5 Bad Shopping Habits To Quit Now

We all know somebody who uses shopping as a kind of pick-me-up. Perhaps, we are that person. Most of us are at least familiar with the rush of bagging a bargain. However, needless spending is not only bad for your bank balance, it is part of a larger problem of excessive consumption and waste in the first world.

Yet, it seems like a bit of a catch-22 when women are constantly the target of advertising and shiny editorials encouraging them to invest in a new wardrobe every season, even every week. It is not surprising then, that a few of us develop some pretty bad habits trying to keep up with trends. Here are a few things to keep in mind to curb your spending and maintaining a manageable wardrobe.

RELATED: Sustainable Ways To Clean Out Your Closet

Buying a new outfit for every event

You don’t need a different outfit for your friend’s wedding, your work christmas party, and your birthday. Stop worrying about being seen in the same outfit twice (Oh, the shame!) and think about your wardrobe economically. Transform that little black dress with inexpensive accessories, try a clothing rental service, or borrow from a friend.

Buying an outfit without anywhere to wear it

Have you ever seen an amazing evening dress – on sale – and just had to have it? Meanwhile it sat in your wardrobe as the weeks rolled by, then the months, and it just never felt like the appropriate time to bring it out. Next thing you know, it’s winter and your summer dress is no longer seasonal. By the next year, that dress is hideous and you hate it. Don’t get suckered by a sale ladies! Only buy things you need and don’t waste money on things you don’t.

Buying with the intention of returning

“If I don’t like it when I get home, I can always bring it back.” Perhaps this is true. But that also takes time out of your day, not to mention that many stores only exchange a bought item, not refund your money. I have a rule, that if I’m not certain – I won’t buy it immediately. I wait, and if I still want it after a week – I’ll go back and buy it. Yes, sometimes this means you will miss out on your size or the item will sell out, but on the plus side, you still saved money!

Buying clothes or shoes that don’t fit

Again, if it doesn’t fit – it isn’t meant to be. The chances of you wearing something that doesn’t fit are very slim. Just wait, save your money, and something else will come along that is more worthy of your body and its price tag.

Buying things out of your price range

Remember that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie needs to buy her apartment back, only to realize she has no savings… but owns $40,000 worth of shoes?! Let this be a cautionary tale: you never know what financial emergencies are just around the corner – don’t spend the last of your savings on a new bag.

September 30, 2014

Tips for Stress-Free Christmas Shopping

Hitting the shops to do your Christmas shopping this week? Stockland’s Ben Allen shares his top tips for a stress-free Christmas shopping experience.

1. Make lists
Plan your gift and food shopping by making lists and include the store details you need to purchase them from. This will help plan which stores you need to visit and avoid multiple trips to the shopping centre.

2. Plan a budget
Have a budget in mind and keep a record of your purchases to try and minimise unconscious over-spending.

3. Shop sooner rather than later
To avoid the last-minute rush, make your first trip sooner rather than later.

4. …or hit the shops at night
If shopping earlier is unavoidable, take advantage of the extended trading hours in the last week before Christmas.

5. It’s not a bloodsport!
Rest and refuel during your shopping trips. A coffee or lunch break will help clear your mind and rest your legs.

6. Multi-task
Check with your local butcher or supermarket whether you need to order your turkey or ham by a certain date.

Are you an early Christmas shopper or do you leave it to the last minute?

December 17, 2013

7 Online Shopping Tips

Love shopping online but worry about becoming victim to the next biggest scam? Ordered a ladies size 12 and received a pair of pants that would be better suited for a six year old? Our online shopping guide is for you.

Fiona Adler, founder of, Australia’s number one award-winning business review website, shares her tips and tricks to ensure a safe and sound online shopping experience.

1. Avoid suspiciously low prices
It if seems too good to be true, it probably is! Sometimes we make the decision to save money and start hunting for the very cheapest option available on the web. Unfortunately, this often results in us landing on a less reputable website – and a much heightened risk of the goods never turning up, or running into problems if they’re wrong. Go cheap, but not the cheapest!

2. Buy from a reputable business
Customers run into the most trouble when they buy from businesses that don’t actually exist! To avoid this, only buy from online businesses that you’ve heard of! Ensure they have full contact details on the contact page (a phone number, physical address, and email address) and also an ABN (Australian Business Number). If the website looks shoddy, has spelling mistakes or poor quality images, proceed with caution.

3. Look for customer reviews
The best way to find out what a business is really like is by looking for reviews from other customers. Often websites will include reviews from customers about the specific products they sell, but also about the website itself and what the overall buying experience was like. Ensure these reviews are from a third party, such as, and are not simply testimonials that the business has handpicked or worse, manufactured.

4. Check the returns policy before you buy
Don’t make the mistake of ordering first and checking the returns policy second! Once you’ve put those card details in, you’re locked into their T&Cs.  Choose a few sites that have a good policy and track record. Consider what’s most convenient to you and then make your final decision.

5. Take advantage of measurement tools
Numerous online retailers have tools to help you determine which size to order yet most of us dive in with a ‘one size fits all’ frame of mind. Even though measuring yourself may seem like a hassle at the time, it will be less of a headache than returning the item. Also, as long as your size doesn’t fluctuate, you should only have to make these measurements once.

