How to Shop a Sale to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck


Everyone loves a sale.

Obscure holidays have been created because of sales.

There are people who wait all year for certain sales.

We see the word SALE and an animalistic urge to hunt, gather, and kill anyone who gets in your way bursts forth! (No? That could just be me….)

Now, don’t get me wrong, sales are great – who doesn’t love a deal?

But just because something is on sale does not make it a great deal or guarantee that it’ll work for your style.

Today kicks off Shopbop’s Friends & Family Sale, one of their biggest sales of the year. So I figure what better time than to share with you my 5 rules for shopping a sale and getting the most bang for your buck!

Following these tips has helped me eliminate impulse buying and feel good about every purchase I make during a sale. Hopefully they’ll do the same for you!

Let’s dive in.


Rule #1 – Plan Ahead

We’ve discussed the importance of having a list to eliminate impulse buying and shopper’s guilt (read more about it here). Having a list is especially important when shopping sales.

If you go in without any idea of what you want or need you can easily get overwhelmed and distracted by all the options. For me, this often resulted in buying yet another sparkly cocktail dress that I’d wear once, if I’m lucky. Don’t let this be you, take initiative and plan before you buy.


Rule #2 – Focus on Basics

Look for items you know you’ll wear on a regular basis and can easily mix & match in your existing wardrobe. As we’re entering the fall/winter season these could include casual sweaters in neutral colors, leggings, long-sleeve tees, tights, and accessories such as gloves, hats, and scarves. The more versatility an item has the better.


Rule #3 – Know the Difference Between a Statement & One-off Piece

Not all sale purchases have to be spent on basics. Maybe you stumble upon the perfect embellished jacket or notice a handbag you’ve been dying to have available for a steal – that’s awesome! You should allow yourself to indulge in those little wins.

But a word of caution – there’s a difference between picking up a killer statement piece that will complement your style and a one-off piece that seems really cool in theory but fails to deliver in actuality.

So before you get overcome with glee and hit purchase on some one-of-a-kind piece, be real and ask yourself how often you think you’ll actually wear it.

If you can think of at least 5 items you already have in your closet that you can pair it with, then rock on girlfriend! But if you’re struggling to come up with any ideas, hit the pause button and keep looking. You’ll save money and be able to spend it on something just as special that you’ll actually wear.


Rule #4 – Take Your Time

Sales tend to create a sense of urgency that make you feel like you need to buy things now now now! But I’m here to tell you, there’s no need to rush.

Take a breath and go at your own pace. I guarantee you’ll find more pieces that fit your style and that you feel good about purchasing than you would if you ran through the store like a tornado. It may feel like a race, but I promise you it’s not.


Rule #5 – Don’t Settle

Besides planning ahead, I can’t stress the importance of this rule enough.

For the love of all things holy – do NOT buy something just because it’s on sale.

This is a sure-fire way to end up with some serious shopper’s guilt and create clutter in your closet.

If you’re still dreaming of a better piece than the one you’re about to purchase – don’t get it. I’ve fallen down this hole many times, so trust me when I say save your hard-earned cash for something that truly excites you.

And those are my 5 rules to shopping a sale. What do you think? Anything you would add? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Now that you’re armed with this knowledge – you know what time it is!

(…..Or maybe you don’t and in that case I’m letting you know it’s time to SHOP)

Below are some of my favorite finds from Shopbop’s Friends & Family sale. Take a look through and then pop over to Shopbop to find some of your own favorites.

You get 25% off your entire order by using the code: INTHEFAM25. The sale is going on now through Thursday, October 15, don’t miss it!

Happy Shopping!


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