The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us

How Do You Shop?


I was raised by a wonderful woman who taught me more useful things than I could count, but there was one thing she hated and avoided at all costs–shopping.  My mother shops like a man.  She knows what she wants, walks straight to the rack, and buys it, sometimes without trying it on.  Window shopping was unheard of (unless it was antiques or pets), and her idea of fun definitely was not going to the mall to try on all kinds of fun stuff.  She likes efficiency.  Can you blame her?

To the dismay of my mother, she still ended up raising a daughter who enjoys shopping.  I mean, come on, one of the most fun parts of prom is trying on every cute (and ugly) dress you see, no matter the price.  The problem, though, is that I never really learned how to shop for the best prices.  Now that we have kids, this is becoming a problem.

Here are a few tricks I know: shop at consignment shops, buy clothes at the end of seasons, and the greatest bargains are the days after Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That’s where my knowledge ends.  Thankfully, we have never really had to buy clothes for Liam because of hand-me-downs from one of his cousins, but with the cooler weather yesterday, I panicked when I realized Ariana doesn’t have a single pair of pants or a jacket.  Though we usually shop at Walmart for the kids, we ran to the mall to look.  After seeing the prices, I couldn’t bring myself to buy more than three items.

Clothes shopping is an area I would really like to improve, both the amount I pay and being better prepared so I don’t have to make last minute trips.  For all of you shopaholics, would you mind sharing some advice?  Besides the sales times I mentioned above, are there other times in the year or season (or week) you typically find good sales?  What are your favorite stores for the prices and sales?  How can I find out about sales that are going on without going to the store?  Also, I do love consignment shops but was wondering what your favorites were?  Any additional advice is also welcome.


13 thoughts on “How Do You Shop?

  1. Kohls! My mother and every other grandmother I knows swears by them! My mother is the best shopper in the world, she can go into stores and come out with 2 full bags of clothes for $2-$20! I’m not kidding, either. I’ll ask her what she does & get back to you.

    Anyway, Kohl’s has fantastic sales pretty much all of the time. Good clothes too! Even I can buy stuff there sometimes! 🙂 Look in the ads – or ask my mom! 🙂

  2. know… not knows. that’s what I get for trying to type with one hand while doing something else! Plus misplaced commas… gee whiz!

    Paranoia signing off now 🙂

  3. Websites I use to find good deals:

    These two sites list the deals of the day, but you can also search their forums for a particular store or item sale.

    Websites I use to make the deal even better:

    Both of these sites list coupon codes (or links) for a ton of brick & mortar stores and for online-only stores as well.

    Neither one of these will do you a great amount of good if you need to touch/feel/see the product you are trying to buy, but otherwise I find these to be pretty helpful. Besides, sometimes these sites will link PDF coupons you can use for in-store purchases.

  4. Thanks, guys! Keep em comin’!

  5. Girl, we should talk. I am a shopper and I can fill you in on all the details I am too impatient to type.

  6. COurt, I am totally a go all the time shopper, i love it. Now I don’t spend money all the time, I just love to go. But by doing that I walk into some awesome deals. THe Children’s Place is the first place I look for my kiddos. I got all their fall clothes for 78 dollars and it retailed for over 250 dollars. I just happened it walk in on thier Monster sale of the year. They do that 2 times a year and put everything under 5 dollars in the store, I got dresses, coats, pants etc for 2.99. It was great. I also LOVE Jc. Penny for the kids, their Okie Dokie line fits my very little 2 year old.

    Hope that helps, I will e mail you the next time I run into the Monster sale at Children’s place….oh and yesterday my mom and I went in there just to look and ran into 3 skirts and 2 tanks for next year for grace for 99 cents and 30 percent off, not bad for 69 cents each

  7. i shop always for the boys at target and walmart. sometimes old navy as well. i love hand me downs best (i used to get them all the stinkin time from becky!!!) but that isn’t happening now. i don’t fork out the dough on children’s clothes. they either grow out of them or ruin them before long. i love the children’s place…don’t get me wrong…and if they have a great sale, i am all for it! great quality there! target is my favorite though. i have never been able to afford gymboree. i gasp at their prices…as well as gap. david wouldn’t even allow me to shop at those stores if i wanted to=)

    that being said, this is a poor area for me. ask kacie. i am a clotheshorse and an impulse buyer. it is best for me to stay out of the mall except like once a year and then i only have cash and no credit LOL!!! i am weak! i love clothes!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Yes, Hilary, I would love to get together with you to learn all your skills! I guess this fits under our mentoring discussion we had a couple of months ago about learning from each other. 🙂

    I never would have considered the Children’s Place. I always thought they were way too expensive. That was great advice!

    That’s me all the way–impulse buyer. 🙂

  9. You should try the big Highland’s Pres. kid’s sale in a couple of weeks. I got a few things b/f Dorothy came at the last sale. It is a consignment sale where you can even sell your own stuff and get most of the money back (they keep 30% for the preschool). Here is the info:

    Also check out the Once upon a Child on Taylorsville road. They carry all things baby, maternity or kid related. I bought Gap maternity jeans there for 8 bucks! You can also sell stuff to them for check or in store credit.

  10. Thanks for the info on the sale coming up, Sarah! I will most definitely check it out.

    I have heard so many great things about Once Upon a Child, but have never actually gone. Maybe it’s finally time. I never even think about selling our stuff. I always just take it to Goodwill.

  11. I also love the consignment store in J-Town called the Children’s Orchard. I sell lots of stuff there and know first hand that they are VERY picky about what they take. I got lots of stuff for Lincoln there for $1 each piece of clothing. Plus, if you consign there you get twice as much if you don’t take the cash and use it for store credit. Anyway, I forgot to mention that in the earlier post.

  12. I love JCP and The Children’s Place. Plus at the Children’s Place you can sign up for mailers that will give you 15% off (one for you and one for a friend). I’ve even forgotten my mailer and they look me up and give it to me anyway. Also they are HELPFUL– actually check in the back for items or a different size.color. Who could ask for more?

    I’ve bought toys at Once Upon A Child. Good prices. I don’t usually find much in the way of clothing for my son there or at Children’s Orchard.

    We too were blessed with many hand-me-downs. Until the past 10 months or so I haven’t had to buy too many clothes. It’s fun to shop, but I, like you, have gotten sticker shock!

  13. eek shopping. I like to walk around and talk with friends, but if I actually have to find something I hate it. Especially on those days when everyone else is at the mall. yuck. That said, I have mostly used hand me downs and consignment sells for our boys. But Justus is big enough that it is hard to find consignment clothes in his size that are decent. Boys just wear them out. I always avoided Children’s Place too, but generally their prices are too bad – I usually find that they run not too much more than Target and they are much nicer. Now, I don’t buy baby clothes there – Walmart, Meijer, Target, consignment, etc. are where I go… but as justus gets bigger he needs clothes he can wear for a longer period of time and to wear them harder. I rarely shop at Gymboree, unless like a month ago they had a sale and I had a coupon on top of that. If you sign up at Children’s Place you get a 20% off coupon for your kid’s birthdays… so I’ll finish up Justus’s winter clothes with that coupon after his birthday.

    Becky is a really great shopper. She’s the one that got me into Children’s Place. They do a lot of “2 for” deals and you can mix and match boy/girl stuff too. (not that I need it!) 🙂 I don’t like to spend a lot of time at stores looking for sales, so I just have to keep my eyes open when I’m out.

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