where it would be best to buy the piece, look at some reviews, and determine if the item will last you a long time. This prevents you from needing to repurchase in the future! As well, sometimes buying one “love-it” item may be better than buying a couple items that you think are “ok and just cheap.” Of course, if you find a quality item on sale… go for it!

Know Exactly What You’re Looking For

One of the best ways to avoid binge-shopping is to know exactly what you want when you go inside a store. This way, you avoid browsing and go directly to the item that you want, and skip over any other enticing items in the store.

Take Advantage of Sales, But Don’t Go Overboard

I love sales, and I have gotten some pretty sick deals online recently, but sometimes I can get drawn towards too many sales, and end up spending money on clothes that I did not actually need. While sales are super enticing, make sure that you aren’t buying unnecessary pieces that you basically already have, and rather focus on things that would add to your wardrobe! Moreover, maybe keep an eye out for sales that deal with items that you’ve been wishing for, so you can cross them off your list, AND get them for cheaper.

Shop Post-Season

This tip is technically an add-on to the above. Many brands and stores will have sales after seasons (for example, winter clothes tend to go on sale in the Summer/Spring and vice versa). Take advantage of this if you know exactly what you are looking for! For example, if you know you need a parka for university next year, look for one closer to the end of Winter. This also applies if you are travelling anywhere tropical. In the Summer when I went to Thailand, they (very surprisingly) had large coats and cardigans that were way cheaper than they would be in Canada, because no one would buy them to wear there.

Try Thrifting

A huge factor to shopping on a budget is thrifting. While it may seem intimidating, shopping at thrift stores is actually a great way to find unique items (and throwback items if you’re into the 90s comeback currently happening in the fashion world), for great prices. Thrift stores do have some hidden gems, all it takes is time and dedication to look for them. Also, don’t be afraid to change the items up a bit if they don’t fit perfectly. For example, a pair of jeans at the thrift store could work great if turned into shorts by cutting and cuffing them! The thrift store is also a great place if you are looking to try something a bit out of your comfort zone, especially since the items are at a lower price. If you’re interested in seeing what people who thrift shop have scored, there are some awesome YouTube videos for great resources.

Happy Shopping (on a budget)!

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