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Beautiful? Or barely a bargain?

What is a good bargain?

Somewhere in between my years of wasteful spending, i.e. a $300+ pair of Stuart Weitzman’s (which I still own) and my thoughtfully planned (or forced) budget spending, I have learned a thing or two about bargains.

Here is a shopping guideline I try follow. Call them my bargain do’s and don’ts:

If you don’t need the item and it costs more than "$" and isn’t at least "%" off (you know what numbers are right for you), PUT IT BACK! I set a price point limit and a discount minimum before I spend on items I don’t have to have. Don’t shy away from brand name sales.quality for low price! Do avoid full prices that are already low. As if you didn’t already know, that typically means cheaply made. Do the math. Seriously, use your calculator if you have to. So tempting are those BO-GO ½ OFF sales because we see the ‘½ OFF’ part. Logically, that’s only 25% off. That’s a sale but is it a bargain? Um, not really. BO-GO FREE sales? That’s 50% off. That’s getting close to bargain shopping. What about those coupons we get in the mail -- spend $120, save $ it worth it? Do the math. Discount department, outlet, consignment and thrift stores are by far the biggest bargain bins. However, still check the math on original prices vs. discounted prices on new clothing. I don’t really consider 15% off the original price to be much of a bargain. Catch my drift? Whether shopping discounted or thrift concepts, triple check for irregularities and try on EVERYTHING. If you purchase a $200 jacket for $20, the bargain really was too good to be true if you find a hole under the arm and a broken zipper. Practice self will. Don’t impulse buy. Think big and think small. Think at least 70% off and no more than $20 per item. Get the idea yet?

I promise, there are bargains to be found! If you are a shopaholic -- like myself -- you can turn bargain hunting into a ‘funday affair’. Take your time and be smart.

Bye-bye buyer’s remorse!

For more about budget fashion shopping tips, click here.