Monday, September 7, 2009

Shopping all year round for the best Deals. Part 2

Shopping the sales:
Learn your seasonal clearance schedules, these may not always be around the holidays, but usually happen at the same times every year.

For example:

On a Smaller Scale

Target has a weekly mark down schedule, which varies by store, but generally follows a set pattern. These clearance items are usually set out on the end caps, and people that shop Target clearance regularly, call this kind of shopping Perimeter Perusing, so called because they walk the end caps/perimeter of the store looking for great deals!

Aside from knowing the mark down schedule the best way to keep tabs on these mini sales are to keep your eyes open and observe for yourself when mark downs usually happen. Clearance items usually start out at 15% and drop from there…sometimes all the way to 75%off. Or if you’re feeling more bold, feel free to politely grab an employee that is marking stuff down and just ask them.

The Typical Target mark down schedule is as follows

Kids Clothing, Stationary Items, Electronics

Domestics, Food, Women's Clothing, Pets

Men's Clothing, Toys, Lawn and Garden

Housewares, Shoes, Lingerie, Sporting Goods, Music, Movies, Books, Decor

Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, Jewelry

On a Larger Scale

Target’s Big Toy Clearance - July and October are the clearance events at Target, where they put BIG selections of toys on clearance, beginning at 15% and then take them down to 75% until they’re gone. This sale for me has been a little tricky for me the last couple of years because the rate at how fast they put the toys to 75% has kept changing. Sometimes they’ll draw the sale out for a week or two, other times BANG! All the toys were just all of a sudden 75%. Again you just have to keep an eye on things.

Walmart has these too, although I'm not sure of the times of the year.

(goodies I got from a few of the infamous Target toy Sales, I was lucky to get all 4 items at 75% off...$2.50 for the Lil Angelz Bratz set, $6.25 for the larger Bratz playset...the two Barbies were found at a walmart toy clearance event)

Also, be sure to check out online vendors such as Twice a year usually in June and then again in November or there abouts they offer a special check out code that takes an extra 20%off already really low prices. Nine times out of ten DeepDiscount has the lower price out of Amazon, Walmart, and Barnes and Noble, and with free shipping it makes the deal even sweeter. However if you do take the free shipping option, be sure to order early because their shipping has been known to be a little on the slow side.

Take advantage of freebie and free with purchase offers:

When you sign up for store and company newsletters there’s a good chance they’ll send out Internet and or standard US mail coupons for free and or free with purchase items. These coupons can usually be redeemed to your advantage.

For example:
Recently Victoria Secrets sent out a coupon to their Pink Nation members, good for a free travel pack of goodies worth $25 when you purchased a Pink product, many customers were lucky to find pink lolly pops for $1.50 to meet the purchase requirement. So for $1.50 you could get a travel pack worth $25 and a lolly pop. A great birthday or holiday present for very little money!

(the example of the travel pack from Victoria Secrets, unfortunately I had to make due with a purchase of $5 soap)

Another example of making freebies work for you during gift giving times is when a place like Walgreens or CVS has an item such as a candle or bath product on sale and you get a store voucher (Register rewards at Walgreens or Extra Care Bucks at CVS) good for the price of that item to use on a later shopping trip to the store. Candles can keep for a long time, and bath products such as body wash or body lotion have started to come in more appealing packages that could easily be put into a pretty little gift basket!

(an example of Glade candles that usually go on sale at Walgreens and or CVS)

Searching the repeat sales:
The small jewelry boutiques called ICINGS or the younger geared versions called CLAIRE’S are a great find for purses, wallets, or makeup bags (useful for putting other gifts in) as well as nifty inexpensive jewelry and the like.

I add this small section for the sole fact that I find the buy 10 items for $10 or better still the buy 15 items for $10 sales from these stores are almost a constant. There may be a pattern or a season to these, but if there is I don’t know them.

In Closing A word of warning, you may be tempted but;

Do Not Over Buy: Keep track of your purchases

Do Not Over Stuff a gift: Think of the products as full price and not the price you paid for them that way instead of filling a birthday bag or a Christmas stocking with 10 items that you paid $5 for you will fill it with perhaps 5 items worth $25.