*The following websites and apps mentioned below are not sponsored by The Beading Gemini*
With the New Year upon us, it is not uncommon for people to set a new year resolution: lose weight, work out more, spend less money, to name a few. But creating one’s personal style should not have to suffer to keep a new year’s resolutions. There are plenty of methods to allow for self-expression that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re into home-design, name brand sneakers, or colorful jewelry, there are ways to save and be yourself with a little bit of extra work.
First strategy is to bargain hunt. If the pandemic taught us anything, it was how to shop online. If you find a piece that catches your eye start by doing simple searches to see if that item or something similar is on sale. A lot of products have an “off” season and purchases during that time are cheaper. Think of buying that camping gear in the middle of winter when no one is thinking about camping outdoors. In fact, whole industries have built marketing strategies around this concept. At the end of December, you can always find great deals on organizational containers. Another example is the month of January starts the “whites’ sales”, where you can get linens and towels at great discounts. Once you have found your item and learned when its off season is, think about using a coupon site like Honey to see if there are any available coupons that can be used. Another way to save online is to look for free shipping or free pickup in store options. All these strategies combined can really help bring in the savings.
Online savings are great but what if you are a person that hates waiting for something to go through the mail. My next strategy is to shop local. There are plenty of small business that leverage online searches with shop local strategies. Think of your Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp and Mercari apps. These are great places to shop local and fantastic deals can be made. If the products are not in a commercial building just be sure to use safe meet up locations, don’t be afraid to bring a friend or two (there is safety in numbers). Be very up front with what you are willing to spend. Don’t make an offer of $50 for an item and show up with only $25 and expect to make a good deal happen. The goal here is to build a good shopping relationship for future purchases. If you are working with a local artist or business and have a good relationship, they can in turn let you know when new products are released or when the best deals are available.
My last strategy may require more sweat than money, but it can leave room for a budget-conscience shopper while giving you maximum return; this is called upcycling. You need a good deal of imagination and vision to be good at upcycling, but it can have its rewards. Think of the old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Now let’s take that to a new level with a little know-how, and yes, maybe some YouTube tutorials, you can take items found at a thrift store or consignment shop and make them your own. Recently, thrift stores have become aware that some high-end items or grannie’s valuable antiques were getting donated, and they were selling them cheap. In reaction, thrift stores have started screening items that get donated for value, and then list them on their own websites or eBay type sites. Personally, I come from a long line of “pickers”, and this takes a lot of the fun out of thrift store shopping, but most secondhand stores are run by charities so I really can’t blame them. Even with this new screening process, you can still find great deals. Thrift stores typically have certain discount days and shopping on those days can result in great savings. Just keep in mind if you see something you like and you want to come back later, it might not be there when you return.We here at The Beading Gemini would like to wish you a happy and safe new year. Happy bargain hunting in 2023.