Shopping tips from a Frugal mom

Shopping tips from a Frugal mom

I love my family and love to save money whenever I can!  We all have things we value more then other things.  In our family, we value experiences over tangible goods.  I also grew up in a poor household so those memories remind me to spend less whenever possible.  It drives my mom a little crazy to hear me talk about finding deals and not spending money all the time now that she has a decent retirement income.    I did warn her before we bought a house together!

We need tangible goods.  Kids grow fast.  Things break.  Moms gain or lose enough weight to need a new size.  Electronics make our lives easier in this modern world.  This new series will be full of tips, links  and ideas on saving money on things we need to purchase.   Full disclosure – Many links will be affiliate or advertising links when something Aleesha or I love has one available.  We’ll always note it next to the link.  We also only refer things when we truly love a company or product and use them ourselves!

Kids & Mom Clothes

My daughter is going to be 7 in April.  She has shown a keen interest in imaginative play, drawing, music, fashion or anything that can be considered creative and artsy.  She defines herself as an artist.  Her career dream as an adult is to be a wonderful mom to her kids.  At the moment, most of those imaginary kids have Disney Fairy names like Vidia and Terence.  She also dresses a bit like an Esprit ad from the 80’s in her use of patterns,styles and colors most people feel don’t go together!  My thought is…  This will be the only time in her life that she can get away with dressing in any way that appeals to her without  judgement from others.  If she wants to continue when the judgement starts, she’ll just need to develop a thick skin to go along with her independent spirit.


  • Thread up {referral with $10 credit for you and $10 credit for us} –  This has become my favorite site and place to buy used clothing.
    • PRO’s:  Everything I’ve received has been in wonderful condition as stated.  There is a huge variety of brands, prices and styles.  You can save multiple personal preferences so you can go looking for just one child or yourself at a time.  You can send in your used clothing for credit {I almost forgot to say this, because we give away all our clothing when we are done :-)}.
    • VALUE: I just got 7 skirts for myself from brands like Bennetton & Inc International for $50.  For our 6 year old we ordered 14 pairs of pants including designer jeans and dress pants for $103 back in September.  Back in July we ordered 5 fancy party dresses {sparkles and all!} along with 3 dress shirts for our son for $111.  Super happy mom getting all those great clothes so inexpensively!!!
    • CON’s: Sometimes I wish there was a little more item description like on sweaters.  I’m allergic to wool so need to avoid anything with more then 10% wool content, or pant length since my inseam is a little longer then average.  Most items have good descriptions though.   There is a lot to page through when looking for what you want.
    • BONUS: We have ONE code for 40% off is up for the taking to use by 12/31/14.  There are also TWO codes for $20 off a purchase of $75 or more by 1/31/15.  First come, first served.  Please only ask if you are seriously going to use it to be fair to others.
  • Old Navy/Gap – This is my number one big retailer.
    • PROs: Old Navy has good base prices for decent clothing that holds up well.  There is a good review system where other buys leave reviews which have helped me decide to buy or not buy certain items.  The big bonus is that they have both long and tall options for me and XXL Tall for my Six foot Five husband!  We both have a hard time with most clothes at regular stores.  Plus, they have basic uniform buys which are awesome clothes kids can mix and match easily with other pieces for a not so uniform look.
    • VALUE: By signing up for emails and the credit card, I am able to save a lot each year.   They have great sales and clearance events in store and online.  We earn reward dollars when paying with the credit card {paying off before interest charges} especially when they have their big point events like 4 points per $1 spent.   I routinely save more then 50% off retail by watching the markdowns and combining them with sales.
    • TIP:  When they have surprise discounts add items to your shopping cart.  If you did not get the top discount the first time close the tab/window and go to the website in a one.  This refreshes their random generator and you can keep doing this until you get the top discount code to appear!  Of course, they may find this glitch and fix it at some point, but hope it still works when you try it, I got a really good discount code for Argosdoing this!
    • CONS: It is good to read the reviews as sometimes they have clothes that don’t hold up or the fit it off.  We did get 3 pairs of shorts where one of the pant slide closure pieces has been lost {instead of having a snap or button closure} so we need to either install snaps/button or he needs to wear a belt.
  • Local Consignment sales – Love these when I find out about them, am free when they are on and the big end blowout at the end isn’t on a Sunday!  Most consignment sales happen in the spring and fall.  They very wildly in size and quality and pricing.  Definitely research locally and talk to other moms to find ones in your area.
  • Name Your Link” target=”_blank”>Amazon {affiliate} –  I’m a huge fan of Amazon!  There is such a large variety to choose from and has a much better reputation then EBay.  You can find anything from Name Your Link” target=”_blank”>Girls Boutique Clothes to Name Your Link” target=”_blank”>Winter boots for Women and pretty much anything else!  They have Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies & TV Shows Anytime – Start Free Trial Now” target=”_blank”>Amazon Prime {free 30 day trial} which is a great deal if you use the site often, especially if you read, like music and like to shop online.   Some years we have it and others we don’t.  They even offer Shop Amazon Gift Cards. Any Occasion. No Expiration.” target=”_blank”>gift cards which make easy gifts especially if you have a teen to dress {so not looking forward to mine being teens}!!  There’s so much I haven’t explored yet on Amazon like Introducing Prime Pantry – Everyday Essentials Delivered to You” target=”_blank”>Amazon Pantry where your household items and food are delivered to your home.  But I digress with all that non kids & mom shopping info.  There probably isn’t a season that goes by without at least one order from Amazon.
  • Kohls – Love Kohls!!!  Definitely need to sign up for their frequent shopper card program and emails to get the best out of them.  They do all these wonderful sales and stackable discounts.  This is another store I got a credit card from to use for the extra stacked % off and pay off before interest is charged.  Some of my favorite products from Kohls have been my house slippers, an awesome scarf, my turquoise handbag, boys staple clothes and shoes for everyone in the family.  Shoes are the hardest item in store to get a super low price on but it can happen.  They also have Kohls Cash which is earned when you make purchases.  The lure is to get people in a second time that will spend more then they have in Kohls Cash.  We almost always spend just that amount.  😉  When we moved into our new house this year we got a lot of curtain rods and curtains using Kohls Cash for the bedrooms to help the kids sleep longer in the bright summer mornings.

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