Monday, May 4, 2009

Moms love a bargain

Way before we were hit by this recession, I was a thrifty mom. When my first son was born, I clipped coupons, saved labels from diapers packages for promotions, stocked up on baby food when I found a good sale, purchased gently used clothing at garage sales and gladly accepted used baby gear from my older sister.

Over the years, I’ve continued looking for ways to save money in raising my large family. I buy a lot of food in bulk and have figured out how to combine coupons with sale prices and in-store ads at places like Walgreen’s to get bottles of dish soap for 69 cents or a $4 bottle of shampoo for $1.50.

Aside form the strategic planning for bargains, I love being in the right place at the right time and finding a great deal. Just thought I’d share my great buys over the past couples weeks.
One way I’ve found to save money on clothing is to buy it at the end of the season at clearance prices to be worn the following season. I’m able to find a lot of great clothing as it goes out of season. Last year I picked up some winter coats for the boys that had been marked down as low at $12.

On my recent shopping trip, I got some $1.97 long-sleeved shirts at Old Navy. Often, I’ll find shirts that are normally $12 - $18 for $7.49 or $4.97. Once in a while I get lucky and find some cute tops in the right sizes for under $2. I just pulled out some summer clothes I’d packed away for my youngest and in the pile was a cute solid ringer t-shirt with the clearance tag of $1.47 on it.

Another place I love to shop for clothing for the kids is Kohl’s. They have nice brands the boys like. I stopped in a couple weeks ago planning to use the $20 in Kohl’s cash I’d accumulated on an earlier visit. I headed over to the overflowing clearance racks in the boys’ section and left with three hoodies (2 that had a bonus radio and ear buds along with them) and seven other long-sleeved shirts for $34 (after applying my Kohl’s cash.) The most expensive thing was a Tony Hawk hoodie for my oldest for $10.80. The least expensive was a Nike shirt for $2.

Last week, I was making a quick run into ALDI for milk and was greeted by some racks of flowers as I walked in. I picked up four 8-inch planters (2 snapdragons and 2 petunias) for $1.99 each and put them out of the front porch. While I love to add potted flowers around the outside of the house, it’s not often that I buy cut flowers for inside, but I couldn’t pass up the one-day only sale of a half-dozen roses with baby’s breath for just 99 cents! Sometimes great bargains don’t come from good planning, but good timing.

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