Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Live Well/Money--Buy The Way

I am probably not the only woman who browses retail web sites looking at clothes I cannot afford.

The site I like to torture myself with the most is Bluefly.com, a web site that sells "discount" designer clothing. I say "discount" because a pair of Prada shoes at $1400, while a discount to some, is not to a person making barely over minimum wage. Less extravagant sites, J. Crew, Sahalie, Jessica Simpson (while I cannot tolerating this doting goober, she does make clothing especially appropriate for curvy women) do offer sales, but are still not officially in my budget.

This month Woman's Day categorized a few "save money scams" that aren't always a money saver. I would like to add my own commentary:

Buy in Bulk and Save

 I am not a Sam's Club member because I am not shopping for a family. However, if you are knowledgable about the advantage of shopping local you will realize that some items are a better value locally. One of the items I buy in bulk are herbs from our locally owned organic store. They are much less expensive and the fresh quality isn't even comparable to chain stores. You can buy teas as well as plain condiments like pepper and oregano.

BOGO (buy one get one)

Your best bet for BOGO is grocery items. If you can use coupon on the "bought" item you can cut the price in half. For instance, buy one/get one candy bars. Got a $0.50 coupon for one double it, and it's $1.25 you can get both for essentially $0.15 each.

Limited Time Only

My best advise for clothing and accessories is, unless you absolutely have to have it, wait. After working in retail for 10 years, I will tell you--it will go on sale. I worked for J. Crew for 4 years and I will also tell you that knowing an insider is crucial. You can go onto J. Crew's web site early in the morning to get first pick of new clearance items before they sell out. If you put the price you want to pay in the search field it will also show you everything in the specific category you choose that is that price. Many of these items will not show upon just browsing. Go through their catalog, mark what you want, mark what you want to PAY and I'd say 7 times out of 10 you will be able to get it several months later--if not just one month--for your target price. For shipping tips, email me.

By X Amount, Get Y for Free

If you are offered a gift with purchase, make sure you want the gift. If you are already buying Lancome for instance, because you love their makeup, the free travel size samples may really be a selling point. But if you kind of like that pair of Clarks and they are giving away a free calculator with the purchase ask yourself, do you really NEED a new calculator? I never understood the point of most of the gifts we gave away with shoes and Macy's but what I did know was that pair of shoes the customer was buying for $59.99 now would be $29.99 later in the month...

And BUY the WAY...

Debbie Meyer Green Bags

If you're making an effort to buy fresh fruits and vegetables but you're frustrated about their shelf life, I have used these for over a year and they honestly do extend the life of produce considerably. Better yet you can wash them and reuse them to stretch your dollar.

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Invest in what your community can lend you--including friends, church, and coworkers. Why would you buy an ice cream maker for $60 when your next door neighbor has one he has never used? Before you go out spending money on a one time item, ask people to lend. People will often just GIVE you items that were going to a tag sale anyway.


Although Costco is not in everyone's neck of the woods I know they have the cheapest prescriptions and if you want the highest quality identity theft protection, as an executive member you pay only $9.99 for Total Protection by Identity Guard--including all three credit scores and reports with quarterly updates and identity monitoring as opposed to the $19.99 price directly through the company.

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