Sunday, September 23, 2012

2 Simple Tips For Thrifty Shopping Without The Thrift Store

She's the most interesting thrifter in the world.

Being thrifty means more than shopping secondhand. Let's face it. There are times when you can't find everything you need or even want from the local thrift store. So how do I reconcile retail shopping and staying thrifty? I have two basic maneuvers that I encourage you to practice whenever possible.

  • Scour the clearance section. While not every retailer will have a section specially for clearance merchandise, many do. It never hurts to look. I've scored clothes, shoes, books, food and much more for far less compared to standard retail prices. Just be sure to check product condition and expiration dates if applicable.

Retail price $12. Supermarket clearance price: $3.

There are certain things I can't typically buy cheaply. Face products and haircare products cost me a pretty penny, since I have sensitive skin and have to be wary of what I use. $3 for a big bottle of my favorite hypoallergenic facial cleanser? Yes, please! 

I pillaged the Barnes and Noble clearance section. 

Ah yes, clearance books. Nothing like a stack of cheap reads. I usually have no problem finding interesting books at the thrift, but that doesn't mean a visit to Barnes and Noble is a fruitless trip. 

Madame Bovary: Regularly priced $5. Clearance price with member discount: $2.25
Ghost Towns Yesterday and Today: Originally $25. Clearance price with member discount: $5.40 

M is For Monster: Original price $22. Clearance price with member discount: $2.70

  • Work the sales and the coupons like a pro. You don't have to be on Extreme Couponing to know a bargain when you see one. Be patient and search sales fliers for deals, then get to the coupon clipping. Want some examples? 
Black patent leather wedges, brand spankin' new.

Another expenditure where I can't afford to be too stingy are shoes. I have clown feet, in size 11... size 10 if I'm lucky enough to find certain styles with a wide-width. So when a sale and a coupon can be combined, by George I do it! These shoes are $60 regularly priced. But I also found a lovely button-down top on sale for $15 from the same store. Fortunately for me I had a $25 off a $75 purchase coupon. Original price for shoes and shirt: $90. Sale and coupon price: $50.

The average cost of this can of soup is $3.00

I like canned vegetable soup. Its saves a heck of a lot of time in making lunch. It's not always cheap... but today it was. My supermarket had a one-day only special sale on select varieties of Progresso vegetable classics for just .79 cents a can! But that's not all, folks. I had a coupon for $1.00 off 4 cans of Progresso. Soooo.....

.79 x 4 cans of soup is $3.16  - 1.00 coupon  = $2.16
That's $2.16 for 4 cans of soup! 

. . . . . 

Sure, I love thrifting. I love flea markets and garage sales and thrift stores the size of shopping malls. But sometimes you have to do the retail thing. And you don't have to sacrifice your frugal ways. Trust me. I know how it is. Now, isn't it nice to know you can still be thrifty when it comes to retail with just two simple steps? 

How do you stay thrifty outside of the thrift store? 


The mum of all trades said...

I always make a beeline for the clearance section too, I've got some great bargains there. Must start thinking about coupons now.

Anonymous said...

I can not thank you adequately for the posts on your web site. I know you'd put a lot of time and effort into them and hope you know how much I appreciate it. I hope I'll do exactly the same for someone else at some point.

Jackie Jardine said...

Hi there, Mum. I tend to save a bunch using coupons. I just a use a miniature dollar store accordion style folder and tab off sections for the supermarket, for fast food, for restaurants, for clothing/shoes, etc. I also try to keep them rotated so they don't expire before I get a chance to use them.

I think the trick is trying to combine store sales and coupons for maximum savings.

And I do love my clearance finds!

<3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

Witchcrafted Life said...

I adore your spin on those awesome Dos Equis beer commercials - I'll be smiling all week over the line "She's the most interesting thrifter in the world". :)

♥ Jessica

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks, Jessica! I had the idea while I was in a cafe and literally chuckled. I probably looked a bit nuts. Oh well, lunacy is the price we creative folk have to pay for our passion, right?

<3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

Vanessa said...

When necessity forces me to the retail store you can bet your ass I go for the clearance section. Never hurts to pick up the sales flier to see what's on sale and ask attendants for coupons as well. I've transition to being raw vegan now and it's expensive as hell, so I always hunt online for things I can buy in bulk. And for crafting/art needs, Michaels and Joanns have coupons available for print online all the time, I love using their 45% off ones! Huge help! Viva la savings!

Vanessa said...

Oh, and I make my own beauty stuff like a hippie. If I had to rough it all I'd need is coconut oil and baking soda for EVERYTHANG.

Jackie Jardine said...

Van, keeping on a budget with a special diet is hard, I'd imagine. I mean...even when I was on Weight Watchers and bulking up on the grains, fruits, veggies, soy, got pricey. Vegan diets must be costly. Thank God for coupons and sales.

I also enjoy making (some) of my own beauty products. I make a killer face scrub using mostly honey, green tea leaves, epsom salts (for an exfoliant) and vitamin E oil. It last forever and it works better than store-bought scrubs!

<3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

Mystery Shopper Services said...

Impressive tips! Now, readers can save a good amount of bucks when they go shopping! Seems like you are a good candidate for a mystery shopping job!