30 April 2010

Coupons? No. Clearance? Yes.

A friend of mine saved $115 off of her $320 grocery bill last week, using 101 coupons. Brad and I were very impressed. We have talked about the possibilities of using coupons. I read many blogs about 'couponing', I know what it entails, and I know how much we could save. Do I want to put hours of effort into it? Nope. Oh, but it would be worth all the effort, right? Nope.

I see pictures on various websites of razors, bulk toilet paper, candy, soda, air fresheners, cereal...accompanied by a caption like, "Total shelf price: $82.57; Total saved: $54.25; Total out-of-pocket expense $28.32 + $10 register rewards. These blogs make me want to use coupons. Yet, I still don't want to put the work into it.

Brad said to me yesterday, "Okay, I'm ready to do this couponing thing, help me get it started". However, today I decided that I don't want to do it. Why? Because I can save our family $100's without putting hours into clipping coupons, organizing coupons, surfing the web for the best deals, and shopping. Also, I don't have any room to start stockpiling stuff (which is partly how coupons work - you buy a bunch of the same thing when it is nearly free). If you save your family $100 on coupons, then go buy a $50 pair of jeans, and a $50 dress...you basically did all that work for nothing.

My theory is that I can save more by buying bargain (and I mean BARGAIN) clothing, than I ever could clipping coupons...and without nearly as much effort.

My sisters Amanda and Stacey are convinced that expensive jeans are better. They swear that it is worth the money and that I will look amazingly better if I spend a ton of money on jeans. So, Amanda nearly forced me into buying a $100 pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans ($100 was ON SALE from $159-ack). I didn't really want to do it, but I can't deny that I didn't want some jeans that make my butt look good. I didn't have much of a choice however because Amanda (maybe jokingly, maybe not-so-jokingly) said that she was not going to pay me for two days of baby sitting, and that I could either accept the jeans, or just watch her kids for free for two days. So, I actually ended up spending four days of babysitting cash, and let her buy me two dresses from BCBG Max Azria in addition to the jeans. Now, in the days since these purchases, I've been dreaming of how much MORE I could have had for $200. Also, I've been thinking about how stupid it would be to use coupons if I was just going to turn around and buy ridiculously expensive clothing with the savings.

I went shopping with my friend Amy on Monday, hoping to find a bargain item to make me feel better about the extreme purchases from the day prior. I found a $17 shirt dress thing, and a cute top for $23. Not exactly super bargain material here, but they still lowered the 'per-item' average for the week.

Today, I went to Ala Moana Mall looking for one thing...white leggings to wear with the shirt dress thing that I bought on Monday. I looked in 'cheap' places like Forever 21 and Old Navy. I couldn't find them anywhere, but as I was walking through Sears to take the elevator down to Old Navy, I saw a clearance rack. I grabbed a couple things to try on and headed for the dressing room, armed with See's butterscotch suckers to keep the kids occupied. I left Sears with two new pairs of jeans, a top and a dress for $27 TOTAL! I ended up finding leggings at Nordstrom for $18. Boo.

Anyway, The following pictures are of me and all the clothes from this week's purchases. It is obvious which dresses are from BCBG, and which dress was the $7.99 dress from Sears, but really...can YOU tell which jeans were $100, and which were $5? Which top was $23, and which was $3? Honestly, even if you can, do the expensive ones look that much better...enough to pay THAT much more for them?

Take a look:



Okay, can you honestly say that one of the above outfits is worth $115 more than the other? I will never again be buying another pair of $100 jeans...no matter how good Stacey thinks my butt looks in them.

You all already know how much I like to post pictures of myself online (even though I still weigh exactly the same as I did the day after Sam was born), so here are the rest of my purchases:


The $17 shirt/dress and the $18 leggings.


The $70 BCBG dress. I talked myself into it because it will be perfect even if I am pregnant for this year's Navy Ball. But still, what was I thinking? I bought last year's Navy Ball dress for $17 at ROSS and it worked pregnant. I think I let myself think for a minute that it is a great deal because it was originally over $300...but NO, $70 is still too much! I don't care about the brand!


The other BCBG dress ($30). It was just easy to spend money because it was going on Amanda's credit card, you know? I baby sat her kids for five hours for this dress! That makes it almost sound kind of cheap. I don't even like gold though! I plan on wearing this one to the Khaki ball this year.


This is the $7.99 dress from Sears. Need I say more?


This is the other pair of jeans I got at Sears ($9.99). AND my FREE Team In Training shirt and socks! I couldn't pass up a chance to advertise for donations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society! These things aren't exactly free, I have a goal to raise $750 to help fund blood cancer research. Please help if you feel so inclined! http://pages.teamintraining.org/hi/hibiscus10/ahayes9rw8

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I could save my family so much money by only buying clothes that are super bargains (and I'm totally capable of that). A couple weeks ago I tried on a bunch of stuff at Target, put about $80 worth in the cart, walked around the store for a bit, then put all the clothes back and walked out. That took way less time and effort than it would have taken for me to prepare to save $80 using coupons. AND, it felt good. I know I could clearance shop and use coupons, to be a double threat, but when it comes down to it, I'd rather save my energy for the kids, for Brad, and for school.

I haven't really bought any new clothes in the last couple months because I have had plans to lose weight. Well, I haven't lost ANY weight in the past couple months, so I finally went out and bought the items you see above. Now, how much do you want to bet, that after I spend $100 on jeans, I will lose 10 pounds and they won't fit? Haha. That'll teach me, and my too-lazy-to-coupon butt!

1 comment:

Abby said...

I hear ya. I have to say, though, it only takes a bit of time to gather coupons and organize them for the first couple of weeks. After that, it becomes routine. I get the kids up and fed every morning and while I'm eating my yogurt, I scan over my 3 favorite coupon sites and print what's new..all while my kids are still eating. It's fast work to clip them and put them in the binder..and then carry on about my life. I fill out surveys to earn extra money while the kids are sleeping. When I'm headed out the door to go shopping? I simply grab my binder of organized coupons. There's zero fumbling around or digging for coupons. I also don't think anyone who takes couponing and saving their family money seriously is also the kind of person who spends $50 on a shirt. The only time I buy clothes is when there's an awesome sale and I only use my $100 a month clothing budget.

I'm glad that you bought some cute new clothes! Adorable! :)