Many of our family and friends ask my mom and I how we afford all of our clothes. The answer is pretty simple: we stay on budge by only shopping sales.
Let me expand on some of my points: New arrivals are dangerous. They are pretty and in your face when you walk in to the store. But do you know what? Most of them are put ahead way out of when you can actually wear them. That little silk top that just came out at j.crew? Yeah, I bet that will look really nice with your snow boots. See my point? If you wait until you can actually wear it there is a pretty good chance that it will be on sale.
Many store emails come with special offers for first time sign ups or specials discounts for people who get the emails. Those are money! I also use these to see if there are any stores having sales on the weekend that I need to check out. I often check on things once or twice a week on different websites to see what the inventory looks like or if they go on sale. That way I can get the best price.
Going straight to the sale section helps me ALOT! I usually glance around at the new arrivals/ things not on sale then I walk back to the sale and pick those items up first. That way I am not tempted by that one pricey top that just caught my eye.
ASK about sales! Sometimes the sales associates know when they are coming up. Also, check your favorite stores for price adjustment policies. That way if it goes on sale soon after you bought it, you know if you can get some money back. Also, TJ Maxx, Homegoods, etc. have days that they know they get shipments in, that way you know when they are getting new merchandise and you can get to it before it is picked over.
Oh yeah, just because it is on sale doesn't mean you need it. Avoid that pitfall, its not a good deal unless you really need it and love it. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the occasional splurge and impulse buy though ;)
*Be nice to the sales associates, they are your friends. I had a girl at belk that would give me a call whenever Lilly Pulitzer went on sale and would even pull my size