Mean Girls Shopping(GIF: Giphy)

When the summer sales start, you probably fall into one of two categories: You either completely ignore now them because you’re waaaaay more interested in the new fall merchandise or you load up on the 70% off bargains because duh, they’re 70% off. It’s easy to get distracted by the red discount stickers and all of the new coats and sweaters but if you have a strategy for shopping the sales, you can pick up some great things that will for work the fall and even next year.

(Related: The 11 End-Of-Season Sales That Are Actually Worth Checking Out)

Follow these tips to shop the sales like a pro:

1. Don’t just buy something based on price.

That top is definitely a steal but ask yourself, “Do I really like this?” and answer the question honestly. If you only like it because it’s $12 but you wouldn’t like it if it was $30, put it back. You won’t remember how much you paid when you go to take it out of your closet, you will just remember that it’s “meh.”

2. Always keep an eye out for basics.

Shops always discount the obvious seasonal merchandise and leave a lot of the things that you can wear year round at full price but that doesn’t mean all the season-less pieces aren’t discounted. Your eye is going to be drawn to the more interesting things in the sale section but make an effort to look out for basics. You can normally find a lot of pants and jeans plus some blouses that will work for all seasons.

3. Leave the super trendy styles alone.

Culottes, overalls and bra tops are very trendy now but the odds of them being popular next year aren’t high. If they’re super cheap and you’ll be happy if you get a few months out of them, get them. However, don’t think you’ll get them and still like them next year. Even if you don’t care what the magazines are saying is in or out, when next year rolls around, you may have had your fill or found something else you love a lot more.

4. Think about what will work with your current wardrobe.

You may love that that top but does it work with what you already have in your closet? If you have to buy other things to wear with it, it’s not that good of a deal. If you can think of things that match with it in both your summer and fall wardrobes, throw it in your basket.

(Related: 9 Emotions Everyone Goes Through While Bargain Hunting In A Thrift Store)

5. Look for easy layering pieces.

You can probably find a lot of great sale dresses but remember to look at separates because they are easier to wear all year round. A tank top is a summery style but you could find a style that works great under your cardigan. Similarly, you could find a discounted skirt that would work great with tights and boots.

6. Keep an eye out for accessories and shoes.

You can buy a pair of cheap summer sandals for next year and it’s likely you’ll still like them when the warm weather comes around again. Same goes for bags and other accessories. They are also an affordable way to transition your look from one season to another.

7. Remember to look at the pre-fall styles.

There are always new collections coming out in stores. In some stores it could be every week or sometimes every day. There’s mid-season, resort, pre-fall, fall, and collections that they don’t even know what to call them. Regardless of their name, just be sure to check them out for any discounts. It may be called “pre-fall” but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great pieces in there you can wear every month of the year.