Friday, December 23, 2011

Results Not Typical

It's been a while since I've posted- life has been busy.

I have found some awesome finds the past couple of months but some denim I have purchased takes the cake for great finds. At my local Salvation Army they have a rack dedicated to the more 'designer' brands. Well, this rack has blessed me with two pairs of Seven for All Mankind jeans and one pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans.
Now, some of you might not understand the excitement I felt when I found these jeans. I got all three pairs for $20 each- a steal! These brands of jeans retail for $180 to over $200 for a pair! No really- someone actually paid that much for them and then donated them to the Salvation Army.

Now, this is not typical- NOT typical at all. Out of all the times I have gone to thrift stores, all the trips I've made, throughout every different town- I've only seen one other pair- and the zipper was broken.

So, don't expect to find deals like this the next time you head out to a thrift store, but always look because you never know when something like this might pop up.

Have a Merry Christmas and get out and find your own great finds. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October Finds!

Jeff Foxworthy does a funny bit in his comedy routine about "you might be a redneck if..." Well, I have one to add to his might be a redneck if.... you attend the grand opening of The Salvation Army.

I was actually every excited, and it was a really neat event. Our local salvation army store was in a small building with like 8 parking spots. Now they are in a huge building with an even bigger parking lot. I'm so excited! It's going to be fun shopping there!
Today, I found A LOT of awesome finds!
Check it out!

  • Lets start off with my favorite find of the day- Brand-new Franco Sarto boots (still had the foam and paper inside)- I paid $20.00 they retail for upwards of $200.00!!! Ah! I'm so excited!
  • I found some awesome clothes too! 2 brand-new (with tags) Ann Taylor turtlenecks for $4 a piece- the tag said $68. : )
  • I found some Banana Republic jeans, a brand-new 'Ron Jon' tee shirt, a skirt, another shirt, and 2 shirts for my husband.
  • I also found some random knick-knacks- a gold basket, water bottle, bread plate, purse. Awesome deals on all!
  • I found a vintage pogo-stick that my husband and his friends will be very excited about. It was only $8!
  • The wicker basket was only $10- great deal!
  • I also found a set of 3 spiral light-up Christmas trees for outside that had been $25 (or more) for only $6.50!
  • I've been looking for a wooden window like the one I found, but they are always so expensive. Well, I found this one and couldn't read the tag- was it $2.00 or $20.00? Only $2.00!
I couldn't believe all my great finds! I had my car loaded down and had to drive home to drop it all off before I went to the next thrift store. : ) Oh, and I went back later to look again (total dork, I know) and found a couple more shirts. It's weird how things 'find you'- I was looking through the men's tee shirts and found a project graduation shirt from my high school, from the year I graduated- crazy!

I stopped by another one of my favorite thrift stores and found some cute sweaters- each one was under $5!

So, I mentioned in an earlier blog post about how much I love Ross stores and how one was opening in my town. The weekend it opened I got strep throat- it couldn't keep me away though. I went in and about 3 minutes later decided I couldn't handle it. I felt too bad and there were WAY too many people inside.

Strep throat might not have kept me away, but a busy schedule sure did. I finally got a chance to go back in today and found a few awesome items. You can tell the store has been busy because the merchandise is clearing out fast- I'll have to go during the week sometime when there will be more items.

I'm excited I finally had a chance today to look around and spend some time shopping. It was a great day full of finding great finds!

Hope you all find some awesome deals- and let me know about them! :) Happy hunting!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Movie Time

It has been a long time since I have posted but I have good reasons. I am currently the long-term substitute in a fourth grade classroom; so needless to say, my life has been a little busy and hectic. But I'm extremely thankful that it is. : )

Since I have been so busy I haven't had as much time to thrift store shop as I would like. But today my mom and I braved the cooler, rainy weather in search of some great finds.

One of the thrift stores not too far from my house had all of their books and movies 1/2 price. It was great...I loaded up on books- it was like uncharted territory...I don't think anyone had looked through them because I found some great books.

I also found a movie that was 1/2 price and it was only going to be 50 cents...what a deal, right? Okay, so the movie was Vegas Vacation with Chevy Chase. I have watched it on TV probably 50 times throughout my life and it still cracks me up. But I've never 'really' seen it (that's what I say when I haven't seen a movie but on TV- because something is always cut out for time). My mom always warns me when I buy movies at thrift stores because they are always VHS and she is scared they won't work or it won't be what the box really says. Out of all the movies I have bought at thrift stores, not one has had anything wrong with it. Seriously...the movies always seem to be in perfect condition.

When I got home, my husband and I thought it would be fun to watch Vegas Vacation while we ate lunch and lounged on the couch. So, I get up to pop the movie in, not bothering to actually look at the tape, and let it play. As Christmas music starts to play, I look at my husband and crack up. Inside the box for Vegas Vacation was really a different Chevy Chase movie...National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. No joke. I couldn't help but I called my mom and she had a good laugh too. Out of all the times she has told me to be careful about the movies I buy, I still never take the tape out to see if it is really the movie I think I'm buying. Well, that will definitely change after today. We didn't have Christmas Vacation so it all worked out in the end. Gave us a good laugh before we started laughing at the actual movie.

