We’ve all heard the saying “Never Pay Retail,” but how many of us really believe that’s actually possible?
So maybe “never” is a bit presumptuous but as often as possible would be nice.
I realized the secret to discovering all the many ways to avoid paying retail lied with all my Dallas-savvy, shopping-savvy mommy friends. So in the spirit of sharing, here are some of our best strategies for saving money and avoiding retail prices at all costs:
If We All Knew What We All Know: Never Pay Retail!
- Resale/Consignment Stores/Consignment Sales– for kids, teenagers and adults alike, stores like RaRa’s Closet, Once Upon A Child, Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, Clothes Circuit, Bye & Buy, and ShopMieux are all great places to score mid-range and designer brand clothing and accessories for next to nothing. And this list doesn’t even touch the surface of the vast array of consignment/thrift store options available in our wonderful city. There are tons! If you have a favorite, please share it in the comments below.
- Coupons/Discount codes/Promo codes/Sales – just about every retailer – online and in-store – offers some sort of discount offer. From Shutterfly to Bed, Bath & Beyond to Walgreens/CVS to Loft, the list goes on and on. And honestly if you ask me, you CAN sign up for too many email offers. They have the potential to inundate your Inbox. I would suggest signing up for the offers to the stores where you regularly shop. As one mom friend put it, I have to remind myself that eventually everything at Gymboree, Carter’s, Gap (etc) is 40% or 50% off.
Retail Me Not App – who can resist looking at your phone every time that handy little cash register sound goes off to alert you to a nearby offer? Talk about tailoring your savings to the stores you are actually patronizing.
- Facebook Buy/Sell Pages – Of course there is always Craig’s List, but if you prefer to keep it a little closer to home, Facebook has a buy/sell page for every taste. Whether it be all things kids, home decor, crafts or men-only items, you can find a page to join that will be full of drastically discounted treasures.
- Dollar Tree – Discount stores in general – think Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Half of Half, Tuesday Morning (the list goes on and on). Personally, I tend to forget all the wonderful finds you can get for a DOLLAR at the Dollar Tree. I recently got almost all the party supplies I needed for a 3rd birthday party. And what I couldn’t get at the Dollar Tree, I ordered from…
- Amazon Prime – if you read my “Mommy Conveniences” post, then you already know how I feel about Amazon Prime, Amazon Mom and Subscribe & Save. But what you may not know is that there is SO much more to the beauty (and savings!) behind Amazon than many of us even realize. I’ve been an Amazon fan for many years, and I’m still learning of new opportunities with the money-saving giant. For instance, did you know that Amazon has “secret sales” where they put overstock items on (drastic) sale? And what better way to validate your shopping then to give back to a favorite charity every time you shop? Check out Amazon Prime Smile when you get a chance!
I realize what you must be thinking. All these opportunities to pay less than retail for the things we need/want are great, but there’s only one problem. Shopping like this takes the one thing that most of us have very little of – TIME! So what’s an already-too-busy-for-her-own-good mom (or dad) to do?
Been there? Tried that, you say?
Me too, and here’s what seems to finally be working for me – I now shop way ahead. Not a few days, not a week, but at least a month in advance (when possible).
Take a look at your calendar for the next month, and make a list of each opportunity that you will need/want to shop for. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, showers, etc. Going on vacation and want to buy a new bathing suit or outfit? Are your littles about to advance to the next size up in clothing or shoes? Attending a party soon and need a hostess gift? Need to replace several burned out bulbs?
Since you’re planning ahead by at least a month, you can “shop” at leisure when you’re out and about or online from the comfort of your own home. Whenever you happen to see something you need at a great price, stock up! I can’t tell you how many times this has saved the day for a birthday party present. The party day arrives, and I haven’t had time all week to shop. No worries though because I bought, wrapped & wrote the card several weeks ago, and it’s sitting by the garage door ready to go! Phew!
By the way, my personal favorite, easy-to-access method for keeping a running list is with the (free!) Notes App (available for download on Android too). Easy breezy lemon-squeezy!
What are your secrets to saving your hard-earned money? Please share!