How I Save Money on Clothes Shopping: Avoid the Mall at All Costs

Dollars & Sense on 07.20.11
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Photo Credit: Tim Parkinson

I tend to avoid the mall, mostly because I am annoyed by the slow-moving crowds. It bugs me to no end when I get stuck behind meandering throngs of people walking four abreast, suddenly stopping in front of stores to admire the display or to debate where to go next. I guess it's my particular pet peeve.

I only go to malls with a mission in mind. Get in there, buy the item I need, and get the h-e-double-hockey sticks out of there. So when I get stuck behind dawdling mobs, gumming up the walkway and running into each other in slow motion, I want to yell, "GET OUT OF THE WAY!" But I don't. I only scream inside my head.

My Hatred of the Mall Is Freshly Reinforced

I was forced to go to the mall recently on a mission relating to a Verizon Wireless mix-up. I must have taken leave of my senses, but I took a few moments in a department store to browse the racks. I was startled by the price tags -- even the sales prices. Actually, maybe I should say I was shocked especially by the sales prices. When an item of clothing costs a boatload of money to begin with, then discounting it by a big bag of money still leaves us with a very expensive item.

I had to wonder, "Why do people come here?" Is it to shop? Does everyone have more money than they know what to do with? Because I can tell you, I would be close to bankrupt if I bought my clothes at the mall.

Why Doesn't the Whole World Discount Shop?

So where do I shop then? I shop at discount stores like TJMaxx, Marshall's and DSW. I've never been to Kohl's, but I hear those stores are great, too. I used to think that I was sacrificing something in the quality of the experience, since those stores can sometimes get a bit messier than your typical department store.

I will admit, I've been to some of those discount stores that have been less-than-great experiences when the clothes are arranged chaotically and it's impossible to find anything. So I go to specific stores that tend to be well-stocked and adequately organized. After really thinking about the mall experience, I'm still feeling much better in my decision to stick with the discounters.

When I discount shop, I hone in on the same brands that I'm attracted to in the mall, such as BCGB Max Azria, Max Studio, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. There's no way I could afford those brands otherwise, even at mall sales prices. Just now I went to the Max Studio web site and noticed they are having a 70% off sale. Still, with the deep discount, that is way more money than I'm seeing those clothes sell for at the discount stores.

Katie Morton is the founder of The Monarch Company. Get a FREE copy of her eBook, 10 Steps to a Blissful You, to get started on developing extraordinary willpower for life.

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