Looking at ourselves and the world through the lens of the 21st century.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Why Pay Full Price?

Christmas is over and you guys are probably wondering why we are still talking about shopping. I say that it is never too early to plan ahead! Most people hate shopping, and I used to be one of them. My whole life, I have lived on a budget, and not always because I had to. When you grow up on a limited income, you have to sometimes appreciate the less expensive things in life. This has taught me to never pay full price for anything.

This shirt cost me $8 at Target

Last year, Texas had a huge snowstorm (that I called Snowvid) that brought record-breaking low temperatures and rolling blackouts. At the time, I lived in an old house that already had leaky pipes, which led to my landlord eventually having to replace the pipes in the house. Unbeknownst to me, the leaky piping ran through my closets, and when I discovered the problem, I had lost a good portion of my clothing, shoes, and accessories to mold problems. 

Aside from that, I have also lost a significant amount of weight over the last two years and my school was coming out of quarantine, so I could no longer teach in comfortable clothes. It seemed like everything was happening at once: mold, moving, and the start of the school year. How was I to get a manageable well-fitting wardrobe by the time school started? Impossible…that wasn’t going to happen. The only shoes I didn’t lose were the three pairs I never put in the closet because I wore them consistently throughout the week

How I replaced my decimated wardrobe without paying full price:

Seasonal/Holiday Sales: 

This one is pretty simple. Usually, at the end of the Summer or around every major holiday, stores will have some type of sale. At least twice a year, my favorite clothing stores have annual clearance events where they take extra percentages off clearance items. You just have to be smart and know when the “long weekend” holidays are, such as Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Memorial Day. These are prime examples of holidays that retail stores have extended weekend sales to celebrate. Mark your calendars and check out online fliers to your favorite stores to make a game plan.

Teacher Discounts and Back-to-School Sales

If you live in Texas you know about the famous tax-free weekend that happens every year in August so teachers and students can get discounts on back-to-school clothing. Basically, it is a weekend in August that Texans don’t have to pay state and local sales tax on their clothing (or school supplies). As a teacher, I make it my business to know which stores you can get an extra discount for flashing your teacher ID. We Are Teachers has a great blog highlighting some of the clothing stores where teachers can get discounts. Stores also offer senior discounts, credit card discounts, military discounts, first responder discounts, essential worker discounts, and student discounts.

Bargain Stores

I’m not talking about Goodwill® or the Salvation Army®. There are stores around where you can sometimes buy quality clothing without buying secondhand. The stores I am listing are stores where I can typically buy articles of clothing in my style for less than $20.

  • Ross Dress for Less®: This is my go-to place for work dresses. I can get clothing in my size for less than $20, and the clothing is name-brand quality. You can also buy shoes, accessories, and household items here.

  • TJ Maxx®: This is my go-to place for work pants on a budget. I was able to buy some last-minute back-to-school pants (that I didn’t need to hem) quickly and efficiently. I also like their sister store Home Goods® for home/office accessories.

  • Old Navy®: Why is this store on this list? I mean, they are a major retailer. Old Navy® is a major affordable retailer. They also have sales pretty much every day of the year. Their clothes might not be the highest quality, but you can create a fashionable ensemble for less at this store.

  • Target®: This store is a given. I can buy clothing that I can wear on a daily basis at Target®, plus affordable shoes and accessories. I also like to shop at this store for household items and seasonal supplies.

The Clearance Section

This dress cost me $12.95 on clearance at Torrid

For those that like designer shoes and accessories (me), the clearance section of a store always has good finds. I am okay with buying off-season clothing for a lower price, especially if it is a brand that I particularly like, such as Torrid and Betsey Johnson. Listed below are some of my favorite go-to sites and stores for designer purses on clearance.

Price Comparisons: 

When I talk about price comparisons, I am talking about shopping online versus shopping in-store. For example, the clearance section of Old Navy looks completely different online than it does if you walk into their store. Sometimes if you do a little research, you can find the same thing online for a better deal than you can in the store. A lot of retailers moved to online sales and curbside pick-up during the pandemic. So, stores will offer incentives to buy online and pick up curbside or have items shipped to the store for free. Listed below are stores that I only buy online because it is cheaper than buying in-store.

Playing the Long Game

When I say playing the long game with a store, I am talking about finding a store or two that you are committed to shopping at and only shopping at that store for certain things. For example, I buy most of my shoes at Shoe Carnival® and DSW® and I buy most of my clothing at Torrid®. Because of this, I am a VIP member at all of these stores. I signed up for accounts with the store, and over time, I have built up buying credits with these stores so I can get some deep discounts and coupons. These discounts and coupons afford me to get outfits for an extremely low price or free. By signing up with stores I love, I can also get emailed coupons, insider monthly sales, and birthday discounts. The only annoying aspect is that you have to sift through a million promotional emails a day, but it is worth it in the long-run. I save the most money doing this. I was able to replace my molded shoes in a matter of months this way.

Coupon Apps: 

I don’t always use coupon apps, but there are a lot out there. Check out Dave Ramsey’s 16 Best Coupon Apps of 2021 for a full list. I will list below the ones that I personally have used. You can get these apps for IOS and Android.

  • Ibotta®

  • Shopkick®

  • Target®

  • RetailMeNot®

  • GasBuddy

Paying Over Time

This isn’t technically a discount, but stores having layaway options aren’t really a new thing. When I was little, my mom would put Christmas presents on layaway and pay for them over a few months. In recent years, pay over time apps have become popular. This is another way I was able to replenish my wardrobe, accessories, and household items. My absolute favorite is Klarna, and I have also played the long game with this company. Through Klarna®, you not only get to pay off your purchase in four payments but you can also get discounts at many retail stores every month if you buy through their app.  If you make your payments on time every month, you also earn gift cards to shop with. You can also shop in-store with Klarna®. 

Gift cards I have earned from Klarna.

I have also listed below some other apps with pay-over-time options that I have used, and here is an article from Investopedia that lists even more options:

In conclusion, after reading my Grocery Shopping on a Budget blog, I obviously love to shop and I love to find the best deals. I hope that my tips are helpful to you in your future shopping endeavors. I’d love to hear from my readers about where they like to shop. I’d also love to help you get the best discounts on the next shopping trip that you take. Comment below with your favorite store and send me some suggestions if there is a store or app that I haven’t mentioned above that I need to check out. As always, let’s continue the conversation on our Facebook Group.

No comments:

Post a Comment

5 Ways to Manifest Your Best Life

Hi there, and welcome back! Since we have been heavily focusing on goals and planning, I thought we should discuss manifesting. I love this ...