So, a word from the wise...when buying movies at a thrift store, check to make sure the movie inside of the box is what it is actually supposed to be. : )

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Livin' on Tulsa Time

If any of you know me personally, I'm sure you have heard me talk about my love for the store 'Ross Dress for Less.' I might like it even more than thrift stores (gasp!). The Ross that is closest to my house is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On October 8 the Ross in our area is opening! I am so excited but hopefully I don't spend every paycheck there. :)
If you have never been to a Ross let me give you a quick run-down. I compare it to TJ Maxx or Marshall's. It is the same concept, but cheaper. Understand though, that they don't have as many 'name brands' like TJ Maxx but that is how it is cheaper. Check out the Ross website for more info.
One thing I like about the tags at Ross is they tell you the 'compared at' price and often the original tags are still on the items, and often, these tags are even more than the 'compared at' price. It is really easy to total up your savings and see how much you are saving.
So, yesterday my mom and I took a trip to Tulsa to visit a couple of the Ross stores they have there. I found some great items. Check it out:

My finds for the day.
I got the black Worthington dress pants (which I usually find at JC Penny's for about $40) for only $9.99- compared at $36.00. I saved $26!
I had looked at black shoes like these (for work) at Dillard's and I was prepared to pay $70 but I found these for only $16.99- compared at $39.00. I saved $22 or as I like to see it compared at $70 I saved $53.
The rug perfectly matches my living room- $2.99 compared at $6 but actually rugs like this are even more than that even at Wal-Mart.

These two dress I found were both on clearance. One was on clearance for $8.99 and the other $9.99. Now, tell me where you can find beautiful dresses like this for under $10? Both dresses were compared at $60. So, I saved over $100- boom- just like that.

I went in to Ross looking for some tops that I could wear with jeans and found these two tops which I loved! The black and gray top was only $9.99 compared at $24.00- I saved $14. The pink top (just how cute is that pocket!) was $8.99 compared at $28- I saved $19.

In total I saved $185.07 at Ross! Awesome!
We don't only go to Ross on our trips to Tulsa, we also like to stop by the Macy's in the Woodland Hills Mall. We have a Macy's that is closer (Joplin, Mo) but if one is where you are, you might as well stop in. Macy's has really good sales. Their clearance was an additional 40% off. There is a cute story behind this pink sweater I found (for only $14.70!) I went with my sister to New York and Company to shop for her and as we were walking around I found the cutest pink sweater with glitter strands- it was beautiful and totally me- except for the price- it was $50. I tried it on anyways, and unfortunately, it was too big and they didn't have a smaller size. Well, I found an even cuter replacement at Macy's! Get this- the original price was $50. :)

We also stopped by Micheal's craft store- again, another store we don't have (are you sensing a trend?). This candle was on clearance since it was a summer scent- only $2.39! The scent is orange vanilla which really means it smells just like an orange creamsicle. Yum! Also, I found these cute- as- pie Paula Deen kitchen items. The spoon holder cracks me up (totally Paula Deen!) and it was only $2. The cupcake holders are cute- as- pie too- they say 'yummy' and 'enjoy' on the bottom. 50 were only $1. So stinkin' cute!

Well, I know I said I might love Ross more than thrift stores, but that doesn't mean that I still don't hunt to find thrift stores in every town I go to. So, long story short- we had a time and a half trying to find this thrift store, but we finally found it. It's called Value Thrift Store and it is on the corner of Memorial and 11th in Tulsa. Quick word to the wise- look up the location of thrift stores before you leave home...just do will make life easier and save you some gas. It might have taken us a while to find it, but it was worth it! The store was huge and packed! I spent $16 and got all this plus some more that isn't in the picture! It helped that I had my mom with me and it was senior discount day (an extra 25% off!)

I know what you are thinking- why in the world did she buy 3 pairs of brown pants. Let me explain. One pair are capris- $2.98 and the brand is Talbots (original price was probably around $80!). Another pair are full length were also only $2.98 (brand Apt. 9 compared at probably $50). The last pair I'm hoping fit my sister are Old Navy brand and were only $1.98!
The tops are super cute! The black one I'm going to wear as a swimsuit cover-up and it was only $2.98. The green leaf one in the middle was also only $2.98. The last one I look a close up picture of. It's Ann Taylor Loft (which if you've read my previous posts, you know I love) and it was only $1.98.
Oh, and the little bird house was only 45 cents!

