Have you ever heard of the Great American Apparel Diet? It’s a group of people (mostly women) who decided not to purchase clothes for a whole year. The first round of the diet apparently ended in Sept. 2010, but there are still people at it for a second round. I started reading the website yesterday and it’s left me with some food for thought. I don’t think I’m going to join the Great American Apparel Diet because I don’t buy a ton of clothing anyway, but it has made me think about my own consumerism and where I could stand to go on a shopping diet (bags, bath and body products, books, random sale items that are “too good to pass up”). Most importantly it has me thinking about WHY I buy what I do. As you know, if you read this blog, for several months now I’ve wanted to buy less and make shopping a less important part of my life. I don’t really think that I ever stopped and asked myself WHY I shop though, and I think that maybe that’s why I haven’t been entirely successful in cutting back. I fell asleep thinking about it last night and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I shop because I long for newness in my life and entertainment. My life is predictable and comfortable, boring at times, so I shop. Sure the thrill of the hunt is fun and challenging, and for the few moments the items are new I feel good, and I feel proud of scoring a great deal, but then I am quickly on to needing my next “fix” because the newness and pride wears off quickly. I don’t need new stuff. I need new experiences. I may, or may not, go on a shopping diet of my own similar to The Great American Apparel Diet, I haven’t decided. Either way I know that I will give a little more thought before I shop in the future and ask myself what my motives are. Do I NEED OR LOVE this item or am I just bored? Do I NEED OR LOVE this item or did I just want a challenge (the hunt)? Do I NEED OR LOVE this item or am I just looking for something different in my life?? If you’re looking for inspiration to stop shopping excessively, or are just curious about how people could possibly go for a whole year without purchasing and article of clothing, I encourage you to hop on over to The Great American Apparel site and start reading. You may just learn something about yourself!
Old Navy has their fleece scarves, hats, and gloves for $3, today only (for the whole family). Shipping is a flat rate of $7 if your order online. Use code ONTREAT for an additional 15% off (makes them $2.55 each plus shipping), or if you spend $50+ use code ONSUPER50 for free shipping. Great time to stock up for the winter, especially if your kiddos are always losing hats and gloves like mine do! Tomorrow Frost Free Vests will be just $20.00. Sign up for their email newsletter to get notified about all of their exciting doorbusters!
This (LAST) Week’s Deals and Steals October 17, 2010
My best deal of the week (for last week, I keep forgetting today is Sunday) was not a result of shopping, but a result of my Gram moving and downsizing. I got three large bags of gift wrap, gift boxes, etc. for free that she no longer has room or a need for. I’m thrilled because frankly I never think to buy that stuff ahead of time (other than Christmas wrap) and keep it on hand. I end up wrapping b-day gifts in newspaper or spending a ridiculous amount to buy pretty paper at the last moment. This should keep me set for a while. I still need to look through it! It’s been so busy I haven’t had time to see everything but that’s on my to-do list for my day off this week. I also go a large Tupperware 8 Cup measuring cup from her. I love freecycling, whether it’s passing on my own items, or receiving items I need. You can get much more frugal or green than that!
On the online shopping front I took advantage of the additonal 20% off clearance items plus free shipping Land’s End has been offering. This offer was sent to my email and I had to shop through the email link for it to work. I don’t believe you can get the deal without the email. There does, however, seem to be another deal available for just the additional 20% off using code EXTRAFALL and pin 5298. You may still find some decent deals even with having to pay shipping. It’s only valid through tomorrow (10/18 /10) so shop soon if you want to take advantage. I purchased two boys’ necklaces, two women’s bracelets, two market bags, and one tote bag for under $50.00 which will all be for Christmas gifts. Oh! And I almost forgot, a couple of weeks ago I got a Catalina from Price Chopper for a free hard cover photo book from Shutterfly. I only had to pay shipping. Christmas gift for dh’s grandmother…check! Total cost for the photo book was $7.99. Yes, kind of steep for shipping one 20 page book, but since the book retails for $30.00 plus shipping, and it’s just the kind of gift she loves, it was worth it!
