Tips for Budget Shopping at the Mall

Shopping at the mall can be great because you have so many different stores to choose from, but a common problem with the mall is that prices can be way too expensive. If you aren’t careful then you may wind up spending much more than you should.

You can save money when you’re shopping at the mall, but you’re not going to do it by buying every cute thing you see while window shopping. Don’t walk in with a credit card and the intention to spend because you’re asking for trouble if you do that. If you’re going to go into the mall you need to have a plan of attack.

Five Mall Budget Shopping Tips

1. Don’t EVER pay full price. Paying full price for something at the mall is like buying something marked up 20% from other stores. You might come across a garment or accessory that you absolutely love and want to buy right away, but unless you have a way to chisel the price down then walk away.

2. Bring coupons. Stores send coupons out all the time to customers who sign up for mailing lists and e-mail lists, so if you have a store at the mall that you really love then you should be on their mailing list and should use the coupons they send you. Sometimes stores will send coupons that can be used in conjunction with sales, so be meticulous in planning your spending and you can save a lot of money.

Ask if the store accepts competitor’s coupons too, because you never know when you might be able to pull out a coupon from one place and get the same discount somewhere else.

3. Scour the clearance racks. Don’t skip a clearance rack at a store just because you have the premonition that the clothes will all be lame; you might be surprised at the things you can find. For example, if you wear a size 14 you might not think to go shop at Lane Bryant, but if this store has a clearance you should be one of the first people sifting through the racks because your selection will be fabulous, mainly because ladies who wear size 14 don’t usually think to venture into this store.

4. Ask for a discount. You don’t have a coupon but you want more of a discount than the sale that’s going on at your favorite store in the mall. Approach the counter and ask the person at the register how you can get more of a discount. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that the store offers additional discounts for AAA members, military personnel, educators, seniors, or any other number of groups. You’ll never know until you ask, and since some of these discounts can be pretty hefty it is definitely worth the time and effort.

5. Don’t pay with a credit card. Studies show that you’re apt to spend more freely if you pay with a credit card instead of with cash. You also will wind up paying interest on the balance if you don’t pay it off in full when your statement comes. So even if you get a 10% discount on a pair of shoes it won’t be much of a budget triumph if you then turn around and pay 13% in interest on the purchase. Add compound interest to the equation if you let the balance linger and you’re wasting your money. And if you don’t want to carry cash, use one of TBFs favorite tips load your cash onto a gift card.