I'm exhausted from hunting down all my great finds. If you have a Ross in your area I highly recommend you checking it out. Their company website and Facebook page has a lot of tips for shopping at their stores. Some of my tips are:
  • Shop early and often- their inventory changes on a daily basis.
  • Grab it when you see it because it might be gone if you try to circle back (especially on busy days).
  • Have an idea of what you are looking for and if you don't find it- try back in a few days.
  • It is a great place to find gifts- they have cute home decoration items and a large kitchen section.
  • Don't forget about their clearance racks- do I need to mention my awesome dresses again?
Don't let places like Macy's intimidate you because you see them as 'expensive' places. Yes, the store does have a lot of items that are too pricey for me so that is why I shop the clearance racks and watch for sales on clearance items.
Going on a weekend trip to another city? Look up thrift stores in the area before you go (map out where they are). I knew I'd probably find some good items at a thrift store in Tulsa because it is such a big city- lots of stores= more variety in what will end up in a thrift store.
Well, I have a lot of new stuff to put up! I'm still pumped about my great finds! If you have great finds of your own tell me about them!
Until next time- keep hunting for those great finds. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thrift Store Back to School Sale

A local thrift store, The Samaritan Shop (one of my favs) has been advertising their 'Back to School Sale' with proceeds going towards school supplies and other needs for local students. Since I'm an educator and understand what it is like for a student to come to school on the first day with nothing, I decided I better go check it out. Also, of course, I was in it for the great deals. The store advertised lower prices on clothing and then mentioned 'new' merchandise.
Now, the area of Arkansas I live in is often known as 'Wal-Mart Country.' The Wal-Mart home offices are located here. So, we have a ton of venders in our area and these venders often sell their items at 'sample sales' they have at their own facilities. But lots of times they donate their items. Well, the 'new' items the thrift store advertised were beauty/bath items that were donated by local venders (I am assuming).
So, to state it simply, aside from some great clothing finds, I got a boat load of NEW bath items for nearly nothing.
Here is my loot. Let me explain my great finds and deals.

So, to start off on the left-
Remington brand flat iron for $10- retail $37.99. I saved $27.99.
Remington hot rollers- I paid $12- retail $20.99. I saved $8.99.
There were a lot of shampoos/conditioners/conditioning treatments/hair gels/etc. I got two different sets of shampoo/conditioners from the brand L'Oreal (which I never buy because it is a little too much to pay). At the thrift store they were only $2.00 x 4= $8.00. Retail- $23.88 (at least). I saved $15.88.
I also bought 3 bottles of deep conditioning treatments (one overnight, one for colored hair, and one for deep conditioning). I paid $7.00. Retail- $23.22. I saved $16.22.
L'Oreal mousse (one of those things I always want to buy but never seem to) I paid $1.00- retail $3.47- I saved $2.47.
Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Flat Iron Spray- I paid $3.00- Retail $8 (at least). I saved $5.
L'Oreal Collagen Micro-Pulse Total Eye Correction System (anti-wrinkle/dark circle/anti-bag/puffiness cream)- $2.50- Retail $18. I saved $15.50.
I also got Zest soap (20 pack) for $5.00. Toothbrush (2 packs) for 50 cents. Toothpaste (2 pack) $2.00. Loofahs $1.00 each. 625 count Q-Tips for $1.00.

I know it's a lot to take might seem like a waste but it is all non-perishable items that can be stored. I know I don't need 2 bottles of shampoo and 2 bottles of conditioner right now, but I will need them and it will save me from needing to buy them in the next few months.
If you ever stumble upon items like this for such a great deal, grab them up! Especially bathroom items. These seem to be the things that you all-of-a-sudden run out of and can't really go without. Food deals are often perishable or about to expire and need to be used quickly, so tread lightly and smartly with items like that.
I'm excited to try out my new items (like the deep conditioners and under-eye cream). If you live in the Northwest Arkansas area, I highly recommend you stopping by this sale.
As always, happy hunting :)

There are more like me :)

As I was getting ready to write my next blog post about my thrift store finds, I ran across this article on the Yahoo homepage. If you don't believe me by now, read this article. You would think it was written by me, but it's not. :( The author and I do have a lot in common though. Read the article and see what you think. Now, you know it's not just me that thinks thrift stores are so awesome :)
There is the link to the article.
Or you can copy and paste.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Flea Market Steals

So, I started this blog post yesterday, but somehow it messed up and everything was underlined and blue so I deleted it and decided to try again today. Really though, it's for the better because as I was looking over my great finds, I was going to name the post 'flea market finds' then I decided to change the title to 'Flea Market Steals' because really, it was like I was stealing the items I found because I got such a great deal on them.
Just real quick, a side note. Flea market shopping is not for the faint of heart. When/If you do go, remember this: flea markets are really antique stores and antique stores are really expensive. The reason for this is because you are looking at antiques and these things are expensive. Since the economy has been down, not as many people are buying up collectibles and antiques like they once were. (That's a whole other story).
Now, I don't go looking for antiques, I go looking for a great (cheap) find. Often times flea markets give me sensory-overload. Usually the isles are small, the booths are usually small (they range in size), and are packed with items, and since it is a flea market there is usually a range of smells. So, if you go be prepared but take your time. Even if you don't buy anything, I think it is fun to look at the items from the days gone by. I see old telephones, magazines, and dishes and think about my great-grandmother using items like them. Also, some stuff is just really neat to look at. A tip as you go shopping at a flea market- have an idea of what you want in mind- it will help, trust me. I told you about getting sensory overload and if you don't have an idea of what you are looking for, you'll never find it because you'll be too busy looking at everything else.
With all that being said, I went to a few flea markets just to look around and get ideas for my house. I had an idea in my head to get red and white items for my kitchen (and possibly laundry room). Living so close to the University of Arkansas, where the school colors are (you guessed it) red and white, I figured finding these colors would be easy; but apparently, it has all already been bought up. :)
I did manage to find some great items and without further ado, here they are:

