Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Back to School

My favorite time of year is upon us! BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING! It's that one time of year where I don't have to ask for permission from my husband (and baby daddy) to SPEND SPEND SPEND on our little one. You know what else I love about back to school shopping? Shopping SMART and celebrating all the SAVINGS! Sure, many of us here in Texas get excited when tax free weekend comes around but for me, I enjoy saving throughout the summer and behind my computer. Here are a few of my tips for back to school shopping on a budget!

Kindergarten haul

1. Take advantage of End of Summer sales.
The sales start at the end of June and go on until late August. I don't usually purchase when they first start because they are the least amount of savings, I usually wait it out and just keep my eye on the things I love. My target is usually 40-60% off the original retail value and then I hit 'em with the extra discount code like BAM! So, at the end of it I'm saving around 70-80%. I stock up on lots of tees, shorts, and skirts. Items that are versatile throughout summer and winter. For girls its so easy to throw on a pair of tights or a cardigan to handle the cooler weather. For boys, well, ask me in six years when my boy starts school, its still a foreign thing to me!

2. Subscribe to E-Newsletters and Social Media
I know how annoying these things can be but I kinda love them. I get the scoop as the sales happen and the newsletters will most likely contain all your promo codes to add additional savings. In addition to the newsletters, I follow a lot of my favorite retailers on instagram and "like" my local stores on Facebook (like the Lakeline store for Gap). The local stores will usually let you know when they are running an additional percentage off sale items. Thats usually about the only time I show my face in store. I've actually been previously known as the Clearance Clearer. Yeah, that's right, you better be taking my advice!

3. Ebates!
Don't have an ebates account? GET ONE! As soon as I am even THINKING of spending money online, I hop on over to ebates, select my shopping destination, and get on my merry way. Then, in about a week, I check back and watch my savings accumulate! All you have to do is register once and it saves all your information. Depending on where you shop, you receive anywhere from 2-8% cash back on your purchases, and sometimes even more. When you are ready to collect, they mail you a check. Super simple!

4. Free Shipping
This is kind of a no brainer. During sale times, I love spending my money at places who offer free shipping because I can simply pick up an item at a time as they go on sale. I absolutely HATE paying for shipping, it pains me every time I have to do it. I am the most loyal to the places that offer free shipping all the time no matter what. Unfortunately these places are hard to come by. Piperlime used to be my ALL TIME favorite place to buy Ellie shoes. They had free shipping and often had promo codes to tally on additional savings in a realm of children's retail that is very rare. Unfortunately the kids section of Piperlime shuttered last winter and I am still crying about it over here! Where are my tissues!??!

5. When you think you can save more, YOU CAN!
Have you ever sat at the checkout screen and contemplated if what you are paying is really worth it? I do it all the time! I'm not a cheapskate by any means but I am pretty good at sniffing out the bottom line costs. When in doubt, simply Google "(Insert store name) discount code" and lo and behold, a website or two will offer a few extra codes to unlock more savings. I do this all the time when shopping through Gap and Old Navy. Usually I'll come across the discount codes meant for people who are celebrating birthdays that month that the retailer gives them as a gift to celebrate. Sometimes there are even free shipping codes you might've missed.

Hopefully you find this information useful. I've already scored a few things for the coming school year. The hunt is on!


The Clearance Clearer

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