Having the time to enjoy a shopping spree is a treat every once in a while. But retail therapy can be a pretty challenging affair if you aren’t careful about it. You could overspend, run yourself ragged or miss out on deals. So here are some tips for retail therapy to make it a more enjoyable experience.
Make Sure You Begin Hands-Free
First, you don’t want to approach a shopping experience weighted down. You will be shopping all day and will accumulate multiple bags. So anything other than your purse is added weight and will only get in the way. Fortunately, you take advantage of the many luggage lockers provided by services like Radical Storage in major cities such as New York and London. These are excellent if you aren’t staying at a hotel since they’re just as secure as any room. Additionally, you could return periodically to store bulky items you purchase throughout the day.
Plan the Stores You Want to Hit
Simply heading out into the wilderness of steel and glass canyons in a major shopping area can be fun on any given day. However, you aren’t a God and cannot slow time. Therefore, you might be limited by the rising and setting of the sun. So what you need is a plan of attack. Begin by listing the stores you know have what you need or want. Then you can get these out of the way first. It’s also worth noting the stores that will be less busy earlier on, such as major designer brands. And don’t forget to list nearby cheaper stores for comparing prices on desirable items. One of the essential tips for retail therapy.
Check for Promotions to Enjoy a Shopping Spree
Speaking of desirable items, make sure you check for promotions before you set off. The day or morning before you leave for your shopping spree, compare prices or seek out sales of what you want. For example, check the retailer websites for a specific pair of shoes you want. You might get them 10% off at a reseller rather than directly from the brand. Doing this for multiple high-priced items can add up to some serious savings throughout the day. Now might also be a good time to check for specific holiday gifts, such as video games, before prices go up. One of my favorite tips for retail therapy.
Shop with Friends and Family
There aren’t many activities that don’t benefit from being with loved ones, such as dear friends and close family. And shopping is the same. A day of commercial retail therapy can be made so much better by gathering a group and going store to store together. You get to socialize and try new things together. All the while, keeping an eye out for bargains. One of you might spot something on sale that another has been looking for. You can also help each other keep an eye on spending limits just in case someone tends to be liberal with the credit cards.
Set a Budget, So You Know Your Limits
Having someone to help you keep tabs on your spending is a great thing. But you might be a solo shopper, or people aren’t available that day. If you know you often go a little too heavy on the credit cards, then set a budget, so you know where you’re at. For example, if you have $1,000 to spend, slow down when you reach $900. Apps like Digit are excellent for helping curb spending and will alert you to spending when you connect them to your bank cards. You can also ask your credit card provider to limit your spending to a specific amount you can afford. This is definitely one of the important tips for retail therapy.
Get Mentally Prepared for Shopping
Spending the whole working day shopping can be challenging, and you might need to prepare for it. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a shopping spree as follows: “a short period of time in which someone buys a lot of things.” So here are some tips for a better shopping trip:
- Never shop when hungry, so have breakfast before you leave your home.
- Have an idea of the kinds of things for which you want to shop.
- Stay aware of clever techniques that encourage more spending.
- Get enough rest the night before, because you will do a lot of walking.
- Make a shopping list based on what you need versus what you want.
You will do a lot of walking on a shopping spree, and calories are needed for energy. So make sure you eat and drink before you begin, or you will snack on unhealthy sugary foods. It’s also helpful to assess promotions such as 2-for-1 and impulse buys that get you to spend more.
Plan where You Want to Eat
Before mid-day, you could easily walk between three and six miles when shopping. And the weight of your shopping items will get heavier to carry. This will take it out of you in terms of energy. Therefore, you will need a great lunch to rest and restore the energy you have lost. But not just any old lunch will do. First, you need to eat somewhere you like. So make a list of your favorite places. Additionally, it shouldn’t be out of the way, or that’s just adding to your walking. And finally, choose a wise lunch of proteins and carbs like pasta, vegetables, and chicken.
Limit the Wine, Beer, or Spirits
Your shopping trip is a grand day out, and you will also get to sample the delicacies and delights of a city or your local retail area. And this typically includes chocolate and candy stands, hot drinks such as coffee and tea, and of course, wine bars. However, if you choose to consume alcohol, be careful about how much. Your trip will be ruined if you drink too much and become tired. Additionally, an intoxicated person with tons of valuables is a much easier target for any criminals operating in the area. So perhaps buy a vintage bottle and save it until you get home.
Enjoy a Shopping Spree without Younger Kids
Shopping as a family is a great day out. But younger children can be a handful and require constant attention. While being away from your children is hard, a day without them can be just what you need. And the last thing you want is worrying about them as you go from store to store. In short, the experience will be ruined. Although shopping with your older children, if they are teens or adults, can be a great bonding experience. And although you are spending money, a shopping spree can be a good time to teach teenagers about financial responsibility.
Begin and End Your Spree Early
The last thing you want is to be beaten to deals by other shoppers, stuck in traffic that decreases your time, or miss a store you really wanted to visit. But the proverbial early bird catches the proverbial worm, as they say. And you can apply this to your shopping spree experience. Plan ahead for when you will leave based on how long it takes to get there. For example, you may not want to shop local and instead visit a mall in another city. But morning, noon, and evening traffic on highways can be congested and will likely delay your experience.
Use Apps for Sales Alerts
You always want the best deals possible when shopping, especially if you plan on spending a lot of money. Keeping an eye on retail news and official websites is a great way to reduce your potential bill. After that, however, it becomes a challenge to pour over everything. So visiting voucher and coupon websites like RetailMeNot and DealsPlus is one of the best ways to save on desirables. But they only include online purchases. Fortunately, you can use smartphone apps to get sales alerts about the best deals for products in real-world stores while shopping.
It’s great to enjoy a shopping spree every now and then. Retail therapy is recognized as a genuine way to unwind if you don’t have a spending problem. We hope these tips for retail therapy can help you make the best experience include not carrying too much, mentally preparing, and using sales alert apps.