2 things about this item made it a great find. 1) The booth I found it in was a non-profit booth (not at all common in flea markets but a way for non-profit groups to make a little more money out of the items that are donated). 2) Everything in the booth was 75% off. That made this cute-as-can-be watermelon pitcher only 25 cents. I take that back 27 cents with tax.

Brace yourself for this next find.
Clutch handbags are all the rage. I haven't bought one because they all look the same- black- with or without some flair (like sparkle or a flower). This bag caught my eye because it is vintage from the 1950s (I had to explain to my husband that, yes, it was really from the 1950s, not just made to look like it). I could have spent around $20 (or more) to buy a clutch at a department store but I found this one for only $3 at a flea market.
Vintage 1950s clutch=$3
Standing out from the crowd with a handbag like no one else=priceless

It is even big enough to hold my iPhone and still snap!

I said to brace yourself for the clutch, maybe I should have saved it for this next find.
At another flea market, I found another booth having a 75% off sale. (Just to let you know- this is very uncommon. Sometimes you might see 40% off or 10% but hardly ever more than 50%). I found these white salad bowls and they are gorgeous! The picture didn't pick up all the details. They are shaped like flowers, the petals start in the middle and work their way up the outside. There are 5 small bowls and 2 large ones. A salad is going to look so pretty against the white. Ah, I love them but what I love even more is what I paid for them. Are you ready? You won't believe me. I got all 7 pieces for $4.50!!!!
The small bowls were only $2.00 to begin with, so I got all 5 for $2.50 and the bigger bowls were $4 to start, so those were only $2. Yea, I couldn't believe it either.

The white bowls are going to look great with the rest of my white dishes and can't wait to use them. I still need some red items, but those can wait. That's the thing about shopping like I do (and so many others). You have to be patient and wait for the great items to find you. Flea market finds like this are rare. Please don't be mad at me if you go to a flea market and every dish you pick up is $50. Actually that happened to me at every turn yesterday. I found the cutest bowls that were white with red polka-dots and I loved them but they were $45 each. Um, no. Couldn't do it- but maybe you can.
Just know that if you are redecorating or searching for a special gift and want great deals that you'll have to be patient and don't expect to find everything in one day. That wouldn't be fun at all- I like to stretch out my finds so the thrill lasts longer.
Well, here is hoping that you'll try out a flea market every now and then- you never know what you'll find and the items change all the time so you need to go often. Let me know about your great finds too.
Happy hunting :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend finds

So, looking back over my blog posts I realized I am a talker, or I guess writer would be a better about this-, here is a short and sweet post about my great weekend finds...

I got to stop by a thrift store I love in West Branson on Friday. I found this beautiful wreath for fall for only $4. One of the pumpkins is a little messed up, but nothing some super glue can't take care of.

These shoes were only $1 at that same thrift store. What? Really? Only $1! I'm not lying.

Back home on Saturday, one of my 'regular' thrift stores the women's tops were 1/2 price. Each one of these tops was only $1.50.

At that same thrift store the ladies had already put out the fall items. (What they do is save the holiday items and only put them out once a year, then box them back up to put out next year.) This cute tablecloth (Be thankful printed) was only $2.

This next item my husband found (yes, my mad skills have rubbed off on him). We have been talking about getting a wireless keyboard and mouse for our computer because (thanks to my awesome husband) we can magically see our computer screen on our TV (I have no idea how it works- some cord- that's his field). So, he found this wireless keyboard and mouse (plus the cord that makes it all work) for only $12.50. We looked them up while we were at the store to make sure it was a good deal, and it was- they are about $30 to $45.

So, I found some great finds this weekend. Hope you all have found some equally awesome finds. As always happy hunting for some great finds of your own. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Great find= project time

Well, I know I said before that most of my great finds aren't items that I plan to fix up or make into something else, but I didn't say never...I just said most of the time. Yesterday, my mother and I stopped by one of my favorite thrift stores really quick and I came out with 3 awesome pieces. One of them definitely needs to be fixed, but I got a great deal on it.

Here it is-this beautiful picture I found was screaming at me from the corner of the picture section. Literally, I think I heard it say 'you have to buy me!' I love these flowers (stargazer lilies); I had them at my wedding and I just think they are beautiful. Well, I found this picture for $2 (!!!) and if you look closely, you can see why. The frame is a flimsy, cheap poster frame- about half of the the back brackets are gone, the plastic 'glass' is cracked, and it looks like the picture didn't even fit in the frame to begin with. BUT the picture is still beautiful and unharmed! This is my plan- take the picture out, cut out just the picture portion (aka-cut off the white part) and put it in a new frame. Ta-da! It will be just like new when I get finished. I promise I'll post a picture of the finished product.

