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To be honest… I am terrible at this. For instance, when I found myself searching for an Ipad cover the other day, I went to a few stores and looked online to no success. After glancing around selection at Nordstrom, I found it. The perfect case.

It was like Diane von Furstenberg had designed it for me. It holds the Ipad at all times (unlike a sleeve) has folders for papers, it’s feminine, but not so much so that it’s unprofessional- all in all a winner…. Except for the $136 dollar price tag. Naturally, I thought to myself, I can get an ipad cover for $20 that will do a decent job, don’t buy this. But then I just closed my eyes and swiped anyways.

This whole story to tell you that I have a problem. I need to stop spending. So here is my quick list to avoid the checkout counter:

1. AVOID sales people at all costs. People pleasers, like myself, are an easy target for the right sales person. Treat me right, act like you care, and I’ll buy just so you don’t feel like you wasted your time.

2. Never shop alone. That way someone else will be there to tell you that your spending an outrageous amount of money on something you’ll wear twice.

3. Know what you’re looking for and have a budget in mind. This way you won’t get caught up in promotions and gimmicks meant to lead you astray. (Yes, lady at the perfume counter, I am talking to you– I know your tricks, and I am not falling any more!)

4. Don’t be afraid to put things on hold. If I like something at a store but can’t decide if the product justifies the price tag, I put it on hold and keep shopping. Sometimes I can’t stop thinking about it, and then I race back in to the store and drop a bundle. However, often times I find something else I like for much cheaper and never return.

5. Pay for things in cash. Our credit card culture has virtually destroyed the “wrench of delivery” that would otherwise prevent a sale. Charging $136 is a lot easier than handing over the cash.

6. Consider whether the product is super trendy or here to stay. Don’t throw your money at passing fads. The classics are what you invest in… Like an excellent pair of boots, or a quality wallet.

7. Hand in hand with #6, ask whether you can find the same thing at forever 21 (or some other comparable store). Why buy the real deal when you can get virtually the same thing for less. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO SHOES! But generally, I try and put my money into pieces that I can’t find just anywhere, like a unique but classic dress. It will stand out, and stand the test of time.

8. If all else fails, tell yourself you look fat in it. Or, better yet, have your shopping buddy tell you that you look fat in it.  Which reminds me– Would someone please tell me that I’d look fat in this:

$352 Free People