New Year and a New Strategy

>> 1.25.2012

For 2012 I'm officially stepping away from my old clearance/coupon-obsessed shopping habit and into a more sane shopping strategy. I feel like the recession has created such a !!MUSTSAVE!! mentality that we as shoppers are now bombarded with opportunities to "save" left and right. Retailers have caught on to this trend and have given us what we craved for- artificial "savings" to help us sleep at night.

Luckily, the Christmas bushes (?) were on sale the entire holiday season!

At this point the excitement of finding a good sale has almost completely worn off for me. I mean, when was the last time that you've been excited about JoAnn's constant 40% off opportunities or Bed Bath & Beyond's $5 coupon?! And don't get me started on those flash sales sites (One Kings Lane, Joss & Main, etc) that aren't exactly always selling the higher-end pieces that they claim to be, but tempt people into purchasing with their large "markdowns." At some point we're all going to have to face the reality that the shirt Gap is selling for 40% off was meant to be priced that way from the second that it it the sales floor. I have to give major props to JC Penney for following the lead of stores like IKEA and Lowe's that just offer their best values for the majority of the year and revamping their pricing strategy. I wish more stores would get on board!

I'm officially going into this year with a new *even thriftier* mindset:
I will... determine the value of a product based on its ingredients, manufacturing process, or maker. This means you might hear more things like "Wow, I found a 100% silk dress for $x.00!" or "I can't believe that they were selling organic apples for so little!"

I WON'T... brag about finding something on "sale." It's a bad habit and makes me look stupid when all the other shoppers were able to use those same sales. 

I will... continue to shop at thrift stores and buy things off of Craigslist!

I WON'T... always trust the Craigslist sellers who claim an original retail price as what they paid. I like to do a quick check for current web prices on items rather than using the seller's number.
I will... start branching out by shopping in new stores and online. Yes, I'm guilty of avoiding certain stores because they didn't have enough sales.

My first experience with the new strategy was earlier this month when I was shopping for a new refrigerator for our rental house (we're renting out the old house- more on that later). Before going out shopping, I set a budget for the fridge based on my previous appliance shopping knowledge and put my flashy sale sign filter goggles on.
...and, wow, I'm so glad that I did that before going to the Sears Outlet. Talk about worst values ever! Not only do they have previously and/ or scratched up appliances, but they inflate the original sales prices (like Sears does) so that the markdowns are only slightly better (if that) than buying the new, scratch-free stuff. Oh, and on top of that, their delivery charges take away any change of savings that you had left! We (I) ended up leaving that place in a foul mood (the nerve of them!) and did some comparison shopping before settling on another Lowe's appliance which was right under the budget and delivered two days later for free (they do inflate by around 10% so expect some sale here as well). 

So, who's with me in setting a new strategy for saving this year?


House of Hemingway January 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM  

I have found that Best buy can have some excellent deals on appliances every once in a while and with the Rewards Zone points I've often used them towards my printer, ipad and even some Christmas gifts!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards January 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM  

This is a smart strategy. I think that sales are starting to mean less to me, too. And I'm just trying to stay out of stores, period, unless I need something specific. I end up with stuff I don't have to have that I got a "great deal on."

As for appliances, we shopped around and ended up finding the best deal at Sears. But, I think a lot of it is about timing and what you are looking for. Glad you found something right for you!

m @ random musings January 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM  

I'm totally with you on the Sears outlet grumbles. Which really makes me sad, because they are a retailer with a strong association with modern America. My sis-in-law remembers picking presents for her sibs from the Sears and Roebuck catalog, and Sears used to sell plans for building houses (really! sometimes it's mentioned in the sale listings). I've found CL and consignment shops to be the best option for quality for value, even in my small town. But I've had the worst luck with appliances over the last year; half of which I attribute to the complete and utter lack of basic skills that installers/repair people have locally (one guy didn't level the washing machine and his boss didn't think to turn the water on; another time the guy didn't level the dw, and a second one didn't bother to take the front off when investigating a times!). Good Luck!

btw, are you willing to talk about the landlording process? thanks!

G January 25, 2012 at 4:08 PM  

I am SO down with a new strategy for saving this year. In fact, first I have to admit that I have been raiding your archives for your budget breakdowns and thrifty tips (which are all priceless, btw). Second, I have imposed a shopping ban on myself, which really means that I can no longer shop as a form of entertainment (used to be my go-to weekend activity) and must wear what I already own in different combinations and permutations. I am blogging about it secretively on tumblr (b/c it's interesting only to me), but documenting the daily outfit has helped me evaluate what I already own so that I don't keep buying and buying things that I never wear. I'm doing the same thing with my pantry, actually, and it works just as well (figuring out what I really will cook vs what I stock up on "just in case"). Anyway, I always always look forward to your thrifty tips, so keep 'em coming! And I second the request for landlording info!!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 25, 2012 at 4:26 PM  

@Kim~ It is all about what you happen to come across when you're there! I have a feeling that the normal Sears would have had a better deal on appliances seeing as they wouldn't have had as many scratches.

@M/G~ I'll just rented out my house this past weekend. I'll share what I've learned soon!

Kai January 25, 2012 at 6:59 PM  

I'm usually wary of any "outlet" store, since you can usually do as well or better shopping the regular store's sales. But I, too, recently checked out the new Sears Outlet by my work and was rolling my eyes the entire time. 30% off the suggested retail manufactured price?!? You can keep it.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno January 25, 2012 at 9:38 PM  

I love what JCP is doing, Kohls is the worst offender of sales, it's like everything is 30% or more off all the time, why bother? Just make things that price then! Good strategy for the new year.

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SchoolhouseKat February 22, 2012 at 11:56 PM  

I agree - true snarfing is an art and it takes knowledge and intelligence - not just a sign that says "40% off" but knowing that you are really getting something good for less. Good luck with your strategy this year!

Anonymous,  March 6, 2012 at 5:20 PM  

i love your blog. will you be writing again soon. i have learn so much about remodeling from you. thanks. keep the blog coming. america awaits your knowledge.

Cat April 2, 2012 at 5:09 PM  

Come back! :) I miss one of my fav bloggers.

Sarah April 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM  

Hey, it's APRIL! Please update your blog, it's one of my faves :)

Karl B (The Frugal Berry) April 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM  

I'm now going through all the old stuff that I have had lying around for years and selling in craigslist. It is so freeing, and I make a little cash on the side as a bonus!

Zak Cox April 30, 2012 at 1:47 AM  

I will try this out and tell you the result soon. I am really head-on about saving, it's really hard times now.

amanda boykin May 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM  

Fabulous blog!! Thanks for all the wonderful tips!! :)

Jenny,  May 24, 2012 at 5:13 PM  

I shop the thrift stores often to find items I am looking for (put those items on mental list). Many times I do find super great buys, but I'm guilty of buying too many good deals! *cough* *cough* yes we do own three washer/dryer sets. I'm trying real hard to sell the extras but boy... no buyers... Can't wait to hear the rental house details.

Ioana-Carmen June 2, 2012 at 1:22 PM  

Hy sweetie! Lovely post! Check my blog and tell me if you wanna follow each other?!:X

Steph @ Crafting in the Rain June 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM  

Hey Kasey--you still around?
How's thrifting, and your house and your life? I realized I haven't "seen" anything from you, so hope all is good!

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