Saturday, June 3, 2017

How I Like to Shop

For years, I have been buying things from expensive stores for....a lack of better word.. cheap.  I refuse to pay full price and sometimes I refuse to pay the sale price.  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, it really isn't.  For many, many, many years, I worked in retail.  At the time, I was able to get the inside scoop on when sales were happening and when the best time was to buy practically everything in the store.  So my love for shopping for next to nothing started back in the mid 90's.  Fast forward to 2017, I now have items in my home that others have paid more than they should have.  How do I do it?  Well, there are a few ways to do this.  It can be tricky and time consuming.  So if you have patience, this is the best thing for you.  If not, then thank you for visiting 😄 .  But, no really.  I find it takes a lot of time to look for the very best deal possible.  There were months I would stay up until midnight just waiting to see what the sales were going to be for that day.  I know...hardcore.  I would even have my coupons, gift cards, and rewards all ready just in case the sale was that great.  But, there are times I do miss out on something because of my frugalness (is that even a word?  Spell check says no, but I think it works).  Yet when I do find what I'm looking for, you better believe I'm a happy camper!  So let's talk about one of my favorite stores.  Pottery Barn.  When my husband hears that name, his insides cringe haha.  Not because he hates the products.  No, he hates the price.  At one time I did as well.  I used to look at the catalogs that would come in the mail and dream about having something from Pottery Barn.  There was a baby boats set from Pottery Barn Kids that I wanted my son to have when he was a baby.  But at the time, I didn't think I could afford it.  If  back then I had the knowledge I have now, he would have been sailing away to sleep with that nursery set.  But now, if I really wanted to, I could easily find it on eBay.  However, now that he's almost 12, I doubt he would want to have that in his room.  I did, however, find the quilt and plan to have his name and birth date embroidered on it.
  So going back to my frugalness (I'm using that word from now on).  I have found some ways to get what I want for a fraction of the cost.  Credit card.  Don't let this word scare you.  If you use it correctly, it can become your bestest friend in the whole wide world!  The trick is to pay it off as soon as you use it.  We were doing this for a while until there were some big ticket items we couldn't pass on....but that's a whole other story!  Using the credit card can be ever so useful!  They have a rewards program that does add up very quickly.  For every $250 you spend, you get $25 back.  Sometimes throughout the year, they have double points.  So instead of getting $25 in rewards, you get $50.  You can also receive other perks with this card.  The last one I got was $25 off of a purchase of $50 or more.  This happens 2-3 times a year.  One year I got one of these every quarter.
  If you're not comfortable with the credit card, then go for the email.  Periodically, they will send you coupon codes where you can get 20% off your order online or in the store, but most of the time it is 15% off.  Use them!  The 15% you get when you sign up can be used for ANYTHING.  NO EXCLUSIONS!  Did you see that? NO EXCLUSIONS!!!!  You can use it on furniture, clearance, sale items, your first born...okay maybe not that.  But you can use it on everything they sell.  Now here's the catch.  If you're an online shopper like me, because the nearest store is over 2 hrs away.....(ahem, bring a store down this way please so I can work for you), you have to be careful in how you use these.  I personally use these codes ONLY with free shipping items, and preferably when they are on sale.  Because you can only use your email code or their code on the website.  Never more than one.  If there is no free shipping, then all you're saving on is that cost in most cases. But with the rewards they send you, you can use those along with the coupon codes.  Those are used like gift cards.  Which is SWEET!
  If I can, I like to use all of these perks at one time.  Sometimes if what I want is already in the free shipping category, it works like a charm.  But there are other times there's a promotion going on along with free shipping.  So there is no need to use the email code at all.  I will give you an example of how I used my rewards.  Last year at Christmas, they had free shipping almost for the whole season.  It was beautiful!  A while back, we had bought my son his new bed from PB Teen.  His old bed had been in our family for over 30 years and needed a lot of work (which now those beds are going into my mom's new house! YAY!).  Anyhoo, we had gotten some rewards from that.  I also had a gift card from a different points program, that no longer has gift cards for these stores.  I'm still not happy about that.  But that's neither here nor there right now...Moving on! I had about $100 in gift cards and rewards.  I wanted to get a Christmas bedding ensemble for my daughter, since my son already had one.

Pottery Barn Kids
 Fun, right??  I was afraid that when it first came out, I was going to miss out because those things go lightening fast.  But I think everyone else was holding out for the sale of the century like I was.  Because it was still there until PBK had a 20% sale off of everything including sale and clearance items.  And it just so happened that this bedding set was part of that sale.  I bought a duvet cover, 2 pillow shams, and a sheet set.  The total cost after all the discounts?  $124.00.  What did I spend?  $24.00.  Yup!  I did end up buying the quilt later at a really great price too.

 Another example is this beautiful urn.
Pottery Barn

 I bought the smaller one when I was in the store during one of my family visits.  Of course I paid full price, only because it was sold out online.  I didn't want to risk losing out on getting it.  Silly me, I should have known it would have been in stock later! Oh well, lesson learned.  Anyway, I watched this one like a hawk and then one beautiful was on sale AND! there was free shipping!  At this time, I had the other rewards perks from being a card member and I think I had a gift card from My Points as well (I used to use My Points quite frequently until I found out about ebates).  This was on sale for $79.  I paid a whopping $9.17.  It's sitting nicely in my living room as I type.
  These are just a few examples of how I saved online.  I have been able to do the same at the store, too.  Our family room used to house my old coffee table and the kids played on it constantly.  You can tell it has some wear and tear on it, poor thing.  After all, it is over 13 years old.  But it was one of the furniture pieces Target used to carry that was made out of real wood.  Soon, it will be getting a much needed makeover.  Over Christmas break last year, we were at my sister-in-law's house.  I noticed she had an activity table for her kids.  My husband and I thought it would be a great idea to get one for our little munchkins.  So we did.  They had just opened up a pop-up warehouse close to her house, and we went a huntin.  The table they had was the wrong color, but the carts weren't!  We almost passed them up because we were told the wrong price.  Thankfully we had enough sense to ask another employee about the price.  They ended up being $80 for the set when it was all said and done.  Since they didn't have the table at the outlet, we were able to call the store and get one held for us.  We bought a $219 activity table with short and tall legs for $139 (they had an awesome sale going on).  How much did we pay???  Only $80 for the carts.
  The thing is, it is so easy to shop at these stores.  Especially if you are patient and have the rewards.  Right now, I have 150 in rewards as we speak.  Throughout the year I buy small things, on sale, with coupon codes, and rack up the points that way.  Most of the time I buy my items from the outlets and am still able to get points from there.  I could go on and on about what I have in my home that is from the outlets or eBay.  But I won't because this is long enough hehe.  In all seriousness, though, I wrote this because I know how intimidating shopping at places like this can be.  I used to be one of those people who thought because I wasn't rich, I didn't belong in places like that.  Not true.  I know this was a long blog, but if it helped one person...then this was totally worth it!  I believe EVERYONE has the right to have nice things in their home, no matter where they come from.  Shoot, I could even talk about Target!  I have gotten so many things from there for a fraction of the cost too.  If I can save money, you can too.  If you would like more tips or more information, leave a comment or send me an email!  You can also follow me on Instagram: msliss96_77.  I look forward to hearing from you all!

I am not affiliated with Williams-Sonoma or any other store.  I just love to shop and save money 😁.

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