I like to look great and spend less while I am doing it. Who wants to pay full price when you can get it discounted? I hardly ever pay full price for anything because I don’t have to with my shopping strategies.
When my kids were little I would take them to North Park Mall in their stroller, and we would walk around. I got some much-needed exercise, and I was able to do reconnaissance. I would look at what was in style so I could figure out how to buy it as cheaply as possible somewhere else.
We were on a tight budget since I was a stay home mom. What can I say? I was gonna look good even if we were tight on money. Being married to an accountant, well, let me just say that we are always tight on money.
My husband is not a fan of spending. I get that. Since he doesn’t like spending a lot, I figured out a few ways to keep my husband happy and get some cute things. I have passed some of these tips down to my kids. They are now bargain shoppers, too. Let me share some of my tricks to help you get the most out of your shopping dollar, too.
1. Department Stores.
I really like Macy’s. They have cute clothes and great shoes. They are always having sales, and then you can add their coupons to it. The percentage can end up being over half off if you work it right. The coupons come in the mail every couple of months if you have the Macy’s credit card. You don’t have to do the credit card. You can get the Macy’s coupons online.
The credit card is great because of the coupons. I don’t recommend doing the credit card if you can’t pay off the card at the end of the month. Every discount you just worked for will be destroyed with the 18% interest penalty.
I do want to give honorable mention to Nordstrom. I like Topshop for my daughter. Every once in a while I find something, too. They have some pretty decent sales, and you can get their credit card and use the points towards purchases. It takes a while to accumulate points though. I had a card and then closed it because I just didn’t use it enough.
My Biggest Deal
My biggest deal was last April when my daughter needed a dress for Prom. We found a beautiful dress online at Macy’s. It was on sale, I used a coupon, I had a $50 Macy’s gift card I got from a Discover Card cash back rewards, and I used my Plenti points. The dress ended up being free. I couldn’t believe it. We used the shoes from another dance, and she already had the jewelry. That will probably never happen again, but I was pretty excited I had beat the system.
2. Discount retailers.
I like Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Most of their clothes stay under $30 or so per item. They have cute shoes, too. They can run higher in price, but they are still lower than other places. You have to be willing to spend some time picking through the store, but it is well worth it. I found these boots there last week. They were $29.99. I also got a really cute pair of black shoes that I found elsewhere for double the price. My honorable mention goes to Nordstrom Rack and Kohls.
I shop at Nordstrom Rack for shoes if I can’t find any at Macy’s. They usually have some pretty good deals. I buy their clothes sometimes. Mostly, I like the shoes. I am not a big Kohl’s shopper, but I know some people who shop there. You can really work the coupons and the sales.
3. Thrift stores.
I like the Salvation Army down on Harry Hines in Dallas. (Check your city for locations). I give Goodwill honorable mention. I am not too proud to thrift shop. We have found Nike tennis shoes, 2 Fossil watches that just needed a new battery, and many designer type clothes.
My sister found nice looking suits for all 3 of their boys when they had to go to a funeral. In October, Goodwill usually will have great costumes for Halloween or just for dress up. We have found a guitar and golf clubs there for our son. We didn’t want to buy new until we knew he was going to stick with it. (He didn’t)
4. Garage sales.
Kids clothes are expensive. I found 90 % of their clothes either by swapping with siblings, swapping with friends or garage sales. Same with toys. I think the only time I ever bought toys was at Christmas.
And sometimes I wrapped up resale or garage sale items. They never knew. I didn’t start clothes shopping for my daughter until she was about 5-6 yrs. old. And she looked very cute. Check the paper, the neighborhood app called “Nextdoor” or go online to find the garage sales in your area using Garage Sale Finder, or Craigslist (craigslist.org).
5. On-line shopping.
My favorite is Craigslist. It is local and it’s free if you want to list something to sell. (I’ll talk more about selling later in another post). We have bought a ping-pong table, tools, sports equipment, bread machine, and many other items. I have never had a problem. Just meet in a public place. Or take your spouse with you.
Honorable mention goes to eBay. I really like eBay, but it takes a long time to bid, buy, and deliver. If you don’t mind waiting, it’s a good thing. eBay has a money back guarantee if you use PayPal. I highly recommend PayPal. Macy’s is great for online shopping, too.
6. Resale shops.
Buffalo Exchange, a resale shop in Dallas, is a favorite of my daughters. Honorable mention goes to Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor. They have locations all over. Check to see if one is near you.
We have an upscale resale in Dallas called Clotheshorse Anonymous. Their focus is on designer labels. I haven’t been there for a while, but I know it has a great reputation for quality. Check your local area for resale shops. You need to just go there and see if they carry your style.
My favorite place to shop is Kendra Scott. It’s expensive. You can get a 15% discount one time online if you give them your email. They have a birthday discount in store. If you show them your driver’s license during your birthday month, you get 1 item 50% off. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man or woman. That means you can get a discount for your husband’s birthday or son’s or daughter’s (she’ll probably want it for herself) birthday month, etc.
I give Francesca’s the award for the better discount. They have cute things much cheaper. Jewelry always seems to be on sale there. I love their stuff.
Don’t be afraid to do a little research on Yelp for a good Pawnshop. Pawnshops can have some nice jewelry. You have to be careful though. They will tell you anything to get you to buy.
I already mentioned Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack, and Marshall’s. I also think DSW has some good prices.
It’s hit or miss, but definitely worth the stop. They tend to be a little cheaper than most department stores except Macy’s.
9. Outlet Malls.
I like outlet malls for purses. Many times I find they will have an extra sale at Michael Kors, Kate Spade, etc. I usually pay 50% less than I would in a department store. On Black Friday their sales are crazy. Be prepared to stand in line for an hour.
While I am the Outlet mall I will browse around. I can find a few things every once in a while. You have to be careful because sometimes the deals aren’t that good. It’s all really hit or miss.
If you decide not to pay full price, you won’t. It’s a matter of deciding to do a little extra work. If you have great places to shop and awesome discounts you know about, then please leave the info in the comments area. I will look into it. I’m sure everyone would love to hear your bargain story.
*I do not receive any income from affiliates for these recommendations.
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