Part of my "A Real Family, Saving Real Money" series. Here is how we rock those brand names for pennies.
I have no shame – Thrift Stores, Consignment Stores and Yard/Tag Sales.
I have some favorites in my area, but I base most of our family vacations around hitting at least one or two shop in that location. In fact, our vacation last summer was completely based on Thrifting and Antiquing.
Start off by finding the shops in your area, here is a great resource for that, TheThriftShopper.com.
Once you pick one learn the secrets to it's sales. Yes, even Thrift Stores have sale days. Most have a tag color of the day sale, then there is Senior day (no, I don't bring my mom just for a discount – but I've thought about it), some places even have Student Days. These sales can be up to 50% off the marked price – totally worth it.
Now, know your brands. We like Lily Pulitzer, J. Crew, L.L.Bean, Hanna Andersson and Levis to name a few. It's good to know your brands because a cardigan can be a great deal or no deal at all. (If you love it then it's a deal at any price but just follow me)
A Cardigan at
J. Crew costs: approx $65 and up
Old Navy costs: approx $15, sometime on sale for $10
Crofts & Barrow (Kohl's) cost: $36, but is normally on sale for $19.99 and if you have a 15% off coupon = $16.99, if you have a 30% coupon = $13.99.
George (Walmart) cost: $13.99 on sale for $6
SO, if the cardigan is $4.99 at the thrift shop, which is the better deal? All are a good deal if they are in brand new condition, but the J. Crew would be the best savings.
My Grandmother wears clothes from Bon Worth and Alfred Dunner. These brands for her are very expensive, so if she can find them, she's know what's a good deal. I don't follow those brands because I don't wear them.
The Key – know your brands.
I hate to sound like a label snob, but I can be at a Thrift Shop. – Get to know a fake if you see it too! Very helpful if you are in the market for a handbag or shoes and you want to know if it's a real one or a knock off. If you find a name brand bag check out this post about how to tell if it's a real Coach bag.
Extra Savings – The Bulk Bin Room
Now, you know your brands, you've looks through the racks, scored a deal or 2. Now you're ready for the bulk bin room. What you ask?
Find a Goodwill in your area called an Outlet, use their map to help you. The Goodwill outlet is a large room full of rolling bins, full of junk and you dig and dig for bargains. These places charge you by the pound. The more weight the less per pound.
Last weekend I scored an Ikea Down Comforter with Duvet cover, Retail $75- $100. (Ironically, Hubs and I were just talking about how we need to get an Ikea Down Comforter for The Kid, since we love ours so much!!! SUPER SCORE! )
2 Ikea Pillows with Shams, Retail $19.99 each.
Old Navy Pea Coat – Retail $74.95 (Winter Clearance still is $54.97)
J Crew Cardigan – like I said before – Retail $65
J Crew 4" Chino Shorts – Retail $45
L.L.Bean Sweater – Retail $59.95
School Uniform (yes, I found our school's plaid!!! ) – Retail $40
I also picked up a Coldwater Creek shirt for my mom, and for the kid: Justice sweatpants, Brand new Old Navy Hoodie and 2 Webkinz still with tags (so they can be used on the online game – Lord knows I do not need more stuffed friends – so they must have tags or they don't come home.)
I also got an E.T. sheet. A little nostalgic, I couldn't let it behind.
This whole pile of stuff cost me $24.
BULK BIN OUTLETS ARE YOUR FRIEND!!!!
This week I'm going to share more of our money saving ideas, so check back all week and save:
4/7/14 Buying Glasses – Because I need to see, but don't want to spend $400.
4/8/14 Buying Art Supplies – Because I am a huge crafter / Artist and supplies are not cheap!
4/9/14 Buying Clothes – Just because I'm frugal doesn't mean I look it.
4/10/14 Buying Food – You gotta eat.
4/11/14 Saving on TV – Let's be real – The TV is on almost all day. I can't say I'm proud of it but I like white noise.
4/12/14 Earning Free Stuff – It's nice to get a treat every once in a while.