Another one of my finds was this punch bowl for $5. I know you are probably thinking it looks a little weird with the holes and all but here is what you do. You string ribbon through the holes to match your decorations. You can change the ribbon for whatever season/celebration/room decor. My mother-in-law gave me a cake stand that this bowl matches (the reason I bought it) so now I can use both together- with coordinating ribbon of course. :)

My last find is actually going to be a birthday present for my mom (yes, she already knows about it because she was there with me when I bought it). It is a vintage plate from the year she was born (don't look close or you'll be able to figure out her age). The plate still had the 'yard sale price' for $5 but on the back was the price for the thrift store- only $2. I looked up similar plates on ebay that were listed for as much as $45.

I know I'm not a major one for finding items to fix up or re-purpose but I think I might need to become one- I'm not that great at thinking out of the box- I have to find ideas first. Check out these articles from Better Homes and Gardens for inspiration- I'm using them. :) I plan to try to do more with items that need a little TLC- we'll see if it's my 'thing'- if not, I'll just forget out it and leave it up to the experts. Just remember when buying items to fix up- make sure it's a good deal. My picture to fix up was a great find at $2 but if it would have been, say $10, I don't think it would have been such a great find. Also, consider the amount of work that needs to be done and make sure you want to invest the time and money. It won't take me that long to cut out the picture and find a frame (I'll probably wait until they are on sale from Hobby Lobby). I'm comfortable spending that amount of time/money. Just be sure you don't get in over your head. :)
Also, don't forget that thrift stores/yard sales are great places for finding unique gifts. Like the plate I found for my mother- you can't walk into Wal-Mart and find something like that.
Well, I'm off to try to cut the straightest lines I can. Hope you found this inspiring and good luck hunting for your own great finds. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Belk, clearance, and coupons

As much as I love a good thrift store or garage sale, I also love finding great deals at 'regular' stores too. Don't get me wrong, finding second-hand clothing is always awesome but there is a different kind of awesome reserved for getting a brand-new something at a great deal from an actual store. That is what this blog post is about.

As you know, I love coupons and they are so easy to find and get for almost every store. Especially clothing stores. I worked my fair share of years in retail and can tell you, stores like to give out coupons for percentages off or amounts off because they know it will draw in customers. You are there to use your coupon- you are going to buy stuff, plus see other stuff you want, and make a return trip. It's all sales and that kind of stuff. It works out great for the shopper- who doesn't like to save some money especially when you were going to buy something anyways. Before you go on your next shopping trip, go to the websites of your favorite stores. Often there is a tab for coupons, or if not, you can join their mailing list. This is definitely something you need to start doing. I get at least 2 or 3 emails a day from different stores with information about upcoming sales, coupons, or online deals. A lot of times the emails get deleted because I don't use them, but they sure come in handy when I do need them. Just make sure before you do sign up for mailing list that you will be ready for the stream of emails you will receive (you can always unsubscribe to them later). Some stores grant you the opportunity to say how often you want to receive emails from them (once a week, once a month, every quarter, etc). If you are really dedicated, you might want to set up a separate email address just for this use. This also is great for restaurants as well! Oh, and make sure you put in your birthday- you often get a special extra coupon for your birthday. :)

So, here is my store coupon story for the week. My mother and a friend of hers went to our local Belk store to just walk around and see what they could find. (Belk is a southern department store- I think of it like Dillard's- higher end brands). They noticed there was a great deal of clearance merchandise and a sales associate told them that the next day Belk would be accepting coupons to be used on clearance items (an extra 15% off the already marked down clearance price). Now, here is a little side note about Belk. I love the store, but it is pricey, and the coupons that they issue in the newspapers usually do not work on clearance items. (That's another tip-make sure you always read the fine-print at the bottom of coupons- clothing stores are notorious for having several stipulations for their coupons- can't be used on clearance, sale items, certain brands, even maternity wear is often excluded from coupon use). So, the fact that Belk was issuing coupons good on clearance items was a big deal.
My mother and her friend decided to wait and come back the next day-but they still weren't sure how they would get their coupon. Since I get the newspaper, I knew I would get a flyer with the coupon. But I wanted to make sure they would be have a coupon too, so I went to the Belk website and sure enough there was a tab linking me to the coupon- and get this, the online print-out for the coupon started a day earlier than the one in the newspaper! If only I would have looked at the site the day before, then we could have gotten to good deals even sooner- oh well.
So, Friday, the three of us went in with our coupons in hand. I focused on the 75% off clearance racks (there were also several 50% off racks). I couldn't believe the great deals. Of course the racks did hold lots of 'winter' type items left over (3 quarter length shirts and sweaters and jackets) but they also held the spring and early summer items. Here is another little side note about clothing stores- to them the 4th of July is the end of summer. That is when all the summer items start getting marked down and put on sale, and slowly, for the start of the new school year, the fall clothes start rolling in. But like I say, you can always buy out of season, especially when it is a good deal. Take the great finds I stumbled upon...

