Thrifting and Clearance Shopping

People ask me all the time how I find such great deals all the time. My answer is simple:

I never shop with a particular item in mind - just with a price.

When I go to a store I make a beeline straight to the clearance racks. I don't look at anything that is over my budget, and many times I find nothing, but I never get discouraged. I just come back in a couple of weeks.

I also love to thrift. I only have three or four thrift stores available in my area, but I check them out about once a month to see if there is anything new. Again, I never look for anything in particular, just look for the sales (and yes, even thrift stores have sales).

Because I have found such great deals, I now turn my nose up at items that are only 15-40% off. I have also become more of a cheapskate then ever, because now when I see something on sale for $20 (unless it's something I really want, a fancy brand name, or a jacket or coat), I usually wait until it gets even cheaper, or I wait until I find the same item, but different brand that is somewhere between $5-10 somewhere else.

I love turning shopping into a challenge and am always giving myself a very small budget to force me to look for the best deal. I have about $80 a month budgeted for clothes/shoes/bags and find that I never go over this budget, and many times don't even spend half of it. The smaller my budget is, the more fun I have when I shop.