Tag Archive: shopping


It’s August! Back to school is in full swing and the weather is starting to hint at cooler weather.  Kids are buying backpacks and there are sales on paper, pens and glue! (I get very excited about school sales! P isn’t even school age yet, and it’s tough to resist the lure of new notebooks and folders!)

But beyond the new school clothes and supplies, there is another sale season that’s here – summer clearance!

This is the time of year that both department stores and thrift/discount stores put their remaining seasonal products on deep discount. These stores want to clear their shelves for the next season’s clothes and this is the best time of year for frugal guys and gals!

This is a pretty awesome little snow suit, isn’t it? My sister picked up at a thrift store clearance sale. It’s almost brand new, no wear, great condition. Cost? $3. (She picked it up in the spring) Even at a thift store, I can guarantee I would not be able to find those prices in a few months when I’d actually be looking for a 12 month snow suit.

That’s one of the keys to clearance sales – buy ahead!

Spring Clearance (March-April)

This is the sale to stock up on winter basics like hats, gloves and scarves often for pennies on the dollar. I bought P two winter hats for twenty cents each this year! Keep your eyes open for jackets, snow suits and boots. Slippers normally begin to go on clearance in February, after Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

If you’re into interior design, look for throw blankets and plush pillows, vases and winter-themed art.

Summer Clearance (July-August)

As stores get their cool weather clothing and back to school sales start ramping up, the summer gear prices get slashed. Stock up on shorts, bathing suits, short sleeved shirts and polo shirts (which look great layered under a sweater). Beach towels and toys, summer decor and grilling accesories are good buys as well.

The key to buying clothes at these sales is to keep a list of sizes that you and your family will be wearing in the next few seasons. P is only 9 months, but next summer she’ll be wearing 12-18 month clothes. So that’s what I’m shopping for this summer. We already have a box of winter clothes that we started shopping for back in March and April, so we won’t have to scramble (and pay full price) for clothes when it gets cooler.

Do you shop clearance sales? What tips do you have for successful bargain hunting? Share it with us below in the comments!

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P is now just four months old! I can’t believe how the time has flown – I look at photos of her as a newborn and can’t believe how big she’s gotten! I think back to what I thought before she was born… and I can’t believe how I’ve grown too.

I’ve been around friends who are parents and had a lot of advice given to me over the past year (mostly unwanted!). Here’s a few things that I’m surprised by now that I’m in their shoes.

I’m not afraid of body fluids.

That’s right. I remember visiting my sister and her 6mo old son before I was pregnant and was shocked (and a bit grossed out) when she wiped spit-up off his mouth and then dried her hand on her jeans… never skipping a beat in our conversation. It was terrible! Unsanitary! She topped it by cleaning off his pacifier ten minutes later by sticking it in her own mouth. I almost ran for the bathroom. How could someone do something like that?

Now that I’m a parent, I’ve wiped up spit, grabbed rogue boogers, been peed and pooped on and all without missing a beat. I’m still occasionally grossed out by a diaper – and I’m not sure how a child so little can have SO MUCH POOP at one time, but it all goes in stride. I’ve managed blow-out diapers, rogue pacifiers (although I draw the line at sucking it clean!) and days where both P and I go through several clothing changes.  I think nothing of catching some drool with a finger.

I’m comfortable with my body.

Remember a couple of years ago when there was a big uproar about nursing mothers posting photos on LiveJournal (Remember LJ? I know you had one back in the day!)? I was confused by the big deal  but proud of nursing mothers who stood up for what they believed in.  Just another crusade, right?

I’m not quite to a place where I’ll nurse P out in the open, since I know it bothers some of my family and I respect that – but I’m not shy any more. You’ve either got ’em or you love ’em, so if you get a bit of a peek while P is eating – it’s not going to be anything you haven’t seen before. I will also check my built-in timers at any time to determine when P ate last, or if she’s needing to eat again. I think much of this stems from labor & birth. All modesty goes out the window when you’re dealing with contractions. I realized it wasn’t the end of the world to be tottering about my room in a hospital gown with my butt hanging out.

