Q I'm a mother of two who is on a drive to save money this year but I can't resist the sales. How does one become a savvy shopper?
A Savvy shoppers are discerning about what they buy, from Christmas cards to cosmetics. Here are four rules you should observe during sale season:
1. It's the absolute amount that matters. If a $1,000 item is marked down by half, it's still $500 you are spending. Set a budget and if an item costs more than what you are willing to pay, forget it.
2. Stock up on basics and classic styles. Fashion stylist Steven Kong says he takes advantage of sales to buy basics like black pants or white shirts.
'You'll always find use for them. And the classic styles will last you more than one season.'
3. Beware of trendy items. Seasonal fashion items or make-up are good for only one season. So even if they are marked down by 20 per cent, you can't get much mileage out of them.
4. Buy what you can use within a year. I love picking up Christmas cards after the festive period because they are marked down by more than 50 per cent. But there's no point in buying 20 packs of cards in this humidity as the glue on the envelope melts and the cards turn yellow after a year.
This rule applies to skincare, make-up and toiletries too as they have an expiry date. While you can keep creams and lotions past a year if you store them in a cool and dry place, they do eventually spoil. Fragrances can turn rancid or lose their scent after two years.