Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shop a lot, Spend a little

I like to save money.  This is good because, quite honestly, our budget relies on it.  I'm not the crazy coupon lady.  I don't want to be that person because as important as it is for me to save money, there are other things that are more important.  I like the place that budgeting and coupon clipping has in my life, and I don't intend on changing that any time soon.  

Although I do clip coupons and scour fliers and online websites for good deals, a big part of the way that I save money is simply by common sense.  I try to pay attention to when certain items go on sale and stock up at those times.  For instance, I know I can get great deals on office supplies in July and August at stores like Staples.  Another example is that frozen foods go on sale in many grocery stores in March.  Combine these good deals with a few coupons and you suddenly have a very good time to stock up on food items that will keep for a quite a while.

Another cost-effective fact that I've learned is that clothing clearance racks are at their fullest immediately after Christmas and at the end of the summer.  Think about it... Stores stock up for the busy Christmas season and then have to quickly unload what's left in order to make room for Spring/Summer lines of clothing.  Similarly, at the end of the summer, stores are quickly getting rid of all the bathing suits and sunglasses to make room for back to school and fall lines, soon followed by winter/Christmas (and getting earlier every year it seems...).  So if you're okay with being a season behind in your attire, right now is a great time to get some deals on clothing.  

Even though the stores are empty and many people are relieved to take a break from the shopping, you now know that for me January means clearance racks - and with the coming of my little girl this summer, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of pink, purple and ruffles!  

So where have I shopped?  Well, I went to JCPenny and, well, let's just say the trip did not go as planned.  My precious little boy ended up having a huge meltdown in the store (a rare thing) and my husband took him to the car.  So, feeling pressed for time, I hurried to at least look through the maternity section since I was in desperate need of a pair of jeans.  The result was:

 $25 maternity jeans (a pretty good deal) - $14 from a gift card = $11 maternity jeans

Unfortunately I never made it to any other section in the store.  It happens.  Oh well.  

A few days later my mother-in-law and I went shopping at Kohl's and Carter's.  We hit the jackpot at Kohl's.  We found some incredible sales on baby, toddler, and maternity clothes.  I was also excited because (as a Kohl's card carrier... fyi, the only store card I have) I had a coupon for 30% my entire purchase!  Woohoo!  I won't list all of my good deals out because... well, this blog post would end up even longer than it already is... but here are a few items I purchased and their clearance price before my 30% off... 

Cute pink maternity sweater(orginally $56.00) = $5.40
2 Pairs of maternity shorts(originally $40 or >) = $9.40 total
 3 Piece dress outfit for Jadon(originally $56.00) = $11.00
Several infant shirts(originally $13.00) = $2.60 each
Girls dress(originally $34.00) = $10.20

Then another 30% off!  Wow!  It was exciting!  And our husbands (my husband and his father) were actually excited about our buying all of this stuff!  We made our purchase together (so that we could both get the 30% off) and ended up spending just under $100.

My actual Kohl's receipt from this trip with a total savings of $369.89!  Woohoo!!
We then went on to the Carter's store and found some more great deals.  I got 3 outfits and 3 pairs of no-scratch newborn mittens for under $24.  Lovin' me some good deals!  This little girl is going to be looking good!

This week I went to Target, but not with the intention of looking at clearance racks (but let's be real here... I have to at least look briefly at them!).  Jadon needed new dress pants, which I found.  But as I combed through some racks of clearance stuff I also found...

2 Infant shirts = $1.50 each
Ruffled skirt w/ leggings = $3.88

And this was the result of a quick look through two clearance racks.  Not bad.  It was not, however, the highlight of my trip to Target.  

When I first entered the section of toddler and baby clothing I noticed probably about 10 big boxes pretty much sitting in the middle of this department on a pallet... like they were just dropped there and forgotten.  My first thought?  Umm... okay.  Real nice.  Could they not put these where they are supposed to go?  Seriously?  Then I noticed a little red sign on top of one of the boxes that said, "Clearance 50%".  Those words are like magic to me.  It was all big baby items, so I immediately was thinking about whether I needed anything.  So, I looked down at the closest box to me and it was none other than a Baby Trend Sit & Stand DX.  For real?!  This is the type of stroller we've been thinking about purchasing for when the baby arrives.  The only thing is, we wouldn't even begin to be able to afford one brand new, so I had recently begun researching what they typically go for on Craig's List.  So, I called Andy to do some quick research online about this stroller to make sure it was definitely what we wanted (since all I had to look at was the box, which wasn't much help).  We concluded it was and I bought it!  

Came mostly assembled, and folds up very small.
So, it must have been a good deal, right?  Well, used strollers like this one were going on Craig's List for between $60 and $100 (the only one I saw for $60 did not appear to be in good condition at all).  Brand new you can typically expect to pay between $140 and $200.  I bought my brand new one for... (drum roll please...) $70!  Yup, I was pretty excited.  Annnnd, my awesome hubby put it together for me that night!  Why?  Well, I watch a one year old 3 days a week and it would be really ideal on nicer days to have a double stroller to go on walks.  Jadon does well walking while holding the side of the stroller, but his little legs are usually pretty tired by the time we are making our way home (especially if our walk has included a stop at the park).  

Assembled in 10 minutes!
So that's pretty much it for my shopping sprees this January.  I've spent enough (although not all that much) and have tons of stuff to go through.  

If you haven't done any clearance shopping this month there's still time.  I picked up a few clearance items at Christmas Tree Shops for 75% off (Christmas items I'll tuck away until next year.).  I've also heard that Old Navy has good clearance items, too.  Do some exploring and see what you can find!  Who knows?  You may just find that double stroller you needed but weren't looking right at your feet!  

~ Carrie ~ 


  1. I love when I get good deal like that! Allison and I went to Roanoke the other day and got some great deals on clothing (mostly stuff for Anna for next winter)! I am going to share them because I have to tell someone and Derek isn't good at pretending to be excited about it (he likes that I save money but doesn't really care to hear each detail!)
    Target (for Anna)1 pr leggings, 3 prs tights, 1 sweater dress, 1 really cute ruffly sweater, 2 footsie pjs,then (for me) 4 ls tees, 1 cardigan sweater.
    Total Original Price:$140.98 I paid: $42 (an average of $3.27 per item) I love great deals!Then we got more stuff at Sears and Burlington for awesome prices! I wish we were close enough to shop together Carrie!

    1. That's awesome, Kathleen! I so wish we could shop together, too! You can call me whenever you have something to share! Or just to talk! Miss you!