Lastly I returned some items to Bath & Body Works yesterday that I didn’t like and picked up a few items using the credit from the returns and a couple of coupons. Unfortunately I no longer had my recepits and since they are items no longer sold in the stores (only online, which is where I purchased them) I could only receive a store credit for the last price they sold for in the stores (which was $3 a piece). I’m not really sure how much I paid for them since I use a lot of coupon codes, but getting just $9.00 in store credit for $30.50 worth of items was a bit of a bummer. I didn’t want my money back, I just wanted to exchange the two shower gels and one body lotion for two shower gels and one body lotion in fragrances I did like but I wasn’t allowed to. I learned my lesson. 1. Don’t order B&BW products online unless I already know I like the scent and 2. Save my invoices until I’m sure I won’t need them. I’m happy I came home with things I did like though. For $10.60 OOP I bought a Twisted Peppermint Shower Gel (for my youngest son who LOVES it), 1 Warm Vanilla Suger Body Butter, 1 Sensual Amber Body Butter, a 4 oz ‘Tis the Season candle, and a travel size Lay It On Thick Shower Cream. The shower gel and shower cream were free after coupons, the body butters were on sale for $7 each, and the candle was on sale for $5. It’s crazy to think everything pictured below would have cost over $56.00 if I had paid full retail price for it.
What bargains have you gotten lately? Where do you find your best deals? I seem to only be able to find online deals, thrift store deals, and mall deals, plus the occasional hand-me-down or mail freebie. I’ve given up on drugstore deals since Rite Aid changed the way they do sales and rewards, and grocery deals seem limited where I can shop. I still clip grocery coupons and watch the sales but I’ll never be able to get groceries for my family of four (six if you count the cats) for under $100. I’d love to save more on food and the like, but I guess I’ll take any deals I can get!
Hurry! $16 Old Navy Jackets Today Only October 9, 2010
Old Navy is celebrating their 16th birthday. Today only they are offering jackets for $16.00 (I’m not sure if this deal is going on in stores or only available online). I just ordered my husband one of their Quilted Frost-Free Jackets for Christmas for only $18.20 shipped (they retail for $49.50). Shipping is $7.00, but I used the special mystery code they emailed me yesterday (mine happened to be 30% off ) which made the jacket only $11.20 + shipping for me. My first three selections sold out as I was trying to order so I suggest if you are interested in this deal you jump on it now! They also have women’s Quilted Frost-Free Jackets, and fleece styles for children and babies for $16.00 plus shipping. Good luck!
Oh What Fun It Is To Buy… October 3, 2010
Christmas gifts! Yesterday I did a little Christmas shopping. First I stopped at Bed Bath & Beyond. I was there to buy utensils (apparently there is a spoon stealing monster in my house) but I also found some clearance items that were an additional 33% of their lowest marked price that I picked up. I got a large Yankee Candle jar candle for $8.70 + tax, and two packages of cloth napkins for $4.01 each + tax. I really wish I had printed off the buy 1 get 1 free Yankee Candle coupon I had happened upon earlier in the week. The candle usually retails for $24.99 so it was a still a good deal without the coupon, but with it the deal would have been really hot! Check your Bed Bath & Beyond for other clearance deals. There were items up to an additional 75% off their lowest marked price at mine!
Next I stopped at Toys R Us and picked up a Strawberry Shortcake Berry Sweet Style set and two Littlest Pet Shop special edition pets for a total of $10.74! The Strawberry Shortcake set usually retails for $19.99 and the Littlest Pet Shop items are usually $5.49 each. The SBSC was on sale for $14.99 and I used the coupon from the Hasbro Play Saver that was in the newspaper last week making it just $4.99 plus tax. The LPS items were on sale for $4.12 each and I used the buy 1 get 1 free coupon from the Hasbro Play Saver making it just $4.12 + tax for the two. In other words I was able to get around $41.00 worth of toys for around $10.00! I’m not sure what items are on sale this week (unfortunately the sale on the items I bought ended yesterday and I didn’t have time to post it before it was over). Check your Toys R Us flier (or Walmart, or Target…) and your Hasbro Play Saver coupons to see if you can find any great match-ups! If you didn’t get the Hasbro Play Saver coupons in your newspaper you can go to the Hasbro website and print off some great Play Saver coupons (they vary slightly from the ones in the newspaper)!
p.s. I think you can see the glowing eyes of the spoon stealing monster in the background of the photo! Then again it could just be the reflective strip on my son’s backpack! 😉
Update (Climbing Back On the Wagon) September 18, 2010
Here is the photo of the wristlet mentioned in this post. I am very happy that my guess was correct and it is a capacity wristlet and not a small one, and that it is in almost perfect condition. New it retailed for $98.00 (crazy right?!) which would definately not fall under a frugal purchase! At $14.00 the price was much more reasonable.