6. Check the description carefully
Often online photos can be misleading and may not even be an exact photo of the item you are purchasing. Sometimes the colours look different and it can be difficult to judge the scale of things. Carefully read the description to see what materials it’s made from, the size/shape of the item, and the uses for the product.  Sometimes it can be useful to take a screen-grab image of the product description in case you need to refer to it at a later date – some businesses have been known to change after being alerted to a discrepancy.

7. Use the megaphone at your fingertips – When you’ve had a bad (or a good) experience with an online retailer, make sure you let others know about it by reviewing online! On a new review is posted every five minutes and all of these add to the permanent track-record of a business.  Not only will others come across your reviews when they search on Google – and hopefully avoid any issues you may have had – the business may decide to react to your feedback and change its ways! Never underestimate the power of the consumer!

We want to know – what are your favourite online shopping sites?

August 19, 2013

Shopping Tips for Your Next Big Spree

Designer ChicIf designer clothes are your weakness and spending $300 on a t-shirt is not a problem for you then you should keep these shopping tips in mind for the next big spree:

  1. When you go shopping next think about what’s required for your lifestyle, including work and weekend. Aim to make multi-functional pieces work together.
  2. Invest in classic items that will always look good rather than buying into passing trends. If you need something fun, don’t overspend.
  3. Stock up on must-have items when you go overseas. If you’re smart you’ll get bargain items that haven’t hit the stores here yet.
  4. Look further a field for one-offs. Try designer outlets and sales? you can pick up amazing designer bargains. Go to vintage shops as well because you can often find old Dinnigan’s, Chanel’s or Gucci’s.

Vintage Chic

Do you salivate when you walk into a vintage boutique? you scrummage through boxes of clothes and clothes until you find the bargain you have been looking for?

Well, then you better follow these tips:

  • Never buy things without trying them on, no matter how cheap they are.
  • Take a friend along to rummage through clothes together. It’s just as much fun finding an outfit for your mate.
  • Don’t buy items that don’t fit properly unless you’re willing to get them altered straight away.
  • Avoid trendy and expensive second-hand shops. Instead, try little-known stores and once you find a favourite place, never tell anyone about it.
  • Be imaginative. That dress may look boring on the rack but if you wear it with a great accessory it could be the next fantastic addition to your wardrobe.
  • Never give up! You can find bargains in the most unlikely places. If in Sydney try Bobby Dazzler in Coogee? you will find incredible pieces.
September 1, 2001

A Users Guide to Online Shopping

Points on internet shopping:

  1. Hype about Security

    Much has been written about the safety or otherwise of shopping on the net. Truth be told, most Australian e-tailers have very comprehensive security systems for accepting credit card details over the web and you are likely to be less at risk placing your details over a secure website than handing your credit card over to a retail assistant.

  2. Pay Securely

    Use sites your browser recognises as secure – look for an unbroken key or padlock at the bottom of your screen. Don’t enter financial information that isn’t needed for the sale. Most reputable Australian e-tailers provide multiple options for payment, including online credit card payment, phone credit card payment or the good old fashioned cheque in the post. 

  3. Know the Business

    Try and get a feel for who the company is and where they are located. There should be an “About Us” section or something similar. Phone the retailer if you want to talk to someone about a product or delivery times or send an email.

  4. Know the Product

    Try and understand from the product description and image if the product is what you are looking for. Check detailed specifications if necessary, look for product guarantees and ensure it will work in Australia. Always check the goods you receive immediately to ensure they match the description.

  5. Check the Cost

    Look for extras like currency conversion charges, taxes, customs duties, delivery fees, packaging and posting. Shop around for price.

February 1, 2001

8 Kitchen Cupboard Staples You Need

Print this list out and take it to the supermarket the next time you do your grocery shopping:
Canned beans. An excellent source of fibre and non-meat protein. Quality can vary among brands, especially for cannellini beans, which can be mushy. However, chickpeas are generally good.Bacon, cured meats and sausages. Bacon or smoked ham are great in pastas, soups like a hearty vegetable soup, and with fresh greens. Cooked sausages can be used with beans for a quick casserole.Herbs and spices. Most major supermarkets carry at least several fresh herbs. I suggest buying mint, basil, thyme, chives and cilantro and flat-leaf or Italian parsley. Grind whole spices like cumin, allspice, dried ginger root, black pepper, and nutmeg for more intense flavor.Parmesan cheese. This is definitely the most versatile and important cheese in the world. Use the real thing, Parmigiano-Reggiano; it’s worth the extra cost. Though freshly grated Parmesan is always best, for convenience buy it already grated (or grate a large amount yourself) and store it in the freezer where it will it keep for a few months.

Eggs. Amazingly versatile and not as fattening as you may think. Always store them in their containers in the refrigerator, but not in the door, which is not cold enough.

Olive oil. Use the more flavorful extra virgin type in cold preparations like salads, or in cooked dishes where the oil is drizzled in at the very end to enhance the flavor. Find the specific oil you like, regardless of where it comes from, by experimenting — much like tasting wine. Always go for intense flavor. For sauteing or frying, pure olive oil or a lower grade of extra virgin is fine.

Pasta. Dried pasta is the best staple for any home as well as being incredibly convenient. Include dried capellini, primarily because it cooks the fastest.

November 3, 2000