Do the holidays, birthdays and anniversaries give you a bit of a scare? We hear you! Shopping, especially for the women in your life, can be tricky and, not to mention, expensive. And while seeing that look on their face is well worth it, you’re worried about how to buy the best for the least. That’s why we’ve put together a nifty guide to finding the best fashion gifts for women, on a shoestring budget. Let’s get started, shall we?

 

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1. Do Your Research

Fair warning: this does require you to stop being lazy. Cost-cutting is hard work, my friend, and there’s no skipping the groundwork. The best part? It’s 2016, baby! All the info you need is a click away. A quick google search will tell you the best places to shop on a budget, and the best times to shop (sale time!). Here’s where you can customize it to your giftee’s preferences. Does she like bracelets or boots? Is her style boho or preppy? Would a petite or plus-size brand suit her better? Get cracking.

2. Get A Head Start

Who says shopping has to be time-sensitive? If you play it smart, you can shop in advance for a whole season, or even a year! Take advantage of seasonal sales and hit both the malls and online stores. This way, you can even wing it and pick up gifts that your intuition tells you is right for the person. Just carry a list of names and a broad gift idea, and get going!

3. Target The Big Guns

See what we did there? It’s no joke. When it comes to budget fashion shopping, the big-timers have the most options with the lowest tags. We’re talking JCPenney, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, and of course, Target. Look for their discount racks and raid through those shelves. If you’ve got a keen eye and willing hands, you’re bound to find something(s) special.
Bonus Tip: hit the malls to get the most out of your shopping trip. Time is money!

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4. E-commerce To The Rescue

If you’re running short on time, or you’ve simply procrastinated too long, don’t fret. There’s always the range of trusty e-commerce sites to choose from. From two-day-shipping to round-the-year sales, sites like forever 21, asos.com and even Amazon or ebay can come to your rescue.

Pro Tip: Look for coupon codes online to get an additional 10-25% discount on your purchase. It’s worth the search. In case your usual search engine itself doesn’t satisfy your shopping instincts, dedicated fashion coupon websites will prove to be full of options. For instance, at ClothingRic.com, the largest fashion discounts destination have over 1000 brands on its website offers big savings up to 25% off .

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5. Give It A Personal Touch

Nothing says you care like a little personalization. How do you do that on a budget? DIY, of course! For inspiration, look to the DIY Gods up in Pinterest. Think about your lovely giftee’s hobbies, habits and soft spots and craft a completely unique present for her. Don’t worry, you don’t even need to start from scratch. You could buy some simple pieces off the shelf and add a quirky element to it. For starters, you could custom print a graphic tee, or bling up a pair of shoes — the possibilities are endless.

Alternatively, you could also shop others’ DIY projects on sites like etsy.com. This gives you relief from having to do it yourself (now isn’t that ironic), and chances are you land a more professional-looking product.

6. Choose Your Gifts Wisely

Now that you’re caught up on the where and the when, let’s quickly go over what exactly you should be going after. Keep in mind that you’re shopping for a fashion-conscious woman and chances are, she’s picky as hell. So how do you avoid wasting a lot of money on a gift that she’d rather return? It’s simple:

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Do’s

Pick fashion classics like a chic handbag or a pearl bracelet over what’s currently in trend. Bonus: you’ll always find them on sale.

 

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To play it safe, go for function over fashion. A girl could always use a sleek makeup bag or a new pair of sunglasses.

Smaller jewelry— like rings, charms, and anklets— are usually more affordable than chunky neckpieces and bracelets

Quirky gifts like graphic printed socks, crop tops and scarves are great for young women, and they hardly cost a thing

Don’ts

Clothes and shoes are a toughie, because you’ve got to get the size right. If you have no way of knowing for sure, we’d suggest giving them a miss.
Basic is one thing, but don’t go buying her stockings or a 4 pack of tank tops. Save, but don’t be stingy!

And there you have it. Stick to these rules and habits, and your gifts will be a grand success, without hurting your wallet. Happy shopping!