They say everybody’s shopping online these days. And trust us, the amount of Amazon boxes on our doorstep at any given time could send a fleet of imaginative children to space. But there’s something about shopping in real life — touching the fabric, trying it on, talking to someone who’s paid to know all about the product you’re buying — that feels more rewarding. And while you might be able to search for the best deal online, you support Sandy Springs business owners and possibly even a greener earth by shopping locally. Shopping in person doesn’t have to break the bank either, at least, not if you’re smart about it. Just follow these three rules and you’ll be a savvy Sandy Springs shopper in no time.

Rule 1: Eat First

People tasting margaritas over tacos and chips and dip.
Image via the Verde Taqueria Facebook Page

Despite how often the phrase “shop ‘til you drop” is tossed around, you don’t want to actually drop after shopping. And if you shop while hangry you’ll end up buying things like a toaster oven that’s also a nightlight that also plays vinyl records, which is cool but unnecessary. So stop at one of Sandy Springs' many local restaurants before hitting the stores, like Chapmans Cafe, Verde Taqueria or Hearth Pizza Tavern.

Rule 2: Bring Cash, Hit Consignments

A Valentino hand bag and several other purses on a table

You can’t spend all your money if you don’t have it with you, right? Instead of maxing out your CC, leave it at home and use cash instead. Decide on a budget and only bring that amount with you. Then when you’re out, you’re out.

But while you have it: Get into some of the great consignment shops around town. Alexis Suitcase packs high-end fashion brands at discount prices, and Fox’s Designer Off-Price certainly lives up to its name. 

Rule 3: Make a List and Stick to It

Young woman admiring a top in a clothing boutique.

Write down your must-haves and commit to it. Only visit those stores most likely to have the items on your list. For example:

- Need some new shades? Put that on your list and find them at Veronica’s Attic.
- Hoping to find some new tops for work? Add that to the list and head to The Drake Closet or Skirt Upscale Resale.
- How about a nice lamp? Or a housewarming gift? Or a lamp that’s a housewarming gift? Put Kudzu & Company next to that on your list.
- If your list includes toys to keep the little ones entertained, try Brilliant Sky Toys & Books.

You may think you need that scarf that’s also a dress that’s also a hammock, but if it’s not on your list, you don’t. Save it for next time.

Want more ideas for a well-played life?

Read these Five Hacks to Seeing the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park or our tips for How to Plan the Perfect Day on the Chattahoochee River.