Tag Archives: buying nice clothes at thrift stores

More Savings From Red Racks

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Red Racks $0.50 cent sunday is still in session-sort of. They’ve changed their “format” somewhat-now the special tag that is on sale is in one easy to locate area in the women’s clothing section, spanning 2 aisles on either side. They are calling it the “Last Chance” section.

Also, they aren’t really featuring a specific color tag anymore. What they have done, instead, is to move everything on sale to this “Last chance” aisle, and mark those items down for $1 for the week, and then $0.50 on sundays. But they still have the “half off” and “25% off” tags available, so if you find those for $1 or less than you can still benefit from a good deal.

I don’t really like the change, but I did get there early enough to take advantage of it, and I was relieved that I didn’t have to walk through aisles and aisles of clothing in my third trimester.

Although I did feel sorry for the stragglers-by 11am all the good stuff was taken. Sorry folks! You’re gonna have to have to arrive early and skip out on church to benefit from this one!
IMG_2982The Yellow tags were “half off,” so I intentionally targeted the $0.98 yellow tags and still found myself with a bargain.

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With 19 items at $0.49, and 6 items in the last chance aisle for $0.50, I found myself leaving with 25 articles of very nice clothing for a under $13. And I even managed to score a few girly items that weren’t pink! Yay for Gray!

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Since I now have a nearly complete 18-2T wardrobe (with the exception of pajamas, jackets, and coats), I should probably really stop. I just don’t want to go shopping for any clothes at all until monkey baby is walking on her own, and can obey commands. I am loathe to take three children out, shopping for clothes, with a baby in tow.

So . . . somewhere between 2-3 years old I will need to go out again. But that is my excuse for justifying the additional purchases for boys clothing-I have nearly everything I need in that department as well, for the next 2-3 years (except for pajamas).

And yes, I also started a “Future’s Bin” for monkey baby, with a clothing sizes up to size 8 (Tiger boy found a $0.50 cent jacket in the 7/8 size and really wanted the baby to have it). But since I don’t need to fill all those bins right now (especially with the child in question still in utero), I really, really should stop!

I think I’m addicted.

But in the back of my mind I have this nagging voice telling me that I need pajamas, jackets, and coats. Ugh, pregnancy really makes one nuts!

Memorial Day at Red Racks

How do I love thee? Let me count the savings . . .

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I’ve been stressing about not having all of the necessary baby clothes for baby monkey in time for her arrival. So, as usual, I went to Red Racks on a sunday, hoping for some of their $0.50 deals to add to my slowly growing collection of 0-12 month infant clothing.

While I did find quite a few items, I also found out that they were opening at 7am on memorial day for their “half off everything in the store” sale. I knew it was half off on memorial day, but I didn’t know they were opening early in order to accommodate the rush.

Guess who was crazy enough to go that early? Apparently I wasn’t the only one, because when I arrived at 7:05, and the parking lot was half full. Wowsers! And the store was packed!

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Three hours, 9 bags, 163 items, and $123.00 later I was back in my own home, sorting through my hoarde. Included were a few additions to my “futures” bin, like size 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 shirts and pants. I have never in my life been so relieved that I keep clothing notes in my phone-otherwise I would have been lost. Fortunately, I knew exactly how much of what particular item I needed, and was totally able to purchase everything I needed up to 1 year (and then some), except for sleeper onesies in the 6-9 month range.

Hubby was shocked as the bags kept on coming, but after I showed him my receipt he actually gave me a look of approval! I thought he’d be upset, until I realized that in his family, his sister will spend the same amount of money on kids clothing and come home with 15 items. He calmly informed me that “You wouldn’t have gone so early and spent so much if we didn’t need all of those things.” I love it that he trusts me (I just hope that trust isn’t misplaced).

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And I even found 3 pairs of shoes! These ones weren’t in the best condition, but I deemed them good enough to buy for half off, especially the dress shoes, which had no wear on them and weren’t even dirty. I do declare, Lee’s Summit children must change out their shoes a lot, because nearly every pair of shoes I have purchased in that area is in brand new condition!

