means getting the most for your money. Sometimes that means paying full price for something that is just right.
Other times it is searching for sales or bargains. And sometimes it means getting creative by shopping in non-traditional places such as used furniture stores, consignment stores, flea markets, antique shows, country fairs, and auctions.
It seems like everyone is talking about it.
And although stopping at off-price sales may lead to fabulous finds, sometimes successfully shopping these alternative sources calls for a certain amount of planning and preparation.
Here's what you'll want to know before venturing out to shop.What to Take with You:
Maps and Directions
A Large Tote Bag
Your Wish List
Set of Swatches
Shopping Bags, TissueMaps, Directions, Phone numbers, and Hours
Assemble the information on your stops. Call ahead to get tips on parking, admission fees (if any), hours, and availability of food and drinks. Take a water bottle, especially on a hot day.Information and Measurements
Shop with a list. Take a measured floorplan of your space so you can check the size of your entryway and your dining room alcove if you are looking for pieces to fit there. Measure your floor areas ahead of time if you'll be looking for rugs. Even take a set of room photos to remind yourself of other items and colors in your rooms. Also, bring a set of swatches (fabric, carpet, paint chips, tile) if you hope to match particular colors.Prepare yourself
Wear confortable clothing and shoes. Consider clothing with lots of pockets (for sunglasses, lipbalm, pens, maps, etc.) Take a light jacket, hat, umbrella, sunscreen, or whatever will help you be confortable. Take a shoulder tote so your hands are free. Pare down your wallet to the bare necessities -- no need for your airline or library cards today.Tools
Travel with a small tape measure, pencil, and notepad. Take a cell phone to keep in contact with others about your schedule or about items you see that someone else may be looking for. Dedicated shoppers will want to read these detailed shopping tips and tool list.Packing Materials
Bring a selection of packing materials perhaps including old blankets, tarps, tissue paper, bubble wrap, boxes, tape, rope, and twine (and a knife). These things can help you get your purchases home in good condition.