6. Recycle fashion. Pay a visit to your mother and/or grandmother. While you’re there, offer to help clean out her closet. You’ll be amazed at the goodies you’ll find. While visiting my grandma in Milwaukee, I discovered a vintage Coach saddle bag, dating from around 1960, in mint condition in a box of old magazines. If you are unable to visit a relative’s closet, hold a Clothing Swap How to Really Shop on a Budget party with your friends. Ask everyone to bring unwanted, high-quality clothing to exchange for similar items from other party-goers.

7.Learn where and when to buy. July/August and late January/February are the best times to hit the stores for deals.  The top sample sales in NYC usually happen between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and after Christmas. Write down the names of your favorite stores, go to their websites, and register to receive coupons, special invitations and notifications of new products. Many stores, like Steve Madden, give coupons to shoppers for registering for their email list serve. Outlet stores are also great sources of designer goods.

8. Keep a shopping list. Making a shopping list will help you stay focused on the shopping task at hand and reduce splurge purchases.

The Budget Fashionista has several FREE fashion downloads available, including a printable shopping list. Write down the maximum amount you would like to spend on each item and use that as guide to help you make informed purchase decisions.

9. Locate the nearest thrift store. Use thrift stores to add a bit of originality to your wardrobe. Print out my guide to designers and search for pieces like vintage jewelry, designer dresses and quality inexpensive coats.

10. Get Mobile Apps There’s several top mobile coupon applications, available for smartphones (Blackberry, iPhone, Android, etc), that help you compare prices between stores, send you coupons, and more. Many charge $.99-$3.99 per month for the app, so make sure you use them frequently to get the most bang for your buck. For a list of awesome mobile coupon apps, head to our our list of top mobile coupon apps.

11. Know the names of sales associates. Sales associates are a great source of information on upcoming sales and have access to Friends and Family coupons, which offer up to an additional 25% off store merchandise. Some might even let you use their employee discounts.