Thursday, March 1, 2012

“Bargain shopping” Thrifty Living Series

I’m a bargain shopper from ‘way back when’! Most of you know that I raised 4 sons and they were very close in age so I had 4 teenagers at the same time! I remember when we went through one loaf of bread every day and one gallon of milk every two days! So there was never money for ‘extras’. So I bargain shopped then by going to garage sales. I bought so many of their toys, games and even sports equipment from garage sales. This still can be a fun way to bargain shop. ( I don’t go to garage sales any more… but never say never!)

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My favorite stores now are Thrift stores. I don’t shop at Goodwill or Antique stores very often but there are two really good thrift stores near me. One is a Hospice Thrift Store and the other is a thrift store sponsored by a local church. I find some of the best deals at these two stores and I never spend very much money.

Of course for clothing or household items that you need to buy new, it’s fun to spend time looking through the clearance racks at the mall. I usually buy my clothes at the end of the season and get great deals on everything.

I know there are many that take advantage of the big stores like ALDI, Sams and Big Lots but they aren’t on my regular shopping route. I do shop at Walmart. It’s very close to my house and has the best prices on so many necessities! The Dollar Stores have good prices, too but I avoid them because of all of the cheap ‘Made in China’ items. I know it’s fun to change our décor but I find things at the Thrift store for less money and think it’s a better way to ‘recycle’ and have the money I spend go to a good cause, too.

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I like to shop!

I’m not a big spender but I love finding a bargain!

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My photos are taken of the view from my kitchen sink. I took the big live oak tree with azaleas blooming today but used an old photo (below) of my kitchen from a couple of months ago decorated with Christmas candles. If I took this last shot today, I would get 2 laptop computers that my husband has on the kitchen table! haha! I thought you would rather see candles!

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For online shopping I like Amazon. It’s a great site to compare prices, too. Of course ETSY is wonderful for handmade items and vintage things.

Do you have other online stores that you enjoy? 

What are some of the ways you save money

when you shop for the ‘extras’?

42 comments:

Debby said...

I really don't shop much at all. I mail order clothes but not very often. I buy things for the grandkids but keep my eye out for sales. They have so many things already so I buy something different. But I have gotten them American Girl dolls and that is so out of character for me.....not the dolls - but the expense. My adult kids trade clothes and toys with each other and their good friends. I wish that would have hapened when I had little ones.
I also buy only gifts that are disposable......paper goods, lotions, candles and etc.

laurie said...

you live in a perfect spot you do.
I shop online for some clothing, only onsale because I really like Eddie Bauer and they have great sales.We try to shop the sales here, nothing is far away, small city, the flyers come weekly and we plan around them pretty much,

Della said...

I love a good bargain, too! We are fortunate to have roadside produce markets around town, and the fruit and veggies are always at their peak, fresh, delicious, LOCAL, and cheaper than the grocery stores.

Della said...

I forgot to add....
as far as extras go, I buy paper goods at Walmart. Kohl's always has a sale and is a great place to buy clothes. Stein Mart has some great deals, too.

Diane Writes said...

I am actually a terrible shopper namemate :( but you know whatni enjoyed this post. I love hearing your own family stories. I begin to admire you more. You are a great mom!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Beautiful view Diane, and great ideas for searching for bargains.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

My Vintage Mending said...

I thrift store shop. Just like you. Meal plan for our family saves loads of money. Clothes can just eat you alive in the budget so we only buy them for gifts or when needed. Shoes are bought online after tried on in the store. I am mostly an online shopper so that I can compare and find the best price. Beautiful photos...smiles...Renee

Vee said...

You have so many choices for retail therapy. We all do really for the number of sites online. I recently noted that many folks are ordering their groceries/staples online and having them shipped for free. This means a big savings on gasoline.

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Oh I am a bargain shopper also and I love buying clothes at the end of the season because it is like getting a new wardrobe for a fraction of the cost.

Echoes From the Hill said...

I also like amazon.com, but I discovered that Lands' End, on line, has some wonderful buys on clearance items. You can Google Lands' End promo codes and find additional discounts and free shipping codes most of the time. It is also very handy to be able to return items to a Sears store that sells Lands' End items. I have found some fantastic buys at Goodwill, and shop there frequently. nancyr

Ginger Zuck said...

