Wednesday, March 9, 2011

thrifty tips #2: Make a Plan…and work the Plan

I’m hoping you’ve done your homework and found some of the places we studied in thrifty tips #1 so now we can make a plan!

  Now we have to be informed of the sales schedule of each of these places so we will know WHEN we need to hit the store to maximize our savings!

1. the thrift store: most thrift stores are going to have a sale calendar, daily sale posted in the store, or sometimes they only offer a Saturday sale which is usually everything 50% off. You can call, go in and grab a printed calendar (if they offer one) or sign up online to be given notice of all upcoming sale. 

Since I live in Ohio, I go HERE
and print off the calendar or stop in at the beginning of the month and grab one. Now that I know the sales planned, I circle the days that I know I will HAVE to stop in…even for a few minutes if that’s all I have. For example, t-shirts, dresses and blouses are 99 cents this Friday…so that means – I WILL be there!

2. and 3. the consignment shop/ the resale shop:  In Ohio we have quite a few of these types of stores, but I’ve found that my time is best invested in Plato’s Closet
and Once Upon a Child.

Every 6 months (February and August) they have what’s called a “grab bag” sale where you are given one grocery bag to fill as much as you can and you get to purchase it for $15. Now, that might not sound like the best of sales, but I’ve come home with piles…literally piles of clothes for my boys and my nieces and nephews for quarters. Yes, that’s right…quarters. There is a technique to this – rolling - we might have to devote a thrifty tips post to it later.

and HERE to check if there is a location near you, give them a call and see if they hold the same type of “grab bag” sale, and then mark it on your calendar so you don’t forget…you won’t be sorry!

4. and 5. the flea market /garage sale/ estate sale: It’s that time of year! There are quite a few places that turn into eclectic treasure hunts on Saturday mornings when the weather turns warm. Find a place near you and make a morning out of it. I don’t hit many flea markets, but it is always fun when we do. It is a chance for us to get out of the house as a family for a little while. 

My favorite thing to look for in the Spring is neighborhood or community garage sales. You get some exercise walking from house to house while minimizing the constant in and out of the car. But you have to be ready to pull out your bartering hat and be smart about your choices.

6. the outlet mall: did you know that you can print out coupons to use at the outlet mall? You can! Most outlet malls also hold special events at certain times of the year and ongoing military appreciation discounts, prime shopper discounts, student discounts, etc. You can find the outlet mall website near you or call them to get this information. (HERE
is the one I love)

7. the distribution center outlet (a.k.a. damages/defectives outlet): I will admit, these are hard to find…but when you do – boy oh boy, it is fun! We have one here in Ohio that stocks damaged, defective or unsold items from the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. Sometimes you have to be willing to pull out a needle and thread to fix little holes…but for me, it’s worth it!

It is located in a big warehouse and you must REALLY search through everything, but you can grab some great deals especially at the end of a season.

For example, they throw all the unsold sweaters in large bins and put a 99 cent price tag on them. Can’t you just see me there sifting through that big ole’ bin…yeah, I like finding the treasures amongst the junk.

8.the regular retail store clearance or ‘end of season’ sales: My favorite for this is Target. I have a serious crush on Target and I have a hard time leaving the store without spending $50. On what?!?…I don’t even know. That’s bad. so bad. So here’s what I try to do…

1st, Know this…Target has a national markdown schedule. Keep your eye on the end caps of aisles for marked down, clearance, and discounted items. They mark down items every two weeks and continue to mark them down every two weeks until sold or until they reach 75%.
Target rarely marks non-holiday items lower than 75%.
2nd, Here is the markdown schedule:
Monday: Electronics, Kids Clothing, Stationary
Tuesday: Domestics, Women's Clothing, Pets, Grocery
Wednesday: Men's Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty, Lawn and Garden
Thursday: Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Sporting Goods, Movies, Music, Books, Decor,Luggage
Friday: Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, Jewelry
Holiday markdowns (Christmas item markdowns vary):
Post Holiday Day 1-3: 50% off
Post Holiday Day 4-6: 75% off
Post Holiday Day 7-8: 90% off
Okay, so that was a lot of information…keep doing your homework and we will get to the more exciting and rewarding thrifty tips really soon! We have to get through the nitty gritty before we can shout our thrifty treasures from the rooftops.

Happy planning…see you tomorrow!


DeNiel said...

I had no idea there was so much to learn about "thrifty tips."

David, Sara and Natalie said...

I see your Goodwill calendar is for the Mason, Montgomery area. Do you find there are better finds up there? With the thrift stores in this area, I find myself wondering if one man's trash could possibly be someone's treasure.

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