At any rate, this was yet another Red Racks success for me. I actually did sleep easier that night, knowing that I wouldn’t have to go to the thrift store for at least a year after my little one is born. I mean, who really wants to shop for childrens clothing with three kids in tow? I certainly don’t. At least not until she can walk on her own. And now, hopefully, I won’t have to!

Onesies have been found!

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I’ve been on the hunt for the remaining items on my 6-9 month list-those darn onesie/footsie, baby pajamas . . . things. I have no idea what theseare called, but I have found them, and I am now done with the first years collection of clothing. Whoot!!

Based on my experience with my boys, I have estimated I need no less than 10 onesies/outfits, and no more than 14. So I am aiming for a total of 14 onesies, and found the last ones at the Salvation Army Family Thrift Store on Metcalf (in Overland Park, KS).

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I intentionally bought items that would match these two, very odd pants. I’m not fond of them, but they were $1 together. I was so excited about the price I forgot to make sure they matched anything else I had.

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Isn’t it nice when things work out? And the bonus is, I am finally done!!! I am now focusing on completing the second year so I don’t have to drag three kids to the thrift store while one of them is still a baby.

There are a few tangible benefits to spending more time and money now, to save time, money, and grief later on. No one wants to hear whiney kids in a store, especially their mother . . . now to finish the 12 month-2t bin, and I won’t have to hear anything but the usual giggles and silliness that makes being a stay at home mom so rewarding.

How I Save Money on Clothing, Makeup, and Jewelry

My first rule of shopping: never enter a store or start browsing online until you have a list in hand of all the things you need, a maximum price for each one, and a firm resistance to impulse buying. The last thing you want to do is explain to your significant other why you spent $80 on a cute set of lamps that was “on sale” but has no actual destination in your home.

  1. Buy Thrift.

I’m no enemy to a good thrift store. I’ve been buying thrift since long before I was married. In fact, it wasn’t until I started dating my husband that I began to buy new clothes when he kindly suggested that I wasn’t making the most of my natural beauty it was a nice way of telling me I had no sense of style. But I soon realized he was right-army cargo pants and crewneck tops don’t exactly shout “chic, modern woman.”

For a while, I started buying new clothes, feeling out my style, and learning to feel comfortable spending $60 on 2 or 3 items. I also began to buy shoes that weren’t sneakers, jewelry that wasn’t made from woven hemp, and getting my hair cut in a salon instead of doing it myself.

Having kids is what turned that back around. I couldn’t justify spending $400 for clothes that would only last 6 months. And this time around, armed with an improved sense of fashion, I knew I could make it work for myself, as well.

Here are the two Thrift stores in Kansas City that have made my husbands “approved” list: Savers on 95th St. and Red Racks in Lee’s Summit.

Savers may be the “Macy’s of thrift stores” (they are a tad pricier than Goodwill), but they carry quality items. Thrift stores in the heart of the wealthiest county in Kansas have perks. The Johnson county clientele tend to change their wardrobes frequently, which means that my style can more or less keep up with with current trends without costing me a small fortune. I have items from Maurices, Style&CO, BCX, Charter Club, XOXO, and Vera Wang, to name a few.

But if you are going to get the most from buying thrift, there are a few things to know. First, be aware of sale days, promotions, and “club cards” if they are available. For example, there are three ways to get the most out of Savers. First, through their 30% off the total price of your purchase through their has a savers club card (only valid on Tuesdays). Second, through their seasonally available stamped discount cards (for every $5 you spend, you get a stamp). Once all 20 spots (or every $100) have been stamped, the used cards are worth another 30% on your next total purchase.

However, the best time to go to Savers, hands down, is during their holiday promotions. During holidays, they reduce all inventory by 50%. I am usually able to go on Presidents day, Memorial day, Labor day, and Veterans day. And its totally worth it. I almost exclusively go on those 4 days.