I don't shop very much at all any longer. I really don't need much except necesities or special ocassion. But, I do love to find special things at antique shops here in town when I want to get out for the day. I love Etsy and all it's creativity for that special find and I cannot live without Amazon. I do order books and download my reads for Kindle from there and I also use for price comparison! Thanks for the tips.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I am mostly a thrift store shopper and as you know love my bargains. I do shop the big box stores sometimes but only when they are on my route! Good post! Hugs, Linda

Jess Schleicher said...

Mainly Amazon and Etsy. My kids are still little, so real life shopping for things other than food is a bit stressful!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Yep I can remember going to yard sales with my mom and the thrift store all the time. Half my wardrobe growing up was thrifted. She taught me well.

Betsy said...

Of course I love Etsy and occasionally buy on Ebay too, but I'm a yard sale flea market gal all the way. I buy clothes new, but never, ever pay full price. So many sales out there these days and no reason to pay full price. I've been buying a lot of groceries at Target lately, so much cheaper than the grocery store. Can't wait for the farmers market to start up for all the fresh produce.

Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes said...

The view outside your kitchen window is very nice. Must be pleasant to work in there and see that view. There are several Dollar Store type places nearby which I really enjoy going in to pick up inexpensive craft items or small things for the house. I am no snob when it comes to finding a place for bargains. I shop where the prices are right and the product is of good quality, no matter the brand or store name. Your advice is very sound from years of experience.
I understand why you love dolls now that I know you had a family of guys. Have a great day dear friend.--- Shannon

Claudia said...

We all love a bargain! Great ideas, Diane, that I'm sure everyone will find valuable.

xo
Claudia

Janette - The2Seasons said...

I'm trying to be better with couponing, thanks to Jordan's inspiration. I also love finding a great bargain. My best clothing finds are when they are 75% off the lowest marked price!!!

Pam at Antique or Not said...

Diane, my husband is Canadian of Ukrainian extraction, so I've had to learn to be thrifty in order to live with him! LOL

He does the grocery shopping (he actually enjoys it!) and shops the sales...if it's not on sale, he generally won't buy it. He'll stop at each of the three grocery stores in our area and has a specific list of items to buy from each. No impulse shopping allowed. When we lived in the South, we did a lot of our grocery shopping at Aldi...SO much cheaper!

As for me, I like to shop online and do most of my shopping at Amazon.com for household items (but I always comparison shop at other sites just in case). Since we just moved to a more wintry area than we lived in before, I bought my new winter clothes at Lands End in December...you just can't beat the deals. I got tons of beautiful feminine turtlenecks for $5.00 each, and a gorgeous down vest for only $29, plus lots of other goodies. And if I don't like something that they send me, I can just return it at a local Sears that has a Lands End section...easy peasy!

Hugs,
Pam

Cameron said...

Things are tighter now than they have ever been....so I don't shop for myself retail at all. I just bought a second pair of jeans at the thrift store yesterday because I was down to 1 pair.
To indulge myself though, I will barter my art or services (I used to be a massage therapist before we moved)to try to get little things that I can't justify buying. My husband gets gift cards for Christmas (he's a teacher) and we'll try to spread these out to use all year.

Ann said...

What a gorgeous oak tree! I, too, have been thrift shopping for many years. It's not only cost efficient but fun -- and you never know what you're going to find!

Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful view you have from your kitchen window! Love that oak tree!I also shop at the end of the season and regularly check clearance racks at Macy's, Dillard's, Kohl's and Penneys. I am able to find nice things for my granchildren at great prices.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

I love yard sales (we call them garage sales) for stuff I buy cheap and make -over. I only buy clothes for myself when they're on sale - Kohls or Old Navy and I always get good deals. My downfall is Amazon and I Tunes. I'm on a self-imposed spending freeze from both of them for 30 days now.

Olive Cooper said...

I garage sale, thrift store shop at Goodwill and the Catholic thrift store too. Plus other because we have two houses 70miles apart. I wear all thrifted clothes too. I promise you cannot tell. I wear name brand expensive clothes that cost less than 3.50 an item. I do buy jeans at Old Navy once a year but I did find some at a yard sale for two dollars so now I am set. I have a 20 yo girl in college and she wears thrifted clothes too and when ever we buy new she is appalled at the price. My work is done.

Kelly said...

We sound a lot alike in the shopping area! I love Amazon as well, and Etsy is a staple! It's how we grab those extras every now and then.

