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Posts Tagged ‘sale’

Well now that the holiday season is official over, Lifestyles of the Organized will return to regular posting once again. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

What have I been up to? Well, my husband and I traveled 1,000 miles by car to celebrate 5 different Christmases with family and friends this year! It was hectic, but worth it. I’ve also been writing articles for eHow, I started selling homemade photo art greeting cards, my dormant Sophrolaeliocattleya orchid finally bloomed after 2 years, and I got a new cell phone. Did you get all that? Here’s one more: last night I bought 63 candy canes to satisfy my candy cane addiction. And that is what I would like to talk about today.

candy-canes

Cashing in on post-holiday deal bonanzas

My husband and I hit up Walgreens last night with the very purpose in mind to score awesome post-holiday deals on Christmas merchandise. Everything was marked at least 75% off and I expect that number to go up even more in the coming days. In fact, a lucky shopper posted to a Slickdeals forum thread yesterday that they landed 97% off wrapping paper (5 cents a roll!) at their local Walgreens.

Here’s what we bought:

  • 4 packages of candy canes (63 total candy canes) – $.25 for each package ($1.00 total)
  • 2 sets of 100-count white Christmas lights – $.99 each ($1.98 total)
  • 1 tree topper lighted star – $1.49

We didn’t end up buying a HUGE amount of stuff (clutter control!), but we definitely cashed in on some excellent deals. The best deal was the tree topper—we’ve been keeping our eyes open for a good topper for 3 Christmases now and we finally have one, at a super price. And although we didn’t need a fake Christmas tree, we were impressed that 6-foot fully lighted trees were selling for $5.00!

So get out there and shop the Christmas merchandise aisles before stores get rid of it all and move on to the next holiday, Valentine’s Day. Keep an eye out for wrapping paper, tags, ribbons, bows, candy, candles, tree skirts, stockings, fake Christmas trees, wreaths, stationary, greeting cards, ornaments, and much more! You’ll have to wait 11 months to use what you buy, but you can’t beat the prices!!

Reader Reflection

Have you scored any amazing post-Christmas deals you’d like to share?

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We’re now on the fourth day of the Organize My Wardrobe series and hopefully you’ve got some useful clothes organizing tips under your belt so far (pun intended). Today I want to switch gears slightly and offer you a few money-saving ideas when it comes time for you to buy new clothes. Maybe you need to buy new clothes, or maybe you just want to buy new clothes. No matter your reason, you shouldn’t burn a hole in your wallet doing it! While there are many creative ways to save money shopping, I’m going to focus on three practices in particular that I use regularly:

Find clearance racks

It goes without saying that you should always try to buy clothes on sale. However, to be a truly savvy shopper means you should be wary of the store that claims something is on sale, when in fact it really isn’t—technically speaking. Let me explain. I’ve been to stores where the same clothes are ALWAYS listed as being on sale. So are they truly ever on sale, then? Perhaps not.

Stores can inflate ‘list’ prices, offer you a reduced ‘sale’ price, and all of a sudden you feel like you are getting a deal. Wow that $350 jacket is 50% off! What a deal! Um, ya, since when is $175 a deal? Now, I’m not trying to be cynical, because sales most certainly can be legitimate (and maybe that jacket was imported leather or something). Just be careful not to be fooled by carefully crafted language like ‘now on sale’ or ‘50% off’ and then automatically assume you are getting a good price.

One of the better ways to ensure that you are getting a good price is to shop clearance racks. Unfortunately clearance racks can often be heavily picked over, disorganized, and full of all the wrong sizes. But they can also be gold mines. Usually in some far back corner of the store, these racks are full of clothes marked down from not only their regular price, but also their supposed ‘sale’ price. Be patient, take time to look through the mess, and you just might find a super deal.

Buy shorts in winter

Winter is cold where you live, you say? I’m not suggesting you wear shorts in winter, just that you buy them in winter. Why? Because stores need to push their inventory out season to season. At the end of each season (and often well before), stores are hurrying to move on to the next season. So when fall starts, summer clothes get pushed to clearance racks and eventually disappear. When spring arrives, winter clothes are packed away until next year.

