I can't believe it's Friday already. This week went by way too fast. Probably because it was a busy week. Today was another hectic day. I went to 6 stores and it wasn't all fun & games. You already know which store I'm talking about...lol. It's been a minute since I've been to Walmart and I, once again, noticed more price increases. I picked up my favorite cereal & saw that the price has increased by another 28c. This doesn't sound like much, but all these little bits add up to big $$$. To top it off, the shelf was almost bare. There were only 3 boxes left, so I bought all 3. I'm not a shelf clearer, but this cereal has been hit & miss since the pandemic started.
So let's talk about why I think you shouldn't get rid of your clothing. I might be repeating a few things, but it's for the sake of new readers.
We all know that the world is still a mess. China keeps shutting down because of Covid. I don't know if anyone's aware of the tensions between China & Taiwan. This could also lead to war. The downside is that we depend heavily on China for many things. I've already noticed many changes due to fewer production/imports from China. Has anyone noticed that clothing don't fit like they used to anymore? We'll buy our regular size items at the same stores we've been patronizing for years, but now find that it's either too big or too small. That's because retailers/designers have had to scramble to find new manufacturers in other countries. They still want that cheap labor though, so they're not having anything produced locally. The world uses the metric system (I don't know why the US doesn't use metric, because it's so much easier. Everything is in 10s). So they're probably just converting inches to centimeters and then cutting the items wrong if their math is off.
Well, I noticed something even worse than just the size differences. When I was at Sams sometime last year, I noticed that their bedding is now made of RECYCLED POLYESTER. That's when I started checking clothing tags too. I hate polyester. It's just cheap junk. I'm a cotton girl. I want quality items, not cheap junk. Please don't misunderstand me. I have absolutely nothing against recycling. What irks me is that retailers are now charging us exorbitant prices for these items. They're acting like it's a brand new product. Why on earth would I pay an arm & a leg for a recycled item? (I recently saw 'recycled cotton' on an item too). I know & understand the manufacturing process & retail. No way am I throwing my money away like that. So check all your fabric products before purchasing. Ask yourself if its worth the tag price if it contains recycled fabric.
There's more though. For those who shop at thrift stores. Have you noticed that there are fewer things/inventory in your stores? That's because some thrift stores are now selling their items online for even higher prices than you would pay in their stores. You will also notice that many retailers (especially designer brands) have been buying back used clothing (their own brand only) and calling it "Pre-loved" and all kinds of fancy names and slapping a huge price tag on it. What a rip off. They'll offer you a small store credit/reward for your used item, then turn around and sell it for 10 or more times as much. That means you have to spend that credit/money with them while they're raking in huge profits with your items. If you have to get rid of your items, please sell it yourself. You'll get a lot more for the items online.
There are lots of shortages on many other things. Kohls sent me a 40% off Q shortly after my carafe broke. So I went online and added a new one to my cart. Their site said there were only 7 left in stock. I wanted to see if there's anything else I needed (the Q is one time use only), but had to take care of other things first. When I checked my cart later in the day, it showed only 4 carafes in stock. So I did the only logical thing. I ordered 2. Why? Because I did a google search and noticed that my coffee machine is only available at one store (It has since gone out of stock). So if the machine is now discontinued/NLA chances are that the carafe might be too. I'm trying hard to not break any more carafes for a long time. I love my machine, because it has a built in grinder.
As I've mentioned before, our coat/jacket brand is hard to find too. Same with my favorite athletic shoes. There are personal care items that have been discontinued or are hard to find lately. Remember that if just one ingredient is missing in a HBA item (or cleaning products or a part is missing from appliances), then the item cannot be produced, because the formula is incomplete. I can go on & on about items that are in short supply. I'm a comfort creature. I like to have all my needs, so I work hard to ensure that we have everything.
I'm not trying to say that we should just hoard all kinds of things and not get rid of anything. If it's something that you know you will never use again, please go ahead and repurpose it or get rid of it. If there's things that you think you might use in future, save it for a certain period of time to see if you might actually need it. If not, then do what you need to, to declutter.
My gut says that we haven't seen the worst of things yet. Why? Because I stumbled (well not exactly stumbled. I know that my gut instinct is God pointing me in the right direction. I have enough experience with this, to trust my instincts) upon a big clearance sale at Chicos. Not once, but twice! This is unheard of. Everything was $10. Chicos is part of WHBM group and their items are pricey. Ask me, I'm a regular customer....lol. So paying $10 per item, is a steal (I'll write a post to show you some of what I bought and their retail prices). Did I need any more clothing? Heck no. With the exception of socks & undies, I can probably go without clothes shopping for at least 5 years by just shopping from my spare closet. I leave the tags on everything in case I change my mind and want to sell it. Also, it's like a whole new shopping experience when I pull new things to wear. I know that's weird, but it's fun. I'm shopping my own 'store' for free. But did I go ahead & shop the sale? You betcha!! I don't sleep on a good sale. Besides, the items sell out before you can blink, so you have to be on your A game. Believe me. I did NOT want to shop, because I didn't need anything. However, I knew that there's a reason why I was led to this sale. I've had the same experience before the pandemic (Remember when I bought 50+ items at the WHBM sale?) and looky here. Most things are now hard to find or they're of a far less inferior quality.
