As a busy wife and mom with four children, finding the time to shop for anything and stay within a budget can seem an insurmountable task, especially in this trying economic climate. I now use these sources to make shopping for almost anything more affordable, and therefore more enjoyable, the way shopping is meant to be.
To Save on Brand Name Children's Clothing - Use Social Media
Everywhere that I turn, I'm bombarded with social media such as Facebook and Twitter. To save money on children's clothes, I turn to Facebook's Reseller pages. Here, I search in Pages by brand name, and pick up new or gently worn brand name clothes at steep discounts. I also look for the Facebook pages of the brand names that I like in reality and I "like" them on Facebook as well - often I score an online discount by liking their Facebook page that is not available otherwise.
By following some of my favorite retailers on Twitter, I instantly know when they are having a sale, and I often receive discount codes as Tweets. When purchasing, it is best to try to buy from the same seller if they are open to bundling the shipping charges, as this will help you save even more. My friends and I even use the Facebook Reseller Pages and/or EBay to re-sell the clothing that our children have outgrown but that is still in good condition here. Signing up for a free PayPal account makes it super easy, and you can even "save" the money from clothing sales to turn around and buy new clothes, once you make your initial investment of some purchases and sales, if you time things right and only purchase new clothing out of your "bank" from selling your child's gently worn clothing your clothes are practically "free".
Additional Ways to Save on Brand Name Children's Clothing Combining Social Media and Department Store Sales
As I mentioned, I often score coupons from the pages of retailers that I "like" on Facebook. I don't always use those coupons on Facebook. Many times I print them out and then take them to the actual physical store location of that retailer. I usually visit my favorite brand name retailers near the end of the season and check out the clothes on the markdown rack, but in the next larger size, so that my children have "new" clothes for the following year. If something ends up being too big or too small for the next year I re-sell it on eBay or Facebook Reseller Pages.
I also check out my favorite retailers' online storefronts, do a separate search for "online discount insert retailer name" and bingo, I am provided online codes to receive discounts at that retailer. Most clothing retailers, especially children's clothing retailers, mark down their "new" clothes one to two months after they appear online. Combine that with the online coupon code or other online coupon and I save 60 to 80 percent or more on new, brand name children's clothing.
Additional Ways to Save on Brand Name Children's Clothing by Combining Store Cards with Loyalty Programs
Many clothing retailers also offer their own in store credit cards. I hate credit cards, they are a temptation to spend that I find hard to resist, and the interest rate on carried balances can negate savings that are found from coupons. As long as I know I have the money to pay my card off as soon as my purchase is complete, and I have a 25 day or more "grace period" to pay the balance before interest is charged, I will often use that retailer's credit card in combination with their clearance sale and coupons to save an additional 5% off that purchase.
To save even more, I register that card with a rewards program, such as MyPoints, and I visit that online retailer through the link at the rewards points' site and I earn points for every dollar that I do spend. Later, I redeem those points for gift cards at other retailers, or for Visa or MasterCard gift cards that can be used anywhere that those two types of credit card are accepted. All of these savings strategies can be applied to many other items, not just children's clothing. Recently I found some clothing that I had really wanted to purchase at Target that was now marked down almost 60% off. I did a separate search for a discount code for them, signed in through my rewards site to earn points, and paid with my Target card. After the discounts my purchase was free and I still earned points.
Save Money on Groceries by Shopping Markdowns and Using Coupons the Smart Way
I rarely use coupons to save money on groceries because my family and I do not consume a lot of prepackaged food, instead we prefer home cooked meals from whole foods. To save money on fresh foods, I've learned what says the various stores in my area mark down their bakery items, meats and fresh produce and I shop early on those mornings and plan my meals around these items that I have purchased. I do pick up various staples such as pasta, rice and beans to "stretch out" the meals and I make mostly stir fry, and stews in my slow cooker, to save about 80% off my grocery bill.
I do use various online coupon sites for the hair care and other personal care and cleaning materials that we use each week and I try to save up my coupons and purchases until there is a sale, and money back offer to combine with my coupons. I now spend very little on these items. If you are new to the concept of "extreme couponing" and how it can work for you there are many online sites to read up on the subject and try out. I recently read one of the best articles about how to extreme coupon on MoneyCrashers.
Save Money on Gas Purchases
With the ever-rising cost of gasoline, gas purchases have easily become a large portion of my household's budget. I use a variety of techniques to save on gas. Like many, I try to combine as many of my trips out as possible and walk where I need to go when possible. I have noticed that many of my area gas stations raise the price on gas from Thursday evening through Monday morning, so I try to make my gas purchases in the morning of the middle of the week. This is thankfully the same day that many area grocery stores mark down their produce and meat! I redeem the points that I earn from purchases at my area grocery stores and I also redeem some of my rewards points for Visa gift cards that I then use to pay for my gasoline purchases. Since my husband has a long work commute, we even saved over $400 off of our gas purchases for one month!
Social Media is helping to make all of us more connected with one another. Instead of only using it to keep up with family and friends it can now be used to help everyone save on all of their purchases.