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The Cost of Living
Old 01-20-2020, 07:45 PM
  #1

Feeling like Rip Van Winkle.
Do not go shopping unless I have a Gift Card.
Get gift cards in October and December.

Everything seems SO expensive these days.
Basic necessities.
My new coat cost $90 and that was on sale.
Bras cost $40 and up.

When I first started teaching 17 years ago, I went to Macy's.
Was able to get a whole wardrobe...a trunkload of clothes...for only $200.

Now, Macy's wants $60 for a Denim Skirt.
And of course, it's NOT included in the sale.

Love the look of Lauren Conrad clothing line at Kohls.
Very feminine and pretty.
But, $65 for a top is a bit outrageous.
Have to be patient and wait to get it on Deep, Deep Red Clearance.

Did use Kohls cash.
Got a $68 dress for FREE!
Those are the kinds of deals that I like.

Noticing the Women's clothes are pretty, but many are poorly made with cheap, see-through fabrics.
Very thin fabrics that don't seem sturdy enough to survive a school day.

Bought my coat in the Men's department.
It's lined and heavier than the chintzy ones in the Women's Dept.
Not pretty, but it will be warm.

So hard to find affordable quality clothing.


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Old 01-20-2020, 07:52 PM
  #2

I do quite a lot of my shopping at thrift stores. I don't always find what I am looking for, but if you go often enough...

I have only spent $90 on coats for my dh (specialty kind of items) and Christmas for my dd (also a specialty item). I am cheap!

I need to pick up a few things like new jeans, but I do not want to shop for them. I hate finding ones that fit well for a price I will pay. Life is rough, isn't it?

I like Ross, but often don't find anything there either.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:56 PM
  #3

Persephone, I wish I could shop for you (I love shopping and need little so I donít). I wish I could share my beautiful coats that I donít need here.

Tips:
*sometimes full-price at TJ Maxx or Ross is better price and quality than department stores
*think ahead seasonallyónow is not the time to buy a coat cheaply, wait til spring/summer and get a great coat for next year at rock-bottom prices

Good luck!
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:59 PM
  #4

Never buy anything at Kohl's for full price. Wait till there is a 30% off coupon.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:02 PM
  #5

Amgia~

Love, love, love TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
But, have never bought any clothes there because I've never received gift cards.
Love window shopping there every chance I get.

Bought a coat at Kohls because I had $100 in Gift Cards.
It's just a black coat from the Men's Dept.
I wear Plus Size, so this Mens Coat fits nicely.

I may Bedazzle it!
Or paint song lyrics on the back.
Or put pictures of Rick Springfield all over it.
Or iron on cute patches.


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Old 01-20-2020, 08:04 PM
  #6

Salaries do not keep up with the cost of living. I have met too many teachers who think their step and column moves in the salary scale are "fine." They neglect to factor in inflation when budgeting for their family. Then they wonder at the end of every month why they do not have extra money. I am a fan of thrift stores,sales and coupons. Your men's department shopping idea is brilliant.
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Just today, I was telling my sweetie
Old 01-20-2020, 08:10 PM
  #7

that I rarely bought anything new until I married my kids' dad and his mother started taking me shopping. His parents had tons of money. I was astonished at how much she paid for clothes.

My mom taught me to thrift shop and that is basically what I always preferred, even when I was married and had free money to shop new.

Just a couple of weeks before Christmas, I got a pretty much brand new Nautica jacket at a thrift store for $5. I love second-hand clothing, because I rarely have to worry about spending too much, I can have nearly anything I want, clothes are pre-shrunk. Good label clothing usually lasts a long time. I know what labels to look for. Love cashmere, but can't afford to buy it new.

While I was in CA recently, I found two really cute dresses that fit me at a Salvation Army store. When I got to the counter, found out it was BOGO free, so I got two dresses for $8, one good enough to wear to a wedding I need to go to.

I NEVER pay full-price for bras. Try Kohls' bra clearance rack. They ALWAYS have great deals. I rarely pay more than $16 and often less than that.

Start looking around for your local thrift shops or church sales. It is amazing the things I find for so little. Also, try eBay if you you know your size and brand, because more often than not, someone is selling what you need for less $$ on eBay.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:10 PM
  #8

I used to work at a grocery story at night and stay home with my little children during the day. Money was so scarce, but employees at this grocery store earned points from shopping there that they could redeem for their choice of prizes. Most of the prizes weren't of interest to me, but Macy's gift card was one of them. So I alway went for that and it's the only way I got clothes (aside from Ross shopping the clearance rack sometimes and the occasional thrift shop expedition). Macy's was pricey, so I always looked at clearance there. One year, someone gave me a Ross gift card for Christmas and I was over the moon!

Now, I have a little more money, but I do the majority of my shopping from Old Navy sales and visits to Ross or Marshall's. I rarely buy new clothes, but every once in a while...

A free $68 dress is fantastic! Enjoy! I love getting deals!
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:16 PM
  #9

Persephone, I agree with you about the poor quality of clothing now days. I still have a couple of wool sweaters from many years ago, still in good condition. Many sweaters today are made of fabrics that don't last more than a season or two.
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Bargains
Old 01-20-2020, 09:18 PM
  #10

Itís tough to bargain shop when you can only go to certain stores. Maybe hint to your gift card givers that cards to Ross or TJMax would go further?

My best bargain of the last year was a Lands End coat purchased at the end of winter for $35.

If youíre a Costco member (or can go with someone who is ), they sometimes have good clothing bargains. I recently got a cute and very warm jacket for $15.