I didn't just go out and spend a whole bunch of money on this sale. You all should know me better by now :) I bought gcs for my birthday & Christmas. For the first time in my life, nobody gave me gifts, so I had to spoil myself...lol. Well, the gcs all came with bonuses - $20 for every $100. Did someone say free? At my favorite store?
I know that many people believe that if you don't sign up for store emails, that you won't be tempted to shop and spend money. Well, I do the exact opposite. Guess who received free $15 gcs from 2 retailers this week :) Do I need anything? No. Am I going to spend that free $30? Most definitely. I'll probably just buy clearance and resell it. Free money in my pocket for a little retail therapy. I'm killing 2 birds with one stone. There's already been changes at Eddie Bauer. I read that they weren't honoring everyone's free after $10 Q items anymore (thankfully that never happened to me). Then they insulted me by sending me a $5 Q, instead of their regular $10 one. They bloody well know that they don't have anything at that low price, so I ignored the Q. The crazy thing is that I was about to sell one of my EB t-shirts. I had 2 of the same, because I only 'buy' the free items from them. Then they pulled this stunt and I decided to keep that extra tee. So when the old one wear out or gets damaged, I still have a free cotton tee to wear. Easy peasy. I could kick myself for not buying multiples of the Walmart sleep shirts when I found them clearanced to $3 before the pandemic. The sleep shirts are 60% cotton and have held up well. I'll wear them until they're see through...lol. That new Polyester sleep shirts I bought last year don't feel half as good. Very poor quality.
I know that there are some of you that will think I've lost my bloody marbles or that there might be those who judge. I've seen people being judged on other blogs. I'm not going to apologise for what I do. I know that I save us thousands of $$$ every year. We live well and I pay 90% of the retail prices for what we wear. There's ALWAYS method to my madness. It's not easy to explain to others, but I sure know what I am doing. Also, many are not aware of all the other frugal things I do. There are many times that I don't spend money on certain things, because it doesn't feel right. Like that fact that I've wanted a new car for several years now. I am financially independent. I can go buy myself a new car, but I'm not going to do that. I have 2 vehicles that are both fully paid for (We've always paid cash for our vehicles). They're both almost 20 years old, but they are in great condition (no rust) and run well. Why would I want to waste my money on a vehicle that's just going to depreciate? (I'm not saying that I won't buy a vehicle in the future or that it's wrong to buy one. I just don't want to spend money on a car in the current economic climate). I've got other priorities right now, like buying a house. That's a far better investment for me. I'll probably drive my old vehicles until they fall apart, but that's okay. I'm saving myself $$$ for every year that I still get to use them. The world is a mess, so I'm trying to save every way that I can. By shopping for ourselves during these deep discounted sales, I'm actually saving money - believe it or not. We all need clothes and shoes. It's not like we can all run around naked...lol.
I have never, ever done Back to school shopping. I shop the rock bottom sales year round, then pull new name brand clothing & shoes from our spare closet when school starts. I can easily buy a new school wardrobe for $100 (and that would be designer brands). I know that not everyone wears name brands, but I do. The resale value on them is so much better. I always, always make a profit on our old/used items, because I buy them at deep discounts. I can show you $200 dresses or blazers that I've purchased for $10-20. If there's a special event, I can go into my closet & pull out a brand new outfit that cost me less than or around $50 (including shoes), instead of having to pay retail prices. My style is polished and I wear timeless pieces, so I don't have to worry about something being dated. I also like to mix & match things. I can put together several different outfits with just a few key pieces. I also take very good care of my things, so I can wear them for years. This is why I buy quality. I don't mind paying more for some things, especially genuine leather shoes, if it's going to last me years. Just because something is inexpensive, doesn't mean you're getting the best deal/quality. I have a wool coat that I paid $20 for around 15-16 years ago and it's still in an excellent condition (more on that in my next post)
Another way that I've saved is through Kohls BF shopping. See, I have to move soon and I have brand new small appliances that I bought during the BF sales. Those are the ones we pick up for around $5 after rebate. Need a new toaster? Ms Goose has it...lol. So I don't have to worry about all kinds of things, because my 'stockpiling' has paid off. It might seem like I'm over the top, but my methods always seem to pay off in the end.
Many retailers are struggling right now, because people aren't spending money (recession, inflation, lay-offs etc). They're all having huge sales, so go take advantage of it. I picked up things at 95% off at Kohls last week. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it. Let's say you want to spend $50-100 on the whole family. Make a list if you have to. Know what your needs are. Don't go crazy at those sales. Be disciplined. I resell for a living and my parents worked in the industry, so shopping is my jam. However, I want to urge you to be smart about your shopping ways. If you have kids, buy a few things in the next size or 2. Only buy rock bottom items. 70% off isn't good enough for me (I'm not a cheapskate. I just know more about shopping/retail). I might bite if the item is good, but I want 80% and higher discounts. I know that retailers are still making money if they sell an item for $1. They are paying pennies on the $ and they also get bulk/volume discounts. Now is the best time to buy summer items if you can still find it. Don't stock up on winter yet. There will be far bigger discounts, the closer we get to summer. Please don't listen to those bloggers who tell you 'when is the best time' to buy certain things. I will tell you this much about clothing. The deeper you get into a new season eg. summer, the deeper the winter (and vice versa) discounts will be. Clothing is seasonal. Retailers always have to make floor space for the new season's styles, so they have to mark down items to get rid of excess inventory.
I hope that this post makes sense and that it's helpful to someone.
Have a wonderful weekend peeps. Stay healthy, safe & warm