If you’re truly lucky, you have a tax-free shopping event right around the corner. Local governments give shoppers like you a me a break from all that tax we normally pay on clothing and gear so that we can buy more and help retailers out during the back to school shopping bonanza. To make it more exciting (as if it weren’t exciting enough) stores put on massive sales of their own, so you can get all kinds of things for up to half-price or even less and then with no tax on top of that.
If you don’t have a tax-free shopping day or weekend, I am truly sorry as these special events are certainly not-to-be-missed. They might even be worth a road trip if you know of one just a few hours away. If you do have a tax holiday coming up, you should plan for the event as carefully as you do Christmas shopping as to not buy the wrong thing or forget an essential.
Clear the Closet
The first thing you should do is clean out your closet. Get rid of anything that you don’t wear or that doesn’t fit anymore. If your clothes have holes or stains you should probably get rid of them, too, but you might just put them in a drawer for when you need something grungy for a carwash or sports practice session.
Find the Holes
Your next step is to find the holes in the wardrobe. If you already have twelve pairs of jeans, you can probably skip buying a new pair, no matter how great the sales, and spend your money on something else instead. Be sure to look for the basics first – do you have enough underwear and socks? How are you set for basic t-shirts and practice clothes if you’re into sports or other sweaty adventures? Be sure to try on your bras to be sure they still fit correctly. Everything is on sale usually – under garments included.
Make a List
Okay, it’s totally boring, but a list will help you remember that you need two white shirts and new socks. Otherwise you might get confused or forgetful in the heat of the shopping moment and come home without any – and then you’d be forced to pay full price at a later date.
When it’s time to actually shop, head out to the stores early. Like Christmas, there are often door busters and other special promotions, so take that list of yours and your mom (she’s footing the bill, after all) and get moving. You can eat breakfast later – an extra 20% off is worth the wait. Be sure to scan the paper for coupons, too. Savings can really add up!
Split and Conquer
If you try to stay together, you’ll likely get frustrated, so either go to shops were you both can find items you like or decide on a meeting time and split up. You head to your favorite store and let Mom head to hers. Try things on and make a pile of clothes you need and throw in a few that you just want, too. Ask the kind but frazzled sales rep to put them on hold for you and then meet your mom. Let her look through your clothes in the shop and hopefully you haven’t broken any rules and she’ll buy them all for you – with deep discounts, of course.