"The Ins and Outs of Navigating the Outlet Mall" \\ Woman looking through clothing racks \\ Photo: Paper Boat Creative\Getty Images

Outlet shopping during summer vacations is a given. As you and your family traverse hot spots, when you come across an outlet center, you've gotta stop. There's plenty to take advantage of. "Outlet malls give consumers the opportunity to purchase quality and name-brand clothes at affordable prices," explains Andrea Woroch, a consumer saving expert. "With the recession, many consumers who perhaps once enjoyed wearing luxury or name-brand clothing had to change their spending habits but still wanted the quality goods. Therefore, they turned to outlet centers that gave them the chance to buy them for less."

Aly Walansky, a shopping expert and beauty and style editor, is no stranger to the bona fide outlet center. "When I was a little girl, my mom taught me shopping was to be considered a sport -- one we could do without getting sweaty," says Walansky, who once scored a green-suede jacket for $15 on a clearance rack at Neiman Marcus Last Call. "I love the concept of going to an outlet center and knowing I have the same dress/shoes/bag/whatever I saw in the department stores -- or on my friends -- but I paid a fraction of the price." She also brags about a gorgeous pair of tall Kenneth Cole leather boots she found for only $50. "I was so excited, I kept rereading the tag to make sure I hadn't made a mistake!" Walansky adds.

Ready to shop the outlet center like a pro? We turn to Woroch and Walansky for some helpful strategies as you hunt for the best deals and steals!

Prepare
Before you even step foot out the door to visit the outlet center, come up with a plan. "I think that the key to outlet shopping is much like going through your Christmas list. Go prepared -- if you know you're going to Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for instance, take a second to look online at their store directory and sign up for any coupons or deals they have going on," Walansky advises. "Never be afraid to search for coupons before you go! I've seen stores like Gap, Banana Republic, White House Black Market and many others issue outlet-specific coupons. You may find them included with your credit card bill or by searching the Internet. They're out there -- and they sometimes spell BIG savings!"