Saturday, January 26, 2013

Clearance and Coupons

Before Lauren took off last weekend with her friends to go looking for a dress and pair of shoes for a dance at school, I told her that I had coupons for Kohl's and Payless.  Both my mom and my husband's parents used coupons.  Lauren has grown up watching both the hubby and I using them. I have taught my daughter well.  She used both of the coupons!  I went last week looking for some long pants and long sleeved shirts for Dominic at Sears. Even though I didn't have coupons, they had tons of winter clothes on clearance for men, women and kids and most of it was an additional 30% off.  I got Dominic two long sleeved shirts, two pairs of pants, and a fleece jacket.  For myself, I got a pair of jeans and two sweaters. Now is the best time to stock up on winter clothes.  Most of the stores are bringing in the spring and summer stuff.  Just about any store you go to will have at least one aisle (or at a minimum, a few shelves or racks) marked "clearance."  I went looking for Christmas cards a few weeks after Christmas at Meijer.  I think I got them for 50 percent off.  I thought I was getting a great deal, but then a week or so later they had marked down their holiday stuff even more.  It was 90% off!!  Geez, that's almost giving it away.  It really blows my mind that stores will mark their merchandise that much off.  I learned an important lesson though last winter about clearance items.  Dominic was in desperate need of a winter coat and L.L. Bean had one on clearance, it was Dominic's size and everything.  I kept checking back on the website, hoping the price would go down even further.  I waited too long!!! I ended up having to buy him a coat full-price!  I was so upset with myself.  Never again will I let that happen.  I don't carry binders or shoeboxes into stores when I go shopping, but we do have our food coupons in an accordian file.  It's small enough to fit in my purse and I go through it every week or so and file the new coupons and toss the expired ones.  A year or so ago, I bought a zippered pencil case (it was in the clearance area at OfficeMax) and in that I put my coupons for non-grocery items.   I always have it in my purse. Before I bought my pencil case, I would leave the non-grocery coupons at home.  Inevitably, I would be out shopping, wishing I had a particular coupon with me! Another lesson learned - always take my coupons with me!! Check with the different stores you shop at, most will have a shopper's "loyalty" card.  I have yet to get one that costs anything.  Taking a few minutes to fill out the form in person or online will save you money at the checkout.  There will usually be a place on the form to put your e-mail account - do it!  I get coupons that way too. When I went to Sears less than a week ago to get some socks for Lauren, the clerk said, "do you know you have points on your "rewards" card?"  She was able to apply the points towards my purchase of the socks - it took an additional $5.00 off the bill.  It made my day!

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