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Old 01-20-2020, 11:55 PM
  #11

We just recently had a plus size thrift shop open up. I was so excited. I canít wait to go. Google and see if there are any in your area.
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I agree...
Old 01-21-2020, 03:19 AM
  #12

I like to watch the shopping channels. My friend and I were commenting that even basic tee shirts are forty dollars or more, and the shipping costs are between $3.50 and $5.50 per item. It used to be half shipping on the second item, but no more. As a result, I buy very little from them. The quality also has gone down. Love my Diane Gilman jeans, but the embellishments fall off easily.

I was able to get some nice things at Talbots and Chico’s when they had a 50% off sale. I get free shipping at both because I have a Premier level credit card at Talbots and I am in the Chico’s Passport Club. I got a nice jacket at The Paper Store of all places, 50% off.

I also agree with the poster who mentioned Costco. I bought a pair of Jones NY jeans there for $14.99 last week. They fit great and I will probably go back for another pair. I also saw some cute PJs there that I might need.

I shop factory outlets when they have good sales. My good down coat was from the DKNY company store.

I am fortunate to be retired, so I no longer need work clothes. Still love to shop, but with lots of stores closing, it is not easy.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:21 AM
  #13

I also agree with you about how the fabric and the quality has gotten terrible and barely last past a season or two. I started noticing this may be about 10 years ago or so.
I had a simple pullover cotton/ poly knit shirt from Penny's that lasted forever ( like 10 years!). I wore it many times every summer and washed/ dried it. That thing was indestructible! Now they barely make it through a couple summers.
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Poshmark
Old 01-21-2020, 05:00 AM
  #14

I love the Poshmark app. Maybe too much.

I used to hit the local clearance sales but often left empty handed and discouraged. The consignment and thrift stores in my area are terrible.

On Poshmark, I can shop my favorite brands for new or used items. I can get 3 pieces for the price of one sale item at the retail Loft store, for example. It does take some research to check how faded the item is (I bought a couple of duds but I still wear them) and to get a sense of what a fair offer is with shipping. I love it.
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TJMax and Marshall's
Old 01-21-2020, 06:06 AM
  #15

I needed a new winter jacket. My old one is still good, but it is wool and I need more of a ski type of jacket. I looked everywhere, even a discount store where I would also get an extra discount on top of that, still with discounts it would be over $100. I found the exact same jacket at Marshall's for $58, plus I used their credit card so I will probably make enough savings to get the $10 gift check at the end of the year.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:33 AM
  #16

I agree about Poshmark. Also ThredUP. If I have a particular wardrobe need I check there first. I have sometimes been frustrated with Poshmark in that you have to rely on the seller to ship the item. A couple of times I've had orders get cancelled because Poshmark couldn't get a response from the seller. They do have a wider selection of high end clothes, though.

I like ThredUP for kids, too. I do most of the clothing purchases for my grandson. I can get Nike and Under Armour cheaper than shopping at Walmart.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:07 AM
  #17

I used to LOVE (clothes, shoes, bags, etc.) shopping a LOT more than I do nowadays. Everything is high and for NO reason because the quality has decreased. I'm the type of shopper who gets good quality items on sale. But then, you risk the item you want not being there if you wait a while for it to go on sale.

I've definitely noticed Nordstrom's quality going downhill. Fabrics are thinner.

I've never bought used clothing and still don't ever plan to, but I actually have enough clothing to last the rest of my life honestly if I never go shopping again.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:15 PM
  #18

Quote:
I've never bought used clothing and still don't ever plan to
Gosh, you sound a little superior, here. You know, there are many reasons to buy used clothes (and other things) when you are able. It's not all about money, although why not save money if you can?

For me it's also an ethical thing. It's sort of like recycling - an effort to send less junk to the landfill. But then I don't attach my ego to my consumerism and I've never maintained a massive wardrobe.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:42 PM
  #19

I just have to echo what others have said about thrift stores. Pretty much everything I wear comes from a thrift store. Most days I am wearing at least one fancyish brand (well, what I consider fancy)--AnnTaylor, Banana Republic--for something like $4 to $8.
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Another store
Old 01-21-2020, 04:28 PM
  #20

Has anyone mentioned Burlington's? My current winter coat is warm and comfortable and cost $30. It's a puffy ski jacket type, which I think someone mentioned needing.
It's not top quality I admit (I wash it in the washing machine but line dry only) but it looks nice and will get me through the winter staying warm on those frigid outdoor recess days!

Persephone, since you specifically mention bras...I've found good deals on amazon. Like $20 or less for decent brands, such as Warner 's. That said, I'm a very easy to find well stocked size and I don't mind unusual colors, lol. I do better there then waiting for a sale or using coupons at a department store.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:40 PM
  #21

Tori58, I'm just simply saying, that's all. Definitely not trying to sound superior. Someone could just as easily say that they get all their clothing from the used stores for as little as $-- and that could sound like bragging on the other end of the spectrum too (as if to say the rest of us fools are shopping at the regular new stores). I'd take zero offense to that either.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:45 PM
  #22

I just don't really care much about clothing, so I buy very little. So when I do buy something I don't mind spending a bit on it because I know I'll wear it for a long time. Especially pants - if I find pants that fit well and are comfortable I don't care how much they are. My black go-to pants that I wear weekly have lasted me at least 10 years. I felt guilty for spending the $90 on them at first, but I'd spend it again in a heartbeat.



But when I take dd shopping, who does love clothes, yikes! And to make it worse she loves skimpy little things. So a tiny barely there tee is $25, basic or ripped to shreds jeans are close to $100, it's crazy! Luckily she's starting to see the value of thrift store shopping and getting five times the amount of clothes for the same price or less.
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