My parenting style is…

While I was pregnant, I read a lot of books. I think my final total was around twenty or so! I read books about pregnancy, about birth, about breastfeeding, about parenting, and just about anything else having to do with babies and children. I diagnosed my ‘style’ of parenting and I knew what I was going to do about sleeping, eating, feeding, schedules, vaccinations and everything else in between. I’m embarrassed to say it now, but I even looked down my nose a bit at mothers who were raising their kids a different way. My way was best!

Well, that all was thrown out the window when we had to bring P to join us early due to health complications on my part. It didn’t follow my birth plan, it wasn’t what I had pictured, and horror of horrors – we had to supplement with formula in the first twenty-four hours due to poor nurse communications and low blood sugar. That first day and a half, I was a wreck. Nothing was going according to the picture I had built up in my head.

We came home and it kept crashing down. Nothing was ‘right’. Finally, I threw the books down and decided I’d go with the ‘gut’ style of parenting.  Women have been mothers for thousands of years without the benefits of books and plans and schedules – and the world is full of people, so we must be doing something right! Since I’ve relaxed my ‘ideals’, I’ve become a better parent. I respond to P’s needs as they happen and we figure things out together. The world hasn’t come crashing down on us yet. I still have to remind myself sometimes that what works for me doesn’t for someone else… but I’m getting better on that front too.

Never Say Never!

If you’re now humming Justin Bieber’s song… don’t admit it. That’s embarrassing.  Yes, they covered his music on Glee… but it doesn’t make it any more cool!

Back to my point though, before the Bieber fangirls attack… One of the  most important things I have learned is that you can’t talk in absolutes. ( You thought I’d say ‘never say never’ again, didn’t you!)  Before P was born, I was absolutely certain that I wouldn’t force my child into the very tiny gender boxes that babies get. If it’s a boy, you dress in blue. A girl? Pink power, baby! We didn’t find out her gender before she was born – I was all ready to dress my baby in neutral clothing, until they were older and could decide if they wanted dinosaurs or princesses.

P came along and rocked my world. Since we were surprised by her, most of the clothes we had been given were blues and greens. And we dressed her in those adorable little clothes for several weeks. Sadly, people assumed she was a boy when she was dressed in her adorable little yellow and green outfits.  Friends started giving us pink and purple clothing, but I tucked it aside. I wouldn’t do that to my child.

Then one day, the inevitable happened. Everything was in the wash, and P needed to be changed (again!). The closest outfit at hand was purple. We weren’t leaving the house, so I quickly snapped her into the outfit. That final snap sealed my doom to be that mother. She was SO adorable in the purple! Then I tried a pink outfit. And a rainbow striped outfit. And jeans with pink flowers and RUFFLES! Each outfit was cuter than the last.

And now, at four months – I’ve given up on all my absolutes. My daughter dresses in pinks and sparkles. I even crossed the one line that I swore that I’d never even DREAM of crossing.

I swore my daughter would never wear a headband with the crazy plastic flowers and bows. Now look what I’ve become! (She is quite adorable… isn’t she?) I really can’t help it. P is starting to develop a collection of hair bows and bands, and it’s all I can do not to keep buying more! This adorable one came from My2LilPixies on Etsy.

I’m a completely different parent then I thought I would be, but I’ve come to realize that it is okay!

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I love deals! I clip coupons, watch sales, and get emails from Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com

They’re both coupon websites offering 1-day sales on all sorts of items and services. They’re in most large cities. I’ll write more details on them later -but wanted to share this deal today!

Buy the LivingSocial deal today, spend $10 and get a $20 gift card to Amazon.com! That’s pretty awesome – although ours will probably go to buy diapers or wet wipes or something of the sort. Very unexciting. It doesn’t expire either, so you can keep it for birthday or Christmas shopping too!

If you’re near a city that those websites are in, it’s worth it to get the daily emails! We’ve picked up half-price theater tickets, half priced golf programs and more!

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