This is a Lucky Brand hoodie. The original retail price was $99.00 (ouch! That hurts me even to type it), it had been marked down to $48.99, then again to $23.98. I saved $75.02! Since this was a 'name brand' item my 15% coupon didn't work- but that is still a great find.

This sweater is navy with silver weaved through it and has gorgeous diamond buttons. It is Jones New York Collection and was originally priced at $109. It was marked down to $23.98 plus 15% off- I got it for $22.93. I saved $86.07.

I love this black LRL (Lauren Jeans Co, Ralph Lauren) top with the lace sleeves. It had been $58.50 marked down to $28.99, then marked down again to $13.98. Again, since this was a 'name brand' item my coupon didn't work- but still a great deal since I saved $45.52.

I love this dress and can't wait to wear it! It a Kim Rogers dress and the original price was $86.00 then it was marked down to $42.99, then again to $20.98 plus my 15% off and I bought it for only $17.83. So, I saved $68.17.

In total I saved $292.78! I say that made for an awesome trip!

Just remember when using coupons for clothing to always read the fine print, and make sure it's a true deal. Go to your favorite stores websites and look for their mailing list tab- you can always unsubscribe later if you don't like the coupons or don't use them. Who knows, your savings could be monumental!
I hope this inspires you to go look for your own great finds. Happy hunting :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Salvation Army Store

I found such great finds today that I literally came straight home to blog about them. I know, I'm a dork.
So here is the loot I found...15 items for $50...that makes everything about $3.33 each.

My favorite find of the day was this dress. Gorgeous!
So, first I went to one of my 'regular' thrift stores and found this awesome black dress. It's the brand INC (International Concepts) and it's sold at Macy's. The dresses are usually anywhere from $70 to $100. I got mine for $4. Ah, I'm so excited to wear's kind of gauzy material and it's flowy...the picture didn't pick it up but it has cute little detailing around the empire-waist. SO EXCITED!

Well, after that I decided to go check out our local Salvation Army store because I've actually never been there (gasp!)! I know, crazy right, I can't even believe it. I was going to try to stop in a few times but they close early and the parking lot is small...excuses, excuses... but now it's my new favorite and here is why...
I went in and apparently some lady who is the same size as me, dropped off a bunch of clothes from Ann Taylor Loft. If I could meet her and give her a hug I would. 4 of the tops I got where from Ann Taylor Loft which is the 'cheap' side brand from Ann Taylor. It's cheaper but not necessarily cheap enough for me. One of the tops I got (the white one in the middle) still has the original tags on it! I found a couple cute Old Navy tops, one from Charlotte Russe, a cute new swimming suit, and I found my husband a Banana Republic polo. I found some way cute brown wedges and a pair of Panama Jack flip-flops too. So much fun- I can't wait to go back. If I would have needed some furniture it would have been a good day because it was all 25% off.

After that, my mom suggested we run to Goodwill. Turned out to be a great idea. I found a brand-new, tags still attached top from Forever 21 (the floral one in the middle). Also, I found a way cute pair of turquoise wedges.

I am thrilled with my finds- I can't wait to wash 'em and wear 'em.

If you have any great finds you would like to share with me, please tell me about them! I love good bargain stories!

Looks like I have some laundry to do...until next time- Good luck searching for your own great finds....Happy hunting :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Garage sales with the twins

My husband's father and uncle (who are twins) came to town this weekend to celebrate their 50th birthdays. This morning we decided to go garage sale shopping. These two are serious garage sale shoppers...I've never seen anything like it. They bought all the 'boy' type stuff like tools and well, 'boy stuff'. They got some great deals, but really, we're here to talk about my finds... :)
Here is my stash I managed to pick up.

It is pretty obvious that I found some good books (56 to be exact).
Some not so obvious great finds...
Avon Anew Retroactive repair cream (because you can never start preparing too early) bought for 25 cents- it is brand new, still in the box, hasn't been used. I looked it up online and the closest thing I could find to it was around $30. Great find if you ask me.

Pampered Chef tongs and measuring cup. Pampered Chef items are usually too expensive for me to buy and surprisingly you can find them at garage sales and thrift stores- you just have to look. For example, the black tongs- my father-in-law found for me (and bought for 25 cents for me). The measuring cup thing is one of the small ones for measuring ingredients a teaspoon or less.

I found an Old Navy skirt- brand new, with the original tags and hanger for 50 cents.

I found some holiday items- the turkey (which I love) and pumpkin plate. Like clothing, you have to think ahead- it doesn't hurt to buy seasonal items out of season.

