If you’ve been around me any length of time, you know by now that I cringe at the thought of paying more than $20 for just about anything. The difference between being cheap and being a bargainista is simply this: quality. Cheapsters are all about spending as little as possible simply to save a buck. Bargainistas are all about getting the best and most for that buck! That’s me. Oh what I could do with a mere $20 bill! :) And that brings me to today’s blog topic!
Before I dive into some helpful tips, let me encourage you (as I often like to do)! No matter how little you may have financially, you can always make the most of it. Now, breathe deep and get ready to go on a bargain hunter’s journey with me!
Step ONE | Boundaries. Always begin by assessing your situation. Regardless if you have $10 or $100, determine how much you are able to spend versus how much you are willing to spend. This will strrreeeetttccchhh your money ensuring you get the most out of your budget.
Step TWO | Quality AND Quantity. You don’t have to just settle for one or the other. Determine ahead of time that you will not settle for something less than what you love, all the while holding out for the best deal.
Step THREE | Research. You’d be surprised at what kind of bargains you can get simply by knowing sales trends at your favorite stores. Get to know those shops before you shop!
Step FOUR | Priorities. One of the best ways to get the best deal on what you’re looking for is to prioritize with a list. Determine what you really want or need on this month’s budget versus what can wait for next month.
Step FIVE | Flexibility. Learning how to be willing to walk away from that end table that’s way overpriced or that rug that isn’t on sale yet becomes just as satisfying when you are willing to be flexible. This one takes practice, but is well worth it!
Now for some tricks of the trade, so to speak, for some of my favorite places to shop.
Hobby Lobby | I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but The Hob puts each department in the store 50% every month. So, if you see a lamp you love or want some scrapbook paper, just hold off until they’re 50%. No need to EVER pay full price here! You can also check out their clearance section where they price things 66-90% off. I just got this amazing mirror that I have been pining away for the last 6 months. Originally $200 and I got it for just $20! BAM! I was so excited! And don’t forget to download the Hobby Lobby app to your smart phone so you can get 40% off any regular price item.
Bargain Hunt | This store might not be in your area, but I’m sure there are others like it near you (Essex, Tuesday Morning, etc.). They get their merchandise from a myriad of stores who have overstock, and they work on a rotating discount system determined by the date. The longer the item is on the shelf, the more savings you’ll get. So, for example, if the date on the price tag is 04/20/14, then you’ll get 40% off. If it’s 05/01/14, you’ll get 30% off. Get it? I can roam the aisles for quite a bit of my day off looking for gifts or that perfect item I’ve been waiting to find. I got this great weaved basket originally $20 in the department store, marked down to $15 at Bargain Hunt, then discounted to $3 because it had been on the shelf for a while. Love it!
Target | You have probably read all over Pinterest by now that there are some awesome sales tips to watch for at Target. The first is that they operate on a rotating clearance schedule where they markdown different departments at different times. Here’s a breakdown for you:
- MONDAY: Kids Clothing, Stationary Items, Electronics, Baby
- TUESDAY: Domestics, Food, Women’s Clothing, Pets
- WEDNESDAY: Men’s Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty, Lawn and Garden
- THURSDAY: Housewares, Shoes, Lingerie, Sporting Goods, Music, Movies, Books, Decor, Luggage
- FRIDAY: Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, Jewelry
They also have a clever way of pricing so that you can determine if the item will go on sale even more (although, you will have to put into practice step five above!). On the price tag, check the upper right hand corner. There will either be a 15, 30, 50, 70 or 75 printed in tiny print. These numbers represent the percentage of the discount. So, if it says 70 or 75 on it, grab it while you can because that’s the lowest it will be priced. I got this amazing tray (which I had looked at several times before!) for just $5.98 (original price was $15). Perfect!
I hope these tips and tricks help! Happy shopping!
For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, | Titus 1:7