3 Ways to Shop Efficiently & Effectively

The other day my dad called me while waiting for my mom in his car outside of cvs.  He had been waiting in the car for 45 minutes.  ‘What in the world can your mother be doing in cvs for 45 minutes, all we needed was soap’.  I laughed, after 44 years of marriage, a man will never fully understand a woman.

It’s a gift to be able to walk into any clothing store, spot what you need, try it on, pay and get back to your car within 15 minutes.  It’s like finding the holy grail to be able to do this with two kids in tow.  Some women like to take their time and browse, while others just (or have) want to get in and out.

Here I will give you tips on how not to shop like my mom and be in and out of a store within 15 minutes, even with kids in tow.

1. Don’t go in with an open mind.

Dear ladies, please know what you need before stepping into a store.  I use to be able to make a mental list of the things I needed.  Now I write them down.  Not sure if that is due to age, or because I am always doing 20 things at once.  If you take a look at my notes on my iphone you will see about 15 of them.  One for food store; One for toiletries; One for clothes; One for bills; One for cleaning and the list goes on and on.  Ex #1: You and the hubby/bf were invited out to dinner on Saturday night.  You want a top to pair with your jeans and blazer.  Visualize your outfit, and then visualize your closet.  Write down what you have in mind, and when you walk into the store, stick to only a top to pair with your jeans and blazer for dinner.  You will be out in 15 minutes.  Trust me. Ex #2: You ripped your black leggings and need a new pair.  Write it down on your ‘clothing list’, next time your at the store, pull up your ‘clothing list’ and get only what is on the list.  You will be out in 15 minutes.  Ex #3: You need an entire outfit for a work dinner.  Ok so this might take a little more time.  Daily Bottle tip: Every apparel website has a section called ‘LookBooks’.  It is a visual wonderland of different outfit ideas for day, evening and work.  If you already know the store you will be heading to, go to their website first to check out their Lookbook.  Make note of the look you like, and then walk into the store and stick to this look.  Dont be afraid to ask the sales lady for help either, this is what they get paid for and enjoy doing.  You will be out in about 25 minutes.  I always shop online before heading into the store.

2. Know what things are on sale.

When it comes to shopping, I am a hustler.  I always look for the deal.  This does not mean I buy cheap, I just know when and where the sales are.  Right now all winter items are on sale.  Make a list of the winter items you need to replace.  Need a new winter jacket for next winter, you might as well buy it now at half price, then wait until next season when it is full price again.  Your wallet will thank you.  Need a new pair of leather gloves, buy them now.  Spring items will be on sale right before summer.  Summer items will be on sale right before fall/winter.  Fall/winter items will be on sale right before spring.  After your list is made, head on into Marshall’s, TjMaxx and/or department store where seasonal gear can be found up to 50% off.  Daily Bottle Tip: Don’t confuse price and value.  A beautiful silk scarf is marked down $69 from $299 – how valuable is that scarf to you?  Unless you’re a flight attendant that wears a scarf daily, you probably can pass and spend the $69 on something you will use daily.  You will be out in about 25 minutes.  The Recessionista is a great fashion savings blog that sends you right to the deal (and is an enjoyable read).

3. Buy things that are repairable and good quality.

This is a tip I learned from my mom.  It will actually help keep you out of the stores (gaaasp!).  Investing in good quality items, will save you time, energy and money in the long run.  Good shirts can get new collars and cuffs.  A good pair of shoes can have their soles replaced.  Good purses can have their straps replaced as well.  Before you make your purchase, always check the tag out.  What is the material, is it dry-clean only.  It’s all about Quality not Quantity!

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