After going to garage sales, a little later in the afteroon, I found a new thrift store near my house (can't believe I didn't know about it). I'll admit, when I drove up I was kind of worried- it was an old building and looked pretty ran down. It was a lot nicer than I thought- although it was one of those places where you have to dig. Once I got inside, the owner told me everything was 50% off. Cha-ching!

I got all this for $3.85!
I found those two Valentine's day items (remember you can buy holiday items after or before the actual holiday because you'll be wishing you had it when the time comes around).
The denim skirt is Nautica. The brown shorts are Wal-Mart brand, but they still have the tags attached. The two shirts are both Ralph Lauren- they were only a quarter- for two shirts!

So, once again I was able to snag some great finds. I hope this inspires you to check out some of your own local yard sales and thrift stores- remember- you never know what you'll find! :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Finds

My mom and I went thrift store shopping today and I was blessed enough to find some great deals.
My favorite thrift store expanded their children's book section- YAY!!!! I sat in the floor and looked at every book...I think I ended up with almost 50 today and it only cost me about $25. I tried on a pair of Seven for All Mankind jean capris (for only $17- a steal for that brand) but they didn't work out (my legs are too short- I have a hard time finding capris to fit me). At the second location of that thrift store, I found a Banana Republic shirt for only $3 and Gianni Binni shoes for $8. GREAT FINDS!

My great finds for today!

My new Banana Republic shirt was only $3!

My new shoes! I can't wait to wear them!
Gianni Bini is one of my favorite shoe brands- they are comfortable and last a long time.
Only $8- You can't beat that!

As you can tell, they look brand new- the soles are still really clean, they don't even look like they've been worn. That always makes it a great find!

Hope this has inspired you to go out and look for your own great finds. Just remember many stores will be closed Monday for the holiday- you might want to call ahead to see if they will be open before you head out.
Everyone be safe this weekend! Get out to a thrift store if you can this weekend- you never know what you'll find...Happy hunting :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Well, I know this blog is mainly to showcase my thrift store or yard sale finds but... I had to show case my use of coupons too.

Now, I'm not an extreme coupon lady like the women who have made the headlines lately. I don't get my total down to $2 from $200 but I do save some money when I shop using coupons. I'm also not as crazy, obsessed with it like these ladies are- I don't have closets and pantries full of items I've bought with coupons. I just use coupons when it is something I am going to buy anyway and I always add up what my savings will be and if it's worth it. Let me explain...

I've always liked using coupons- who doesn't? You get to save some cash, which is awesome. Well, a few weeks ago, through a misunderstanding in words, I subscribed to our local newspaper. The guy came to the door, asked if I had gotten the free Sunday paper the week before, told me they were doing monthly subscriptions for $8, then asked if I'd like one. I thought he meant the free Sunday paper, he meant a month subscription- so I ended up with a month subscription. I thought I'd try it out- only $8 to get a paper everyday for a month- too good of a deal to pass up. I spoke with my husband and said I thought it would be worth it if I got $8 worth of coupons out of the deal. To put it simply- I have gotten more than my $8 worth- and it's not even the end of the month.

When I cut out coupons, I cut out everything I think I'll use. Most of the time the expiration date isn't for a month or more- who knows if I'll need ketchup or toothpaste a month from now. I'm a super organized type of person, so I organize my coupons into groups based upon the isles in the store. After I make out my grocery list, I check to see if any of my coupons match what is on my list. Then I usually go through the coupons anyways to see if there is anything I forgot I needed, or to see if any of the coupons are about to expire. If I land upon a coupon that is about to expire, I consider if I need the item- or if it will hold out until I do need it. When I actually get to the store, I have my coupons separated by section and I write a 'c' out to the side on my grocery list, reminding me that I have a coupon for that item. After I put the item in my cart, the coupon goes in my wallet next to my debit card so I don't forget to hand it to the cashier.

So, that is the basics of how I use coupons. I do check to make sure the item is worth purchasing using a coupon. I'm a fan of the 'Great Value' brand at Wal-Mart. It's always cheaper than the name brands and usually, not lower quality. Sometimes, using a coupon for a name brand item is cheaper than the Great Value brand- other times it isn't. I always use the calculator on my phone to make sure the coupon I have is worth it. For example, I had a coupon for $1.00 off two boxes of Kellogg's cereal. My husband likes the crunchy raisin brand cereal and we usually buy the Great Value boxes which are cheaper than the name brand boxes. Well, after comparing the amount in the box and price, then with the coupon, I found out using the $1.00 off coupon would make the name brand cereal the same price as the Great Value cereal. So, I bought two boxes and used my coupon. For other items, like zip-lock bags, it was an easier call. I quickly figured out that using my $1.00 off coupon for two boxes of name brand zip-lock bags wouldn't be cheaper than just buying the Great Value bags- so I didn't use that coupon. I always make sure I'm going to use the coupon- getting 60 cents off 3 cans of biscuits might be a good deal if you really need those 3 cans, but I'm not going to use 3 cans of biscuits any time soon. I know there are options too- like freezing and such- just make sure you really have room and you want to spend the money now.

