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Five Tips for Shopping on a Budget

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Today I am excited to share a guest post with you guys from one of my dear friends, Kendra! Kendra is the owner of Sagebrush Roads, a lifestyle blog focusing on home and personal style. Kendra has a passion for creating beautiful spaces, encouraging others to be confident in their personal style, and exploring the beauty of her home in the Pacific Northwest. She hopes that Sagebrush Roads will inspire others to be creative and authentic in every asset of their lives. You can learn more about Kendra and her site at Enjoy!


Shopping on a budget can be a daunting task. It’s so easy to walk through the mall and feel completely discouraged. The prices for clothing, shoes, and accessories only seem to go up every year, and for most of us, getting to shop at our favorite store is rare.

I was so excited when Marissa asked me to write a guest post for The Budgeting Wife. Working with other bloggers is always such an honor, and being a fan of Marissa’s blog, I was excited to bring our two passions together: fashion and finances.

Today I want to tell you that shopping on a budget is possible. You can afford those expensive brands. You can buy new clothes even when trying to save money. And you don’t have to just shop at second hand stores or the Goodwill to do it!

Before we get to my five tips, I want to remind you that shopping should be fun and unique to you and your personal budget! These five tips are exactly just that, tips! You don’t have to follow them to a tee. In fact, you might find that there are times you won’t follow them at all. I like to think of shopping on a budget like a game. We all love to brag about the deals we score on the clothes and things we buy. So let your budget be a challenge to get the biggest bang for your buck and have fun doing it!

With that, let’s look at five tips for sticking to that budget and learning how to shop at your favorite stores for the lowest price!

1. Set Your Budget

When you go shopping, keep in mind the amount you’re comfortable spending and then hold yourself to it. This means that when you fall in love with something at the store, you need to evaluate if it’s in your budget and if there might something else you’d rather spend the money on. Take your time shopping around before you decide to purchase something, and make sure you really love the item you’re buying.

One of the biggest mistakes women make when buying clothes on a budget is thinking they have to limit themselves to the cheapest thing on the rack. From my personal experience though, the items I buy just because they’re cheap are the ones that sit in my closet and never get worn. I don’t care if that item only cost you $5, if you don’t absolutely love it, then that’s $5 wasted in my book. So stick to your budget and learn to spend within those limits wisely. That means staying true to both your bank account and your personal style!

2. Shop Sales

The first place I go when shopping at my favorite store is always the sale rack. And unless I find a truly special item that I just can’t leave the store without, I don’t usually purchase anything unless it’s from the sale rack. Most stores tend to have more than one sale rack. You need to learn to look for the one with the best deal.

My favorite sale racks to shop are “last chance” racks. These racks are filled with items that are marked as low as they will go. Macy’s and The Loft are two stores that always have one of these racks. I purchase all of my Free People items from Macy’s Last Act section, and never pay more than $30 per item! For a list of my favorite stores and what sales to shop, click here to read my blog post on

3. Sign Up For Emails

Emails are one of the best ways to stay on top of the latest sales. I have an old email account that is dedicated to these emails specifically. Having an email dedicated to ads alone is important, because I get A LOT of them. I don’t like to clutter up my inbox with all their ads, but I do like to be alerted when a good sale is happening. So, resurrect your high school email, or create a new one and start subscribing to your favorite stores!

Once you’ve started receiving these emails, start to train yourself to wait for the best sales. For example, American Eagle is ALWAYS having a sale. The trick is knowing which sale is worth it. If I see a sale for 30% off full priced items, I usually just delete the email and move on. If I get an email advertising 60% off clearance items though, that’s when I find the best deals. The more familiar you become with your favorite stores, the more you’ll learn about which sales are worth it and which ones you should just pass up.

4. Be Patient

That full priced item you love will eventually go on sale. When you see something in the store that is out of your budget, don’t act too fast. Wait for an upcoming sale and watch for that price to drop! I’ve learned to enjoy window shopping, because so many things that I want are just out of my price range. So, I walk around the mall or browse online for items I like and then wait to see how low they will drop in price. The only downside is that you risk the chance that the store may no longer carry your size or may even sell out of that item. It all depends on how badly you want that item, or if it’s something you can live without.

5. Treat Yourself

Sometimes it’s ok to splurge. There are those times when you just fall in love with something! It’s ok to treat yourself to something special! There are also some items that are just worth spending more money on. Items like genuine leather boots, a good coat, or a special piece of jewelry are investments worth making. I would always rather invest in something that is quality and comfortable, than settle for something off the sale rack that’s just “ok”. So stick to your budget, but learn that sometimes it’s ok to spend more money on the things that count!

My hope for this post is that these five tips will help you create your own budget shopping plan. We all have incomes and personal styles that are unique to us, and your budget plan should reflect that! Don’t let the fun of shopping be tainted by your budget. Learn to enjoy the process and challenge yourself to become the best budget shopper you can be!

Happy shopping!

Kendra Qual

Sagebrush Roads



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1 comment

  • Stephanie

    November 20, 2017 at 6:13 am

    These arw great tips! A lot of people think it’s weird, but I hate shopping for clothes! (I pretty much hate shopping for anything unless it’s online in I’m PJs lol). But, a lot of these tips can be used to ease shopping anxiety. Thanks!

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