There’s nothing like a good sale when you have a few extra dollars.  You almost can’t wait to give your money away for whatever tangible item it might be.  Well, I must confess, I don’t like spending a lot of money.  I like the classic combo of a sale price coupled with an exclusive coupon.  So, one Saturday morning as I’m scrolling through emails I find this and jump right in the shower and prepare myself for the journey.  I mean seriously, how could I turn this sale away.  I love 1/2 off – not as much as 75%.  😉

The second-hand store has my heart. I’ve always had a love for old pieces.  As a child, we would visit the antique market in the Eastern Market weekly.  I didn’t get into buying clothes from the thrift store until I was an adult. It started in small boutique shops then I ventured into the larger chains. I’m hooked and I can admit it. Oakland County locations are the best and if you’re from around here you know what the OC means! So, I walked into the Value World location with no purse, comfortable shoes and nothing but time. Yup! I was prepared for the hunt through stale industrial detergent smelling items for little gems I could add to my wardrobe. (I’ll be sure to take you along for the next round in a few weeks to show you what it looks like.)

My methods are focused and success driven. I have an idea of what I need in my wardrobe and what sections may produce the unexpected steal. These are the areas I focus on when entering a large thrift store for fashion: work, trends, men’s.

 

The men’s department gave me a blue oxford shirt (I forgot to get a picture.) This is generally what I pick up from that section or a cardigan/sweater.  It’s the tomboy in me that keeps me in that section. I like oversized sweaters and men’s dress shirts for casual days and weekend attire.

My shopping didn’t end with those 7 pieces.  The journey continued as I sought out a few trending items. Kimonos, scarves, and sequins.  Only one of these were fruitful – scarves. I like to wrap my hair/head up from time to time.  Sometimes it makes an outfit grand.  I only wanted the ones with great pattern or silk.  Now, if a scarf embodied both of these characteristics, God bless us all. After searching each end cap’s selection of scarves, I walked outta there with 6.  Some restraint was displayed because at one time while in the store I had 14 in my cart. Then when I got home I realized one of these things was hiding a secret.  I’m not a label whore but I literally screamed when I saw it but it said Balenciaga.  SCOOOOOOORE!!!!

The only hang up I have with Value World is their lack of fitting rooms. I’ve been spoiled by Salvation Armies, Mother Fletcher’s (RIP), and Lost & Found. The majority of your goods are clothing items and the return policy is non-existent. So, why wouldn’t you want to have at least one small area dedicated to physically seeing if this garment works for you?  I mean, I literally had an in-store associate cover me while I got 50% naked to see if that black dress would fit nshit. Heaven help someone that doesn’t feel this motivated to make meaningful purchases in the second-hand store.  I don’t care if the thing is only $5. It’s my money and I don’t want to waste it.  Do better Value World!

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These are the tags from my haul. Okay, not all of them but 80% is damn good. LOL! Now, add them all up and divide that by .50. I walked away from the register with 20 items for $45. BINGO! The time spent was well worth it. All of these items haven’t been placed into the rotation. Some are scheduled to go to the cleaners. The scarves, shorts, and tops have been washed in Tide/Downy Scentables being dried with a Bounce dryer sheet.  That’s all I really need – ensure they are clean.

Since I began shopping at these type of stores, my anticipation about the mall is ever present. I don’t like spending full price and appreciate the individuality of secondhand finds.  It almost guarantees I’ll be the only one with a specific garment on at a particular time and I relish in my individuality.

Are you a fan of the secondhand/thrift stores?

 

 

Couponing has been a part of me for couple of years.  If there are coupons, which equal additional savings, I want in on them.  In the year 2015, there is a need to spend less money and promote good spending habits for the kid.  This is the only reason I buy the newspaper – the coupons.  There are a million ways to save and I think I’m up to 997,000 – lol!!!

As I mentioned, I’m old school with the coupon clipping.  Every Sunday there is a stack of paper shavings and savings in my dining room.  Some of the stuff I’ve never used, want to try and use on a regular basis.  These are usually arranged by expiration date.  On occasion, I’ve been able to bundle the savings based on in store incentives for using coupons.  So sad, Meijer isn’t double couponing anymore.  That was where I use to get the best bang for my buck.  Needless to say, my book lives with me and I will not make a purchase unless I have looked through to see if there is any cost assistance available.  I’m not cheap, I just like the idea of getting it cheaper than the next customer.  There have been times when I have passed the savings on to others in the store because I didn’t need it.

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Invitational coupons are another type of coupon I love more than clippings.  These offers come straight to ME – not my neighbor or son but me.  The best example of these would be Victoria’s Secrets monthly offers to save more on something I truly love and more than likely going to purchase.  It always helps when there is a free gift I can’t live without (ex. blanket, beach towel or tote).  This was a great assistant to me after, you remember what happened.  This increased my love and loyalty to the brand.  Every company needs loyal repeat customers.

