Day 2: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. Take any approach you’d like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)
OK, so anyone who knows me knows I have a strong affinity for high-quality outerwear (among other things), but I never pay full price. Certainly not everything I own is designer- I am living on a college budget after all. But I have come up with some standard shopping techniques guaranteed to get all the same products for a fraction of the price. Some call it a gift, but I just call it Cheap Tricks.
- Patagonia– Sign Up For Patagonia Emails and take advantage of the Web Specials, especially if you’re looking for a less popular color or style, or free shipping over a certain price. Also, look into retail stores near you offering deals, especially during the summer for winter styles. I got a knee-length Patagonia winter coat for $128 last August when the going price online is almost $300. Score!
- Vineyard Vines– If the infamous whale sticker is all you’re after, ask for one in a retail store and most likely they’ll just give you one. Also, sign up for their email list and get alerts about a “Whalehouse Sale” in your area. I hit mine up every spring break with my mom and we end up getting flip-flops, vests, shorts, shirts, and pullovers super cheap. Don’t forget that Google is a wonderful thing- search for promos and coupons online. Some give the equivalent of a friends & family discount!
- Lilly Pulitzer– I was in an upscale consignment shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire last weekend and snagged a virtually new Lilly dress for $34.50! Only weeks before I got a new iPhone5 Lilly case on sale at an “old lady-ish” store in Florida. Don’t be afraid to shop outside your comfort zone, you might just get lucky.
- T.J. Maxx/Marshall’s– I could probably spend all of my time and money in one of these stores. Brands like Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas workout gear is offered at a significant discount, while shoes, jeans, and sweaters in the brands you’re looking for are all right next to each other on the racks.
- Forever 21– Stylish yet cheap. Enough said.
- Dollar Stores– Seriously. Next time you’re at the mall, drop into the nearest Five Below or Dollar Store equivalent and see for yourself that the same exact brands of face wash, mascara, deodorant, razors, and shampoo are all offered for about 2/3 the price of what you just paid at CVS.
- CVS– Buuuuuut realistically, who can resist a CVS run? Get an ExtraCare card and use the coupons and ExtraBucks before they expire.
- Dunkin’ Donuts– Take 20 seconds to fill out the survey at the bottom of your receipt and get a free donut or small beverage next time you go, which will most likely be tomorrow.
- Starbucks– Get a Starbucks card, or better yet, get the app on your smartphone. Build up to a Gold Card like me and receive weekly free song downloads and rewards that are tracked every time you use your card. Oh, and never say no to Half-Off Frappuccino Happy Hour. You deserve it.
There are plenty of ways to cut corners and save cash while still getting the high-quality products you love. Use old gift cards, do some research for the best deals, and have a little patience when it comes to your shopping. Your wallet will thank you later.