Red Racks thrift store is my second favorite go-to. I found out in December that Red Racks has a “50 cent sunday” promotion. I have no idea how long it’s been going on or how long it will last, but my last two purchases were $2 for 4 items (pajamas for dragon boy, 2 shirts for tiger boy, and a top for me), and $3 for 6 items (3 pregnancy tops for me, a jacket for tiger boy, and 2 pairs of pants for dragon boy). That beats Savers hands down! But it only covers a certain color sticker, and I am not a fan of the way they staple the tags on-I usually rip at least one item trying to get the tag off.

2. Buy Clearance

This is also when I purchase underwear, socks, and intimates. What I am still feeling out (mostly because I don’t frequent department stores very much), is when the out of season clearance occurs for each store. In the fall, it seems to be the first week of October. Im not sure when it happens in the spring, but I imagine its either April or May. At any rate, I resist the impulse to buy anything at retail prices. If I am feeling splurgy that day, I don’t go shopping.

3. Try homemade

When I was younger, I used to sew my own pants, skirts, and dresses I was blessed to have a Grandmother who believed this was an necessary skill. If you know what you want, you can go to a craft store like Joanne’s, Hancocks, or Hobby Lobby and find a very nice pattern for less than $5. The cost of supplies depends on the material you want.

Anymore, though, this is only worth it if you are unable to find that specific item on clearance or at a thrift store, you cannot afford to buy brand new, and you absolutely have to have it. I can still make skirts fairly cheap not that I wear them, and a handful of dresses, but everything else? Not so much. I wear a lot of cotton stretch tops. It is not my favorite material to sew, and I’d rather spend the money than make it myself.

I also make my own jewelry. I’ve kept this hobby going since I was a child, and have given my creations away as gifts with no one the wiser (especially anyone in my husbands family-they really turn their noses on home-made items). I have several bead boxes going, so I don’t need to look for more beads to add to my collection. But every now and then I will look up the clearance Aisles at walmart and craft stores. I only avoid beads that look and feel plastic.

4. Go online

Online, I have been very successful purchasing new, clearance, summer items in January and February. My greatest success was a tank top for $1.08 at JCPenny. But I have to justify the shipping costs, or get free shipping, so I either find myself buying things I don’t need, or looking for clearance items in boys clothing that my sons will wear a few years from now. Clearance is very hit or miss.

5. Buy in Bulk

I purchase my makeup from E.L.F. cosmetics (eyes, lips, face). That is one of my biggest money saving tips. I buy up to whatever gets me free shipping (usually something like $35), and I buy enough to last me 2 years. I am in earnest. I buy their cheapest products, mascara, lip gloss, eyeliner, and eyeshadow (nothing else), so far spending less than $50, and it lasts me 2 years though I did have to purchase one tube of massacra last year because I had run out.

When I purchase my Asics, I also buy them online, in bulk. I try to get 4 pairs at a time, following the “change every 6 months” rule (that is roughly true for me). Once I receive my new shoes, my old shoes become the gardening/work shoes when I remember, and the previous gardening shoes finally get tossed.

So here is a run down of my tips:

  1. Buy thrift: choose a shop on the “wealthier” side of town and you will find quality, practically new, name brand clothing for a fraction of its original price.
  2. Know when your thrift store has sales or promotions, and only purchase on those days to maximize your savings.
  3. You don’t need name brand makeup to look good, and makeup does last a little longer than the so-called shelf life, so don’t feel you have to throw it away after a year unless it’s obviously gone past its expiration date.
  4. If you must buy new, wait for the items to go on clearance (like socks, shoes, and underwear), and then buy as much as you can in bulk.
  5. And, finally, make sure you need the item you are purchasing. Always have a list ahead of time before you go out shopping. Impulse buying will kill a tight budget faster than salt on a slug. You will feel better if you can use that extra money to pay off your credit card than if you blew it on an item that seemed like a necessity, but 5 years later you still haven’t been able to use.

How about you? Any tips for shopping thrift? Any ideas on purchasing products for less? Any new places to get great deals on makeup? I’d love to hear from you!