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App coupons are the freshmen on the team.  I’m sure we all have used them from time to time.  JoAnn’s, Michael’s and Macy’s are favorites via this line of offering.  The only part that kicks me, is when I haven’t charged my phone (which is always) and it’s on the verge of dying   If it dies before I meet the cashier, I’m out of luck like Chuck.  There is one location that trumps all in making me prepare my phone.  Can you guess who that retailer is?  One place – Target!  That Cartwheel has been a god send to my purse.  If you don’t have it, get it.  I’ve saved more than $30 in one visit using clipped, sale items and this app.  After clipping on Sundays, I usually open my Cartwheel and accept every offer I THINK I want.  Talk about a bundle on the savings.  I even scroll it while I’m in the store to check for anything I may have missed.  This one little application re-energized my couponing adventures.

My Cartwheel

Lastly, I may have been the last person to get a CVS card.  I just never wanted it because I couldn’t see the purpose of it when they scan something for you to get the savings anyway.  Moreover, I mastered how to get that free money.  ExtraCare Buck are a must.  This was a whole new world to me and I am loving it.  So far this year, I’ve accumulated $29.  You wouldn’t understand the joy I felt getting a few of my groceries while only spending $8 from my wallet.  Yes those baskets are small but mine was full.  I walked out with 6 bags of food and a brow pencil from NYX.IMG_8463

Saving money is the only way I’m going to fund some of my dreams.  There are times that I have to refuse the savings because I don’t need things or prioritize my cash.  My couponing isn’t extreme but it’s everything to me.

Do you use coupons?  Which are your favorite?

I am at a lost for words today.  Recently, I moved.  The pain and frustration of packing, downsizing and finding good help can be too much.  There’s a lot of fussing about all the s#!% you have, the s#!% you need to get rid of & the reason it’s taking you so long to move from one place to another.  The main area of interest when I move is MY BEDROOM… Full of all the things us women & girls love shoes, bags, jewelry and CLOTHES.  I won’t even mention the 36 coats of mine that need their own car and caregiver. (These are my real babies, Lol)  Everything is packed with care as NOT to destroy anything.  I mean it took us a long time to accumulate this stuff & it all means so much to us.  RIGHT?!?!?!  I carefully planned my way out of the room as not to leave an extra button or bangle behind on the floor.  In this orchestration in decided to remove my undergarments from the wooden truck that I store them in.  Allowing the chest not to be weighed down by the load inside.  So, as I was preparing to go out last night I began to look for one of my INCREDIBLE bras from Victoria’s Secret (VS).  I ripped through every bag and box only to find…. NOTHING!!!

Incredible which has the matching panty

My heart fell into my feet… All the years, money and support gone.  It was then that I remembered that I may have forgotten them as the “HELP” packed my things.  Some people are not understanding my hurt.  I don’t do drugs, I drink socially and have never even thought about smoking a cigarette.  Victoria’s Secret bras and panties are my narcotic.  I live for lace, animal print, nice color combinations and satin.  Valued customer for 8 years now, it’s all I wear.  Dont get me wrong it’s nice for others to see but it’s mainly for me.  I feel that I deserve to wear good undergarments, I’m a grown woman.  Pack underwear is for little girls. I tossed and turned all night long… Thinking about the Biofits, Body by Victoria, Sexy Little Things, Incredible and Very Sexy items I had to replace.  So when I couldn’t take it anymore… I reached for my trusty notebook and got online.  To replace what was lost.  First of all, only two of the lost were available for purchase.  That’s when I became even more frustrated, but I realized I had to let it go and find NEW flavors.  The final damage of the 1st round of picks $293.  That included 7 bras and 5 panties.  I snagged a few that were on clearance and searched out the matching partners.  The new Fabulous in lace will be in the box when it gets to the house.  I did manage to hold on to 11 of them.  Only because I had packed a bag for me to live out of until I was settled. However, some of the panties of the lost ones are still with me…  I can’t stand to look at them.  Cutest thing about this whole situation was my mom and friends reaction to it.  She said ” I know they may have cost you a lot of money but think about it.. It could’ve been worse you could have lost your TV, computer or anything of real value.” My look told her those things were after thoughts to the drawers, Lol My friend took a different approach and took me to breakfast and secondhand shopping.  When we pulled back up to the house, all I could think of was my missing panties and bras. Smh

Unfortunately, the next Semi-Annual Sale takes place in January.  (Always remember this happens in January & June, the beginning & halfway mark of the year 😉 )  So I can’t go wild in the stores until then.  However, as a valued loyal customer, I receive coupons and promotions all the time.  Great Lakes Crossing features a VS outlet store which is a real treat on the purse and finding things that weren’t so popular.  Not to mention, I called VS and told them my horrid story and they offered me a coupon to assist me on my mission of sexiness and confidence.  Gotta LOVE them for that!!!

I know this may NOT be a big thing to anybody else, but it’s a HUGE thing to me.  Holding my head up and continuing to :), is all I can do even though I’m dying on the inside.  You all have a great rest of the weekend and hold on to what you have.. You never miss it ’til it’s GONE.