Don't be so picky!
It is the mantra of many parents when their kids don't want something because it isn't just right. But being picky can save you from yourself if you love to shop. Shopaholics can see an item in a store and instantly they HAVE to have it. Being picky can prevent the cost of an impulse buy. Even if you return an impulse buy it has still cost you the price of gas and the mental stress of regret. Don't buy the item you saw unless you have thought about buying it for at least two weeks.
The best way to get that shopping fix without the price is to plan. If you know that you will be going to the mall, decide how many items you will buy and how much you can spend for the night (including tax, food, and gas). Know about half the items you plan to buy, how much they will cost, and what stores they are available in. Check the stores' websites to find any sales/ coupons that are applicable to your item to get the best price. There are also ways to shop for free. Look for coupons for free items by mail and online. Victoria Secret frequently sends out coupons for a free $8 panty, no purchase required. Not too long ago Bath and Body Works had a print out coupon for a free moisturizer in their new scent.
Window shopping can also be fruitful. Some stores allow you to get reward points just for visiting. Hot Topic has a scanner in stores to get ten points every day you stop by. Or like with Best Buy you can attend private parties for members where you are entered for prizes just for attending. You should join the reward program for any store you shop regularly (or really like)if they have one. I suggest having a separate email address so your inbox doesn't get cluttered.
Up next: how a cheap date doesn't need to be a crappy date.