Before we get started, give me points for attempting a 7 letter alliteration string. I didn’t follow through obviously but I still deserve credit for trying.
Anyway, let me get on track.
Are you low on funds and your gear is whack? Well I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. “Broke” and “Cheap” doesn’t mean frugal. You can still pinch pennies and get quality products. There’s ways to shift your budget to get what you want. So yes, you can finally put those dad jeans away.
Before we get started, you should be competitive shopping. If you aren’t then shame on you. Don’t worry though, there’s still time to catch up.
I never purchase something without looking at least 3 other places for a better price. Well, there’s sites out there that will do the work for you. PrideDrop, PrideGrabber, and NextTag are all good options. I posted a screenshot of PricePinx for an example. Using these sites, you can enter the product you’re looking for then monitor the trends.
Coupons, Coupons, Coupons
Yes! Use Coupons! Even with monitoring prices, I never buy ANYTHING and I mean absolutely ANYTHING without searching for coupons. That’s why I recommend you drop everything and download the Retailmenot app. Not only does it give you coupons for your favorite online retailers, it sends alerts to your phone when you enter a store and they have a sale. Walk into a mall and voila, you have a list of all the stores that have sales and a list of coupons.
Another great coupon site is Ebates. Do you shop online often? Well this site actually gives you rebates (hence the name) just for doing that you were going to do anyway. Spend your cash, get a percentage of that cash back, then they send you a nice check in the mail. No strings attached.
Mailing Lists/Personalized Shops
It’s always a great idea to sign up for the mailing lists of your favorite brands/department stores. You can get alerts for flash sales, friend and family coupons, and more. Hate getting junk emails? Well create a junk email just for this purpose.
Another great way to save is using personalized shops. These places usually have limited quantity sales for great prices. Only those subscribed to the email list know about them. A few examples of sites I use: Gilt, Hautelook, and JackThreads. (And yes, you can use those coupons here too).
I’m going to shy away from the term “thrifting” because I hate it. Somehow buying a cigarette burned sportscoat once owned by a grandpa with dementia is the new wave and I’m not with it.
I blame this asshat.
But no, I mean discount stores, second hand stores, whatever you want to call them. For example, I own a lot of these button ups from Bonobos. They’re softer than a baby’s bottom and are great quality in general.
Think I paid $85 for them? Ha! No. I found my haul at Dirt Cheap, surprisingly. All for $12. New. Not worn.
Now if you’ve never been to Dirt Cheap, it’s pretty much a labyrinth. Seriously, tie a rope to your car, attach jingling bells, then tie it around your waist so you can find your way back out. This is where stores who can’t move seasonal merchandise or clearance items dump it off. Literally, dump. With that said, the better the neighborhood, the better the selection. So find you one of these in an affluent neighborhood and have at it. Just make sure you clear your entire day. And let you next of kin know you may not see them again.
Same goes with stores such as Ross, TJ Maxx, and even Plato’s Closet. Scope out the ones in the best locations.
If you want to thrift without smelling cat piss and Tiger Balm, you can now do it from the comfort of your own house. Yes, there’s a secondhand store online that sells authenticated name brands. I was a bit skeptical myself but I took the risk. I must tell you, Twice just might be the real deal.
I ordered this Banana Republic blazer, originally priced at $150 for $50.95. After applying a coupon, my total was brought down to $35.95. I received it, and it looks practically new. A steal.
As far as sneakers go…I can’t give those tips away. You’re on your own there.
But go forth, take what I’ve shared with you..and know that it’s ok to be frugal, but not cheap. So you can finally get rid of those Bugle Boy jeans and acquire some new swag.