Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Shoppy Guide

Let's face it! Shopping can be just as hard as raking the front yard or just as fun as being treated with your favorite food! Many times we walk, stand, try a million things on -- only to come up empty-handed, or when we do find something, we feel we've won Publishers Clearing House!
Maybe you like shopping or maybe you avoid it like the plague! Either way, here are a few ideas to keep shopping fun, frugal, and fruitful.

Before You Shop
  • Plan to make your shopping day fun with family and friends! 
  • Ask someone you admire where she shops. If she has time, ask if she might go shopping with you. It's great to get new ideas from friends.
  •  The mall is not the only place in the world to purchase clothing. Boutiques, consignment and thrift stores, outlets, vintage shops, and seasonal shopping conventions can be fun!
  • Budget how much you are willing to spend. It is easy to go a little crazy with money once you're at a store. By having a spending plan, you won’t have to guess about what you can buy.
  • Do some research online before you go. You'll have a better idea of pricing and style.

As You Shop
  • Wear comfy ballet flats and an outfit you won't mind changing in and out of. (Tip: I find it's good to wear a basic color camie to use as I try on lower cut tops and dresses.)
  • Wear your best undergarments to properly fit in clothing.
  • Pack an over-sized tote to carry small water bottles, granola/energy bars for when you are hungry but don't have time to stop for a meal. (Keep tote light so it won't get heavy through your shopping day.)
  • Keep an open mind to color and cut! 
  • TRY EVERYTHING ON! Even if you're halfway interested, things always look different on the hanger.
  • Show Christ's love to those with whom you come in contact.
  • Consider minor alterations to clothing items.
  • Expect to walk out of a store empty-handed. It's okay not to buy something at a store. Not all stores carry brands for all body types.
  • If it's not on sale, it's not worth it. Keep watch on an expensive item; retailers know they can't sell marked-up items. Be wise with your pocketbook!

For me personally, I prefer not to do marathon shopping days. I much prefer shopping at my leisure. I try to keep a running list of items the family needs for when I have time to shop. I try not to have a big mission item I am searching for, e.g., an Easter dress the day before Resurrection Sunday... bad idea. I find that I buy more of my personal style when not having to hunt on a deadline.

If you have to spend a day on a marathon shopping trip due to family scheduling or you like to shop more sporadically (I do do both), remember above all to consider Christ in all that you do -- as you should always do ;)

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