Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shopping = Bargains Baby

Hello friends,
Hope everyone had a great weekend. I know I did because it involved time with family and a favorite hobby of mine ~ shopping! I am a fan of many things but nothing is better than a good deal. Shopping can be an art. I choose to go that route with it. I am often asked about my clothing and I love nothing more than to tell someone I picked this up on sale for $5. I just seems a bit ridiculous when clearance (who I fondly call Clarence) and sale (a.k.a Sally) are out there all the time to pay full price for anything unless it is at an already rock bottom price to start with. Shopping this way does require patience and flexibility. If you have your eye on something it may or may not last until markdown or if you are out shopping for something specific you may have to change your requirements just a hair to find what you are looking for. But this it is such a rewarding experience to go on the hunt for something and find it or something close to it for a 3rd of the price. Things to know that help with clearance/sale shopping. Many of you may be aware that most stores mark down a big portion of their merchandise in change of season. For example, at this point most if not all stores have their summer items on sale right now to make way for their Christmas stock (crazy since it is just August but many of them started the switch a month or more ago). The closer it gets to winter the cheaper summer items get and vice versa. Additionally, some stores have specific schedules for when they mark down what and how though you usually cannot get official copies you can find people online that have done most the research for you and go check it out for yourself.

Example (courtesy of www.passionforsavings.com):
Unofficial Target markdown schedule.
Target Marks Down Items Weekly. Inventory starts at 15% off, then goes to 30%, 50%, 75% and sometimes even 90% off!
Each day of the week the Target Employees go through different areas of the store and check for markdowns.
Baby, Kids Clothing, Stationary Items, and Electronics

Domestics, Food & Grocery, Women’s Clothing and Pet Care

Toys, Men’s Clothing, HBA, and Lawn &Garden

Housewares, Shoes, Lingerie, Sporting Goods, Music, Movies, Books, Decor and Luggage

Auto Cosmetics, Hardware and Jewelry

I have found this same schedule on multiple sites and it appears to be decently accurate.
Also don’t be afraid to find a deal item in an unexpected place and rock it. While you are shopping at your favorite stores (with kids in tow it can be a little tough but still doable) run through their designated clearance isle/section/endcap and see if there is something there you are in need of. Try your best not to purchase just because it is on sale but because in fact you are looking for it or it will serve the purpose for something you need that is not on sale. Check out thrift stores, local Salvation Army (Wednesday is half price day), Goodwill or any others in your area. Small furniture items can be found and upcycled, material can be found inexpensively painted and loved.
Another key to this type of shopping is not to go too trendy with your clothing purchases. If items are cheap enough one or two trendy pieces will serve for the season but if you buy too many and try to keep up with the trends you won’t be able to continue to wear them. Go with pieces that you are excited about and comfortable in and won’t mind wearing when trends change. A good pair of jeans in a classic cut never goes out of style. As for paying full price, we have a store locally where all jewelry is $1. Yep, necklace and earring sets, earrings, bracelets, and hair clips with rings at $1.99. This is a place I go to find fun jewelry that I can wear anytime with no problem because it doesn’t break the bank. Of course the things found here are not diamonds and platinum but if you are really looking you can find some really fun pieces to mix in with your wardrobe or grab a couple that have good stones and turn them into something else that would have been much more expensive purchased straight up.

So here is my bargain haul for the weekend. Two pair of sandals $3 and $5, a dress $5, a belt $4.99 all from one store that had just retagged that morning (didn’t know this walking in but was a nice surprise to find all these markdowns on top of the large section of sale items they always have).
So swing by and check in with Clarence and Sally and let me know how it all comes out.


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