Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In With the New ... and the Old

I've added below a couple of generalized "shopping" posts from my other blog .... I'm transferring all the "shopping" related posts over to this one (it was just bothering me ... I'm an organizational freak!) There are one or two more I'm going to bring over to this blog, and then I'm finished 'organizing' - promise!

**'Helpful' Confessions of a Shopoholic**
May 20th, 2009
There is no doubt that by any standard, I not only spend too much money on clothing and accessories for myself, but also on my child. However, I do think there is a lack of understanding of the part of most people about where the deals really are! Sales, overstocks, last year's version, eBay, online coupon and promo codes, Ebates, credit card rewards programs, extra percents off, etc... are all things you must be familiar with in order to, simply put, not get screwed while shopping ... especially when online shopping (which as you know, is a personal fave of mine!)
So many times, my mom has ordered something from Ann Taylor, LOFT, Talbots, or Banana without a free shipping or discount code! And I'm like, "What? You NEVER do that!" But she just didn't know!Same goes with my J.Crew wardrobe obsession... while I adore shopping at JC, both online and in the store, it is a rare day that I purchase anything full price (or even close to it!) which is what allows me to buy so many pieces and spend so much time shopping without running out of money on the first summer sundress! I enjoy shopping, so for me, this is fun and kind if a hobby! Snagging a great deal gives me a high... I know this sounds like an addiction...hmmm... it probably is. Shh, don't tell!
Some people just simply buy things they like when they see them, never concerned with the fact that it's half-price the next week or whatever. That drives me crazy!! If that's you, that's great that you can sleep at night, but I certainly would not be able to! Obviously, part of the equation of getting a great deal is just experience in knowing what merchandise is going to stick around to make it to the sale, and what pieces most certainly will not!! There are tricks to the trade, but luck and timing also have a lot to do with it!
A blog I read daily to make sure I'm getting the best deal on my JC purchases is jcrewaficionada.blogspot.com! It is the BEST BEST BEST site for discussing JC sales, deals, specific items, fit, colors, etc... plus any time there is a great Banana or LOFT, etc... deal or coupon, someone always lists it there, too! I also love dealigg.com to find promo coupons for shopping online! Another aspect to snagging great deals is having the time to research and obsess over it!

**PART 2: "Best Dressed Baby" **
May 22nd, 2009

OK... so my point is... I LOVE and I mean L - O - V- E dressing Connor in super-cute preppy outfits! Almost as much as dressing myself ... almost! And there are 2 stores/ websites that make having a well-dressed baby and toddler super easy... and they don't break the bank!Now, obviously since I have a baby boy, I know both these brands have AMAZING styles for little boys (but perhaps little girls, too... I just have no idea about that!) for a great price that look great and impressive... even to the most discriminating of shoppers! When we go out, Connor is constantly getting remarks like, "He looks like he walked straight out of the baby Gap catalog!" or "He looks like a Ralph Lauren model!" He might look like a million bucks, but the outfits probably cost $30 or less... thanks to these 2 websites / stores (and the 1 runner-up listed at the end!)

1.) babyGap!! Seriously.... you can get the BEST deals from baby Gap! We all have heard of babyGap, Gap, Gap Kids, etc.... but it wasn't until I had Connor that I became seriously obsessed with this store.
I heard someone at Gymboree class recently comment on the priceyness of babyGap and I just couldn't help but say (in my head of course!) "You clearly don't know HOW to shop there!" Sales at this store are phenomenal and they usually still have pretty good stock and selection of sizes once items are on sale or being clearanced out!
Not only do they have amazing sales, but they have tons of extra percents off! In my experience, the store prices on sale items can be up to 50% less than the sale prices online, but the selection online is *sometimes* better. So... you have to shop around!
This is one example where carrying the store's credit card can also save you additional money and on shipping ... plus gets your foot in the door for emails and mailings about special sales! Unlike some store cards which get you nothing, the benefits that come from having a Gap/ Banana card (free ship, rewards cards, extra percent off, etc...) really are worth carrying the card in your over-stuffed wallet. As an added bonus, if you get the Banana or Gap card, you can also use the benefits to shop for yourself and others ... while earning rewards... sweet!

Some of my best deals lately: short sleeve button-down collared shirt - $4.99 (in store), Chambray 3-Button Blazer - $9.99 (online), 3-Pack white bodysuits - $6.99 (online), Down-filled Puffer Coat - $14.99

... and now for my absolute fave...

2.) RalphLauren.com! Not only do they have great sales and *private* sales (which aren't really that private!), but the shipping is fairly priced and even free with a minimum order amount! As a great bonus, you can request gift boxing for certain items, which means they arrive in exquisite boxes, elastic ribbon and tissue! Very impressive!!I never ever pay shipping with Ralph Lauren because there is almost always a free ship code on Dealigg.com or elsewhere... and usually you get get at least 10%--- all the way up to 30% off (this is rare... but exciting!)You CANNOT beat the quality of these clothes. I seriously wash and dry everything and they look brand new. There is an amazing selection of sizes and colors in both the infant and toddler sizes. This is another place where I only buy items on sale. Pretty much all of Connor's everyday basics are RL... their shorts, khakis, cotton sweaters, and polo shirts are unbeatable... and all of those things I've purchased for about $20 or less each season and he wears the crap out of them!

Best deals of late: Leather Fisherman Sandals - $15, Cotton Khaki Shorts - $9.99, Rugby L/S Polo Shirts - $16.99, Hooded Windbreaker Jacket - $25

PS - Macy's will also sometimes have amazing deals on Polo stuff with an extra percent off deal. Usually you cannot use their coupons on RL, but if they are having a sale with extra percent off sale and clearance, check out the little boys section and you could get lucky! Their selection isn't as great, but I've gotten some great pieces for cheap!

Now, if you are are a regular reader of this blog (or even if you aren't) you probably know that I love shopping at J.Crew (both in store and online). Unfortunately, we do not have a Crew Cuts in Kentucky, but I do 'crews' the Crew Cuts sale section online periodically! I'm not going to spend a lot of breath on this one b/c generally everything is WAY WAY WAY overpriced and I haven't been able to test the quality yet since the sizes start at 2T. But, this is why I love them...I ordered about 12 items for Connor late last year during the Christmas season for about $150!!! And I don't mean t-shirts and such, but pants, sweaters, jeans, down coat, etc... With an extra-percent-off coupon code and free shipping, the deal way great enough that I will definitely be checking back this season to find more deals... which might not be as good if the economy picks up ... so we'll see!

Whooo.... time to hit this pool.... I'm beat from all this shopping talk!! ;)

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