Friday, September 3, 2010

Non-online bargain shopping...351 days to go!

To wrap up my week of bargain shopping tips, I will share a couple of tips for non-online bargain shopping. As you may have guessed, I am a big online shopping fan. Mostly because I have to sit at my computer all day because of school. However, I do occasionally get out and shop in the real world.  Well, I used to:)

So, here's a couple of places to look for deals in the non-internet realm...

1) My favorite: ROSS Dress For Less.  I go to Ross for home decor items, bedding, towels, rugs, all other manner of home goods, curtain rods (MUCH cheaper!), dress-shirts, underwear (they have a clearance section where you can get undies for around $1, oftentimes), shoes, high-end shampoo and conditioner, nylons, socks, and the list goes on. Here's my best tips for Ross:

     a) Go with a list of deals that you are gonna be looking for for awhile.
     b) Go to Ross often when you are looking for those deals
     c) Hit up the areas of the store where those deals will be every time you go there.
     d) Over time, you'll find the deals

The thing about Ross is that its stock changes VERY quickly. So, you have to look often, and look hard. As my Mom once said "Ross is like a giant garage sale." And that is true...but the stuff is new, and is often an even better deal:)

2) Old Navy. Old Navy's best sales are when they knock 50% -75% off of the already low prices in clearance. These sales are an especially great place to get men's wear, pajamas, kids clothes, and basics like t-shirts. These sales are not always advertised, so it is good to call ahead before going to see if they have a percentage off of clearance, or to check in often in person, if you like to do that.

3) Costco. I know, you have to get a membership. Although, you can ask for a membership as a gift for makes a great gift. But, the savings are immense.

Just last night, I got wonderful, organic coffee for what worked out to be $4.69/lb. I also found wild-caught smoked salmon for under $8/lb. Dove shampoo and conditioner, 40 oz. each, for the price of a 14 oz. bottle in stores. The list goes on.

You can find some great deals on food, but it is also a great place for larger purchases...we've gotten 2 beds, and 1 couch from costco, all were wonderful deals.

Now, beware, Costco is NOT dirt cheap. It isn't WalMart. BUT, the stuff from Costco is always of excellent quality, and they have an awesome returns policy. My husband said he once saw a man returning a half-eaten pie, saying that it didn't taste good (so why did you eat half of it, dude?). But they took it back, no questions asked.

4) Ok, one more online store. I'm sorry, I know I said only regular stores. But, I can't resist not sharing this one: Sierra Trading Post... . Sure, the deals are good. BUT, you can also get some great coupons. Here's how to get some good deals if you are about to make a purchase:

     a) On the front page of Sierra Trading Post, there is a link that says "Invite Friends, Get $10." It is towards the bottom, and it is in green writing.  If you are gonna make a purchase that is $30 or more, you can send one of these coupons to yourself to use. I'm assuming you probably have 2 email addresses of some kind or another. So, send yourself the $10 from one of those addresses, to the other. Once you spend the original coupon you sent to yourself (which is $10 off a purchase of $30 or more), the address you SENT that coupon from will get a gift card for $10 that you can use later. You must be a NEW CUSTOMER for the 1st coupon to work.

     b) There are always free shipping codes for Sierra. The current one is "Easter Egg." What you do with this is DO NOT enter it on the promotion code spot on the invoice. Instead, wait till you get to the page where you are going to confirm your order. Click the link that allows you to enter "special shipping instructions." Enter the code "Easter Egg" and shipping will be refunded for your order (it won't show right away, but you'll get an email within a few days that confirms the refund)

    So, those are the last of my best bargain shopping tips.  I have more, so if you ever need to find a good deal on something, just let me know and I can help!

   And lastly, before I go, I have a little update on the savings part of the challenge. We got our first credit card bill since I started the challenge. I started the challenge a couple weeks ago, and this bill was for the whole last month. Apparantly, I didn't purchase any clothes or shoes within the whole LAST MONTH. So, that was awesome. What else was awesome is this: it made a difference, money-wise. I was almost surprised, as it was a signifigant savings. So, that is a little bonus in this journey:)

Have a great weekend, folks! Hope Labor Day treats you right:) Here's some smile-y onigiri I made for today's bento boxes to wish you adieu for your weekend adventures!:


  1. Ross is just chock full of great bargains!

    And I love your cute little onigiri! Just adorable, and I know they're delicious too. :)