I love a bargain. I love saving money when I shop and I love the feeling of getting value for money! It’s safe to say I can get carried away when shopping sales as it’s all just too good to resist! But I took a more considered approach this year and have popped my tips for more mindful sale shopping below.

Lucy is sat at her desk with her laptop


Know your Budget

Assign a budget ahead of any big sales period. It’s good practice to have a monthly budget for non essential items anyways but if you don’t usually then make sure you set one for the time you’re planning to shop. It’s so easy to get carried away if not. However ordering multiple sizes, or choices of item shopping online can derail this sometimes! I just make sure I am strict and only keep the one thing that’s in budget and return the other less fab options.

Set Your Shopping List

A big tip for mindful sale shopping it to go in with a list of the types of items you want/need to buy. Try and understand what you think is missing from your wardrobe or beauty cabinet and make a list of everything. It can be as vague as a pair of boots or as detailed as a pair of tan, flat, hiker boots with faux fur! You can decide! I say want as well as need as sometimes you just want a new dress. In previous times I would have said it would usually be for an occasion. Seeing as there aren’t any at the moment it’s probably just a new dress to wear on a zoom meeting!

Consider Future Seasons Wear

In ‘usual’ times I would be thinking about next season with glee but if 2020 taught us anything its to live more in the present. However, that’s not to say you cant think about future seasons and what you may need in the coming months. This year I’ve thought about 3 key things to transition my wardrobe. Firstly, what colours will I be wearing in Spring Summer 21? (Hopefully!) Shades of lilac, blue and lime green are my key ones (not together!) So when I see a pink cardigan I can talk myself out of it thinking back to these colours.

Secondly, what spring summer items need an upgrade from last year? Straw hats were my thing last year, so I’m on the look out for a nice upmarket straw hat. I was also wanting a pale handbag and stumbled across this amazing Aspinal one in the lightest shade of pink, from Ebloggers which sells pre-loved and new clothing and accessories from bloggers, creators and influencers. I say stumbled, I’d been eying it up since October! In the sale it was reduced and had extra off it so it was under £150 for a £550 bag. You’ll have seen a sneak peek of it in the hiker boots post here already!

Lucy sat on a bench in boots and a check coat

Finally, what autumn winter items can I wear or upgrade for spring summer? Main point is my new beautiful Burgundy Chanel Bag. In summer I’m planning to pair it with all the desert tones I love to wear. But for Spring, I’ve bought a pastel mixed with hints of burgundy Dior Mitzah Scarf from Blaise Ruby Loves. Not quite a sale but buying pre-loved designer means saving money! It was £100 vs £175 new and will be perfect to protect the top handles of my bag whilst making it look that bit more spring appropriate!

Whilst Mindful Sale Shopping

Ask would you have paid full price?

I once read about a couple who had saved enough money to buy their house as they saved up any money they saved from buying something in a savings account. So say something was £20 instead of £50 they would put the £30 in another account. It stuck with me as they said if they weren’t willing to buy an item at full price then they shouldn’t buy it in the sale. It’s certainly a question to ask before you hit that checkout button and works for most things as a first step to stop getting lured into a bargain. But if it’s more of an investment piece, switching high street for high end, or a matter of affordability and the sale means its now in your budget then we can forgo this step as the answer is no!

Upscale the Quality

Sales shopping always gives rise to buying better quality products at lower prices. Think wool instead of acrylic, leather instead of pleather (Vegans aside on that one of course) and gold or gold plate for costume jewellery. I always shop gold plated jewellery at this time of year. I’ll look to get costume prices I’ve worn lots upgraded into gold plate for better wear. I’ve just managed to bag a chunky gold plated chain necklace for £12 instead of £39 from Accessorize.

It’s also a great time to invest in higher end brands if that’s your thing! Net a Porter and Mytheresa always have fab designer sales I find. I got my Chloe bag in the Mytheresa Summer sale and my Chloe belt bag the year before from Net a Porter both at nearly half price!

Look for Extra Voucher Codes

Once you’ve decided what you want to buy and from where make sure you check for any extra discounts. You can practice mindful sale shopping and still save more money! I always check the following three sites in this order to see where the best deal is:

  • Vouchercodes: they often have extra vouchers they issue to you if you spend a certain amount. For example I got a £5 Bodyshop voucher back to spend when I spent £20 via their site
  • Vouchercloud: similar and can have different deals on too
  • Top Cashback: If I don’t find deals on either of the above I’ll check this cashback site. You can sign up here using my friend referral link too which gets you extra cashback (and me some too!)

It’s also worth looking at if the site you are shopping offered any email sign up discounts or discounts for first time buyers. I bought a mini gluggle jug from Oliver Bonas for £8.95 after finding it reduced to £10 in the sale and getting £5 off for first sign ups! (I then paid postage for once as didn’t want to spend the £50 for free postage)

Look at Delivery Options

Speaking of which…first things first, look and see what thresholds the site has for free delivery. There’s no point paying £5 for delivery when spending £7 more gets you free delivery! Better to have something tangible than pay for a service if you have the option. If you have the cash flow and you are good at returning things consider if there’s anything else on site you want to try out to get you free delivery? Be warned though this can lead to keeping everything you ordered!

Consider How to Pay

If your budget has been saved then use those savings however, if its an expensive single item over £100 I always use a credit card for extra protection. I was glad of this when I added on flight upgrades via Thomas Cook (but the package holiday was with Tui and got cancelled when the TC flight did.) I could claim the £128 via my credit card as I would have lost it if not! Once I know I’m keeping the item I will pay it off straight away to avoid getting into credit debt.

For clothing purchases I do use Klarna especially when shopping on ASOS. Things to note on Klarna and similar offerings like Clearpay etc are they are credit schemes and should be used wisely the same as a credit card. I only use Klarna at the moment so I can keep track of things easier. For me, the pro’s are good. I can order a couple of sizes to try and not have to pay for them both straight away so my budget isn’t limited by ordering more sizes. Also as soon as the return is through the refund is there. No waiting 3-5 days for banks processing it. Meaning I can pay off what I’ve bought at that point. It’s easier than trying to figure out what you are expecting to be credited back on a credit card I find, and then what you need to pay off.

I also should say I keep a track of what’s been sent back and when I’m expecting a refund on and to where on my phone. Trying to figure out how much to pay off my credit card when I know I’ve got returns on it too is a mare I think! I never do a take 3 payment either they are far too much hassle for my liking and I fear I’d forget about them going out! That’s all my preference of course. Nothing is worth getting into debt over, speaking from experience here, but that’s another post.

Returning the Duds

When the purchases arrive make time to try them on properly. Make the effort to put on a bra for the first time in a week if that’s what you would wear with the item for example! (Yes, this is from experience!) Be ruthless too. Is it what you imagined/wanted? If it’s not make sure you sort out a return ASAP! I’ve also started checking return policies more recently as there’s a few out there that don’t offer free postal returns. Matalan I’m looking at you! With stores closed there’s no way to get a refund for a while unless you pay to send it back. No fair!

Enjoy Your Purchase

Make sure you enjoy what you’ve got! Remember life’s too short to save things for best so if wearing that nice new dress for the zoom call makes you feel good (and its appropriate!) then do it!! let me know how you found this post on mindful sale shopping in the comments below!

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