And I have decided to include the change purse pictured in that same post in an Operation Christmas Child shoe box. We’ve decided this year to concentrate on the older children (10-14 years). She may not have any change to carry it, but I’m sure she can carry or store any small treasures she has in it (and I plan on putting some small treasures in it in the shoe box to maximize space, perhaps some hair ribbons).
So far this week I’ve not made any purchases (unless you count school photos). I think it’s safe to say I’ve climbed back on the wagon. I’m starting to think about concentrating on Christmas shopping with any mad money I have over the next several weeks. I know to some it seems incredibly early, but I want to keep it low stress and low budge this year. What better way to do that than to get a head start?
I Fell Off the Wagon September 11, 2010
Today I bought stuff I did not need. I’ve been doing well trying to get rid of the excess junk. I’ve even gone so far as to go through old photo albums and toss out MANY old photos. Afterall does a woman who has been married well over a decade need photos of flowers that ex-boyfriends gave her? And does anyone really need photos of children they used to babysit for years ago that they barely remember? No? That’s what I thought. Today, however, I may have added to the clutter. A new TJ Maxx opened up a few weeks ago and I was in the area so I just had to check it out. Let me tell you I could have spent hours there. I was in handbag heaven. In fact I was in there for over an hour and never made it past the handbag/accessories section and the household section. So here is what got the best of me and made me fall off the wagon. On the bright side I didn’t spend TOO much money (total for everything was $50.84). But really all that should have been purchased was the leather 2011 appointment book for $12.99 which is a gift.
No handbags but close enough. This time it is a red clutch/wristlet, two wallets that remind me of clutches in appearance (one gold sequins, which looks silver due to the flash, but I assure you is gold, and one animal prints), but cannot hold anything other than money and cards, and a coin purse. I really like the red clutch. It has a cool liner too! It opens up and unfolds to this which is unlike anything else I have at the moment:
I digress. Truly these kind of things are my shopping Achilles tendon!
If that wasn’t bad enough last night I made a purchase on Bonanzle. Don’t know what Bonanzle.com is? It’s sort of like eBay, but better in my opinion. No bidding, it’s like everything is a buy it now. This purchase was a total steal and I cannot wait to receive it in the mail! I found a Coach (and yes, it’s authentic) Soho wristlet for $14.00 shipped. It is previously used, but listed in excellent condition, and I do believe it is the large capacity wristlet (no measurements were listed so I’m going on the photo, but even if it is the small size it is still a good deal). I did use my “mad money”, which is money I get deposited each month into my PayPal account for some articles I wrote last year, so it doesn’t really make a dent in my wallet, but it does add one more thing to my household that I suppose I don’t need. If I remember to I’ll post photos when it arrives.
I wish I could say that is all. But I also went to Bath & Body Works today, yes, that is my other weakness. Once again I got a great deal. And I do think this doesn’t really count as falling off the wagon because everything I buy there is consumable. It could be argued that I don’t need more candles or body products, but they get used and replaced, and I enjoy them. I don’t think we should totally deprive ourselves from every treat we enjoy just to be simple, as long as it doesn’t overtake us and overwhelm us. I spent a total of $10.60 and got two candles (reg. 9.50 ea), a full size body wash (reg.10.50), and a travel size body wash (reg. $3.50). It’s almost like I bought one candle and got one candle and the body washes for free. I used a Facebook coupon (I told you to fan them!) for the travel size, and a coupon that they mailed me for the full size body wash, which made them both free. The candles were on sale for 2/$10.00. I am keeping the candles. The small body wash will be a stocking stuffer. The large one will be given to my dad.
Time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and climb back onto the wagon!