A savvy shopper would plan ahead and try to buy winter clothes at the beginning of summer and summer clothes at the beginning of winter. It sounds backwards, but it can be a real money saver. For example, this past spring, my husband and I discovered a rack of $150 heavy-duty winter jackets marked down to $15 (that’s 90% off!). We each bought one, but had to be patient and store them for the summer. We finally pulled them out last week and recalled our amazing deal.

Stores know that most customers usually don’t buy clothes in the off-season, but they still want to clean out their inventory. Hence, they offer super clearance deals. To take advantage of this phenomenon, you just have to plan ahead and have patience—but it’s worth it!

Shop thrift stores

Leave behind those major retail chain stores or boutiques for a moment and consider a second-hand store, often lovingly called a thrift store. Now not all thrift stores are created equal…some are just plain awesome, but others can be over-priced, or worse, downright junky. If you discover a great thrift store, you’ll know it, and you’ll want to keep going back over and over. Why? Because of the prices!

If you have an issue with wearing other people’s clothes, then it’s time to get over it. When you buy clothes at a thrift store, you take them home and run them through the laundry. Now they belong to you. It’s not weird! Furthermore, I’ve often found clothes in thrift stores that still have the tags on them…that means they are brand new. Finally, we as a society need to lose this mentality that shopping at a thrift store is somehow ‘below’ us or something. There’s a Goodwill commercial on TV now where two women are ashamed to admit they shop there, but when no one is looking, they buy all sorts of things! The point is, thrift stores save you money, recycle clothing, and are good for the community as a whole.

Now I mentioned great prices. Yes, you can find some GREAT prices at thrift stores. I have another fun story to share. There’s a really nice second-hand store in my husband’s home town that I always hit up whenever we visit. A few months ago I discovered they were holding a bag sale. Never having encountered such an event, I excitedly asked the cashier how it worked. She told me to take a paper grocery bag and fill it with as many clothes items I could fit…all for just $10. Now I’ve heard of bag sales being even cheaper, but come on, $10! I victoriously rounded up 6 skirts, 6 blouses, 2 dresses, and a pair of capris, all in like-new condition (and one brand new!). If that’s not a deal, I don’t know what is.

Reader Reflection

These are just three money-saving shopping tips from among many more. Where do you find your best clothes deals?

What’s next?

Tomorrow is the last day of this special series! I’ll wrap up what we’ve learned, offer some long-term wardrobe management tips, and provide some useful links to further resources.

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Yesterday I talked at length about the art of stocking your pantry. Today I want to offer three quick and easy tips to help you save money while you stock. As long as you’re buying ahead, you should look for ways to save a few bucks, right?

Consider generic brands

Maybe you notice a taste difference with stand-alone products like soda or salad dressing, but can you really tell the difference when it comes to ingredients like chicken broth or baking powder? Generic brands offer some real savings since they run at sometimes a fraction of the cost of name brands. I said it before when speaking about hair-care products, and I’ll say it again here: if you can’t tell the difference, why not make the switch? Believe me, you won’t be sorry.

Buy in bulk

In addition to switching to generic brands, you might think about the money saving possibilities involved with buying in bulk. If space allows, purchasing a larger size of any given food product usually results in savings. Some stores display the price per ounce for various products and you can use this data to decide which size is most cost-effective. For example, when I buy olive oil, I try to buy the largest size even though the upfront cost is rather high. After studying the price per volume of all the available sizes, it’s really a no-brainer. Olive oil lasts a long time, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and I use it constantly…so why not buy big! And of course an added benefit of buying in bulk is that larger items last longer, meaning you won’t have to re-stock them as often!

Buy on sale

Since you’ll be buying ahead anyway, you might as well watch for sales at your local grocery stores and buy when prices are low. I have particular items I watch for in my weekly sale flyers, like meat, fruit and vegetable produce, ice cream, frozen juice concentrate, or cereal. I buy them only when they go on sale, making sure to purchase enough quantity so they last until the next time a sale occurs. If you study the habits of your grocery stores, you’ll begin to see patterns in how often various foods go on sale.

Reader Reflection

Do you have any tricks of the trade to share when it comes to saving money in stocking your pantry?

Coming up…

So far in this series we’ve looked at how stocking your pantry saves time and how creative buying habits can save money. Tomorrow we’ll explore one final facet of the pantry…how to organize it!

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