Andy is away--again for Scout Camp. I figure if he gets to have fun, so do I. Before he left I took 2 hours and went clearance shopping. I found some good deals at Target--love perimeter shopping. I have tried to keep a list in my purse of things I actually need, and not just buy stuff (read: crap) because it's cheap. If you can't really use it or don't know why you are buying it, it's wasting money, not saving it.
Anyway we had some rugs that needed replacing and I got new ones 75% off. I also bought the girls some clothes for next summer--retail $13 for shorts $8 for shirts, I paid $3 for shorts and $1.74 for shirts and I also got them pjs for Xmas for $5.74. If you have kids and don't already shop a year ahead you may want to consider buying some things on clearance. Yes, there are trends that come and go, and if storage is an issue it may not work, but some smart retail decisions can save money in the long run. Here is what works for me: 1- keep a list of current sizes and needs for each kid. 2- Only buy basics-jeans are jeans and t-shirts are t-shirts no matter what the decade. I don't buy a ton, but if there's a huge clearance sale, I will stock 2 or 3 items per kid. This mixed with whatever made it through the previous season usually makes a decent wardrobe. Also I stock up on socks, underwear and seasonal items in the next size up because, again, it's basic and you'll use it.
So my oldest girls have 4 pairs of shorts each and 3 t-shirts for next spring/summer and the shorts were between $10 and $15 per pair, I paid $2-3 per pair. The shirts were between $8-10 each and I paid $1.74 - $3 each. I also try to pay for these things in cash so it doesn't sit on a credit card. The shorts are long enough that unless they grow a literal 10 inches by next summer, they will work. And everything has adjustable waists to fit them where needed. I can't believe how expensive tween's clothing is. Total sticker shock since my little girls have lots of hand me downs from the older girls and boy's clothing is basically a church suit, jeans, polos and t's.
My advice for clearance shopping: 1-be organized-keep a list of needs so you're pennies stretch. That's not to say an occassional want can't be purchased. 2- be familiar with current prices. Sometimes a "deal" at one store can be found as a regular price at another. 3- Shop the perimeter--outside aisles and endcaps for great clearance at stores like Wal-mart and Target. 4. If you use coupons, bring them with you when you shop because you can use many maufacturers coupons on items that are on clearance.
After my spree today I can home exhausted. Andy was on his way out the door and I had 5 hungry mouths to feed. I had a dinner planned, but I figured let's forget "the plan" and go out. I had a gift certificate to a local pizza place that I'd purchased online at an extreme discount and a redbox code so we had a nice dinner out and a fun movie at home. Maybe the kids won't be so sad that their dad is gone....maybe they'll have so much fun they won't notice...here's hoping the tears aren't many.