I’ve always been a big bargain shopper. I get giddy over savings and read my receipt at home to total up my savings as if it were a sport. To me, there is no point in shopping unless I have a coupon code available online, a mark down in the store, or a story to tell about how I found said item.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that not everyone shops this way. It takes a lot of patience and sometimes you risk losing an item you had your eye on. But, the way I see shopping, I don’t mind waiting a little longer to get the right deal, in fact I like sorting through consignment shops to find just the right thing. I also believe that you can find better quality at a used consignment shop than you’d get at other stores. Not to say that I don’t buy my fair share of items at Target, but I am a pretty big believer that you can buy boutique clothing, shoes and even house ware items at a similar price point if you shop gently used.
ONE // Search brands & Pricepoints
One of the best ways to thrift is to know high quality brands and their price points. Thanks to the internet, you can search right from your phone in the middle of a thrift store to see what something is really worth. I recently purchased a Parisian Longchamp backpack at a consignment store for $22.50—a quick google search would tell me that this retails for $125 at Nordstrom and $142 on Amazon. Conversely, you can get caught up purchasing something for too much if you’re too quick to assume that it’s a good deal, just because it’s at a consignment shop. Search before you buy! And know the brands that you like the style of or find to be of high quality. For myself, I like Gap, Madewell, and Athleta.
For my toddler son I have found it easy to find high quality clothing at consignment stores in lieu of purchasing similarly priced items at retailers. Some of the best ways to shop for kids are to attend Large Consignment Events such as Just Between Friends Sale, Tots to Teens, and Moms of Multiples Sales. These organizations allow families to consign clothing, shoes, sports gear and baby gear locally—I’ve participated as both a buyer and a seller and think they’re great. My own personal trick is to go on Sunday when admission is free and most items are half off— I typically can purchase an entire season worth of clothing and shoes for my son for around $40 and have even purchased maternity clothing and baby gear for a fraction of the price.
TWO // Discount Days/Racks
One of my favorite local consignment shops Mother & Child here in New Hampshire discounts items on the 1st of every month. It’s wise to go in within the first few days of this, or else there won’t be much left. I also follow them on facebook and typically about twice a year (once in the fall, once in the spring) they’ll hold a 50% off event to offload this seasons excess. This is when I typically purchase new jeans and essentials.
THREE // Buy After Season
As we decorated our Christmas Tree this year, I had to cut off many $1.00 clearance tags from our ornaments. My youngest brother, John, happened to be in town and observed this as “such a Debbie thing”. But to me, it doesn’t bother me to wait until after each holiday to buy for the next year’s event—for example I had 4 designer ornaments from HomeGoods that I hung on our tree for a total of $4.00—which at HomeGoods retail prices would have totaled $15.00. Not the biggest deal to save $11.00, I know, but for me, it’s part of the excitement of shopping and makes next year’s decorating more fun!
So buying that nice wool sweater in the spring at 50% off and storing it until next winter is fine by my standards, exciting even.
FOUR // Online Coupon Codes
I always google coupon codes before checking out at any store online. Often, something will pop up! From Walgreens photo coupons to H&M Clothing Codes, I can typically save 10-20% off my order. Another great resource for shopping online is the Honey App—It is a downloaded app for Chrome that will automatically scan a site for savings and apply it to your cart. For example, recently I was shopping at H&M online during their Cyber Monday Sale. Items were marked down 50% which I felt pretty great about, but a quick scan of the Honey App revealed that my cart was further eligible for a discount code which got me an additional 20% off. It does all the work for you: It scans the site for codes, applies them and saves you money. I’ve used it on sites from H&M to Macy’s to Amazon. As much as I like to stay off the grid and not give away my data, the honey app is helpful for online shopping. Check the Honey App out here with my referral code: joinhoney.com/ref/uczrsg
Do you have any tips or tricks for saving? I’m always on the hunt for better ways to save!