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Before we have even put our Christmas presents away, the shops have got their sale signs up and once again our credit cards come out and take a battering.

Yes, 40% off might seem like a bargain but it is a good idea to stop and think about what you are going to buy otherwise it could just be a huge waste of time and money.

If you approach sale shopping the smart way, you’ll get the most out of your cash, walk away with great purchases and avoid feelings of regret and shame.

Preparation
Sale shopping starts with preparation so look at what you already have so don’t simply buy another version of it. If you have five black dresses, will a sixth really change your life and while those boots might be 80% off, if you have two pairs the same already you aren’t making a saving at all.

Make a List
Just as you do for your weekly groceries, make a list before you head to the mall and this will help keep you focused. Sales are a great time to replace staples as well as finding classic items in excellent fabrics that won’t date. Dresses, trousers and jackets can be layered to take you from winter to spring and you can never go wrong with a smart wool coat if you want to make a fashion forward statement.

The Right Size
If you are a size 14 in jeans, buy a 14 and not a 12 hoping you will slim into them in the summer. Bargains are only bargains if you can wear them, so go for the right size and colour and prevent a trip to the charity shop in March.

Make Life Easy
Let’s be realistic, the shops will be busy, it will be warm and stuffy and by the time you get to the changing rooms you might be flustered. Go to the sales in easy to take off layers, use a rucksack to keep your hands free and if you can, shop alone.

Fuel Up
If you are out for several hours, take a break. Regular breaks to eat and drink will keep your energy levels up and stop you from getting distracted and impulse buying those bright pink hot pants you will end up having to take back the next day.

Set a Limit
When big discounts are on offer, it is easy to get carried away. Set yourself a spending limit and once you have reached it, call it a day and head home. There is no point cramming the car with shiny bags if it means ending up in debt and having to eat beans on toast until the summer.

Exchange and Refund Policies
Last of all, before you buy, just check the returns policy so you know that if that leather skirt isn’t quite right when you get home, you can take it back. Oh, and always keep your receipts safe.

Happy shopping.

Team Pure Beauty

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