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Brenda said...

Thrifting is my thing! My motto is (and it takes patience): Never buy retail. I know there are times that buying retail is necessary, but 9 times out of 10 it can be found on sale or thrifted.

ot - I'm doing a surprise giveaway on my blog!

Lucy said...

Wow, what a beautiful view you have from your window! Oh, I couldn't even begin to give shopping advice, I stink at it but I am definitely going to have to use the tips I read here and in the comments, just never thought of some of this stuff :)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I am hooked on garage sales and find marvelous things there. One thing I do both when doing the garage sales and second hand stores..whatever. I keep disinfectant wipes in the car..and when I leave, I clean my hands. :)

Picky? Maybe, but germs can be picked up as can other things..
I am just a little cautious. Especially before we eat our breakfast on Saturday mornings.

Your pictures are just plain wonderful. :)

Cranberry Morning said...

I don't often get to garage sales, but I do like to stop in at thrift stores occasionally. I feel like I hit the jackpot this week with a great deal on an item I was hoping to find! I do like to shop at Aldi for produce and some canned goods. The prices are so much cheaper. I actually like to find what I can from my list at Aldi, then when I can't find an item there, move to the next least-expensive, Walmart. Also, Amazon.com (new and used) and Abebooks.com are where I find great bargains on books!

Shelia said...

You're really fortunate to have such great thrift shops. I usually have to go out of town to find my things. We have a GW but after hurricane Ike hit us over 3 years ago, there hasn't been much good stuff.
Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

ImSoVintage said...

Thrift stores are my favorite.

Jann Olson said...

Hi Diane, for me it's more the hunt. It just is so darn fun. Back when I had 5 small cildren I was a big coupon person. Saved alot on groceries that way. Now I don't really need to budget, but I was raised frugally and it's just in my blog. Always looking for bargains.
Hugs,
Jann

Vintage Home said...

except for a new couch all our furniture is vintage!

Doreen Frost said...

Hello Diane. Thank you SO much for stopping by for a visit..I feel just awful that it has been so very long since my last visit to you. I promise to get better!!!

Your photo's are beautiful..gosh I love where you live :)

hugs, doreen

Marina said...

My favorite store is Amazon. But I don't do shopping very often, I mean actual shopping when I spend money. Sometimes I just need to vent and I do window shopping, no money spent. I found an antique store here, that is more like a thrift store, where I found a few inexpensive things for my kitchen. And I mean like a dollar or two price range.

ceremonial scissors said...

Logically, the best way to save money is to substitute your expensive spending habits with money-saving choices. You can buy generic items over name brands, use coupons and shop sales, and reuse household items whenever possible. These ideas are obvious. However, there are also a number of other not-so-obvious changes you can make to save some cash.

Gina said...

I love thrift shoppe shopping! We don't have very many near us but there is a very nice Goodwill not too far away.

Online, I do like Amazon and sometimes Barnes and Noble.

Have a lovely Friday evening!

Gina

Angie Berry said...

4 sons and teenagers around the same time, OH MY!!! How on earth did you survive?? Our one teenage boy can eat us out of house and home. I have to put restrictions on him even being in the kitchen! Then the little guy is following in his footsteps and can almost eat like him. I can't even imagine 4 when I can't hardly keep food for the 2 that I have. Good thing my 1 girl doesn't eat much, lol.

But yes, I understand about the thrifty part. Our Goodwills don't have much around here. Every time I go in, I walk out with hardly anything and I'm always wondering how so many people find such great things but I can never find anything. We have some wonderful thrift stores but none are close. I have to go out of my way to get to them so I only go occasionally. Which is why I hit lots of garage sales. I love bargains too! =]

The big oak and azaleas are gorgeous! I'm sure it's beautiful in every season.

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Tammy said...

I don't like our Goodwill store either. I never find anything there. My favorites are a United Volunteers store and a church associated one too. They have the best stuff. Just today I got two great pieces of fabric, the hubs found a book, and we even splurged on some Girl Scout cookies as the shop owner had let a local troop set up a cookie table at one of our stops.
I love your live oak view. That might even make me enjoy washing the dishes!!

*Kel* said...

I love our local thrift store & do lots of after season clearance! I've done woot.com for some refurbished electronics. Our 11 year old daughter got a very sophisticated telescope for Christmas through them. I think I paid $50.