December 26th is the single biggest day for returning merchandise, and it isn’t a bad day for discount shopping either. If you are braving the crowds today and decide to do a little home decor shopping, I’d like to remind you how to get the most from your shopping experience.
Have a Plan
Take inventory of what pieces you are looking for in your home. If you buy something you really don’t need, you’re not really saving money. Buying a lot of little what-nots can also keep you from being able to afford the larger items you really desire.
Consider keeping a list in your handbag. (I have one with me all year long.) Hitting the stores without a plan is like going to the grocery store without a shopping list. Do you notice you always spend more and forget important items?
Bring Color and Fabric Samples
The cranberry color in your living room washed in incandescent warm lighting will look significantly different in cool fluorescent lighting at the store. If you have shopped for a specific color by color memory, you know the variations of (insert color) are endless!
Use a tip from interior designers. Keep a small envelope of your paint swatches, fabrics, upholstery, rug and wood colors. It will save you from returning items that clash with your home decor colors.
Be a Savvy Consumer
This may shock you, but some stores actually mark up merchandise before they mark it down. The price is 30% off of what? Make sure no matter what the price you really treasure the piece!
If You Can, Buy From an Oregon Shop or Vendor
According to analysts, this was worst revenue holiday shopping in 30 years. Portland and the surrounding cities in Oregon may have been harder hit because so many of us couldn’t safely leave our home due to the snow. It helps our local economy to buy from Oregon stores, and here is another reason. I have found local shop owners may negotiate, but the clerks at the large corporations cannot! Do you want another reason? Buying local is also better for the environment.
Consider Being Kind to the Environment
You don’t really need a shopping bag for a duvet that is already packaged in plastic do you? You probably don’t need a bag for small items you can place in your handbag either.
Many of us have purchased cloth bags with the intention of using them for shopping. Then we forget them frequently at our homes or in our cars. I suggest using a larger than usual handbag today and pack away a couple of cloth bags inside. You will not only be doing something wonderful for Mother Earth, you will also be setting an example for other shoppers.
Okay this isn’t local, but I love it anyway. Horchow has five adorable reusable bags for shopping for only $40. You can get them in assorted flora (featured) or in a monochromatic black and white. Each bag holds the equivalent of two standard plastic grocery bags.
Side note: Am I the only one in Beaverton’s Murrayhill Safeway that brings my own bags? The clerks have gotten to know me by name simply because of my bags. Hey, you gotta be green and stylish.
If you are shopping today, have a wonderful time. I wish you great treasures and safe driving in the rare (but plentiful this season) Portland snow! Happy Holidays!