Some people only buy name brand, and for them it is probably better to use coupons. Other people, like me, who usually buy Great Value, it isn't always cheaper to use the coupons. Just make sure you check the prices before you commit to using a coupon just because you have it.

I got a really good deal with one of my coupons recently. I had a coupon for $2.00 off razors if I bought 2 packages. So I did, and I received $5 worth of music downloads for free with each package of razors. So, not only did I save $2 but I received $10 worth of music downloads. Awesome, I know. I'm a kid at heart and still love drinking Kool-Aid, except now instead of using sugar, I use the no-calorie sweetener to make my drink. Well, I had some coupons for Kool-Aid- buy 2 get 1 free, and buy 10 get 5 free. Needless to say, I'm set on Kool-Aid for the summer.

In my last post, I noted that I saved over $11 using coupons. During my trip yesterday, I saved $10.80 using coupons. It makes a difference- especially when it is worth it. My advice would be to just make sure you really need the item, you'll use it before it expires, and it is actually a better deal.

Hope this gives you some ideas or insight to using coupons...just remember it isn't for everyone and don't feel bad for not using them. Till next time....happy hunting :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wal-Mart Great Find of the Day

Well, my dreaded trip to Wal-Mart left me with a GREAT find for the day.

If you know me, then you probably know how much I hate going to Wal-Mart, and how I find myself there more often than I like. It drives me crazy, from the moment I drive into the parking lot until I drive out of it. I usually try to go by myself when I'm shopping for a lot of stuff because if I bring anyone along with me (even my husband) it seems to make the trip worse. Well, I didn't have a whole lot to get today but I did have a list and my coupons and headed in trying to get out as quick as possible.
I ventured down the middle isle between the clothing section and found some clearance racks with items for $3 and even $1 items! Needless to say, this did make my trip a little better.

I found this rain/workout jacket for only $1!

As you can see, it had been $10 originally!

I was super excited with my great find; and to make my trip even better I used some coupons and ended up saving $11.45 off my total!
So, I guess my trip today wasn't as bad as some have been...I walked out having saved some money and with a cute new jacket. Always check the clearance isles at Wal-Mart, but make sure what you are buying is worth it. Sometimes items will only be marked down 50 cents or so and it's not really worth it- unless it is something you really need or want.
I was proud of my great, go out and find your own! :) Happy hunting!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Great Finds for the Week of May 8-14

This week I was able to visit two of my favorite thrift stores in my area. Now, I know no one cares but this blog is going to be a little backwards because of how the pictures loaded. I'm the only one who will know, but still...we are starting on Tuesday, not Monday but oh well...

So, Tuesday, I check my Facebook and there is a post from a thrift store that has a location in Rogers and Springdale saying that at their Springdale location all the books and VHS movies are 50% off. Well, after I picked my jaw up off the floor I decided that I would have to make the drive down there to check it out and I'm glad I did. When I pulled up I saw another sight that made my jaw drop- all the pink tag clothes were 50% off as well. YAY!
Needless to say, I loaded up on books. L O A D E D U P. I think I ended up with 42 books (an insane amount for one trip- even for me). There were several hard-back children's picture books and brand new soft-cover books. I was very pleased with my finds. So, after checking out the books, I laid my basket down by the registers and headed for the clothes.

My first find was this like new denim jacket. I had been wanting one ever since my cousin, Joie, found one at a thrift store (actually I was pretty jealous that she found it before I did). Well, I found one and it had a pink tag so I got my jacket for only $4.

Next, I went on to the men's section (sadly, these items had green tags- no 50% off) to see what I could find for my husband.
I got him some great shirts.
First, is this Calvin Klein dress shirt. I looked online and I found similar styles for $65 and up. I only paid $7.

These next two are pearl-snap shirts. My husband loves the look of pearl snap shirts and he looks good in them so I don't mind buying them for him- you can never have enough pearl-snaps. Well, I found two at only $6 each. I found similar styles on the Levi's website for $50 and up.

Now, back-tracking to Monday. I stopped by a larger thrift store I love in Bentonville. I've never seen a store (thrift store or regular) that ALWAYS has a full parking lot. The place is always busy- there is a constant turn-over on their items. So, you have to act fast- if you want something you better throw it in your cart because if you look around and try to come back to it, it might be gone.
Well, my main mission was books- I was going to run in 'real quick' (a total lie- a trip is never real quick) but I got sucked in to the clothing section. Here's what happened. I was walking to the books and cut through the clothing section- mistake, turned into a blessing though. I saw out of the corner of my eye this fun green and yellow pattern, then I saw an original tag hanging from the arm. I went to take a look, praying for it to be my size- and it was! Inside my head it was like an little old lady was standing beside me yelling 'BINGO!' (Oh, and I did find some books).

So, I ended up with this super cute dress for only $8.

Remember how I said before to look for winter stuff in the summer? Well, this jacket I found was too cute to pass up. I love the sequins and it was only $5. I can't wait to wear it this fall and winter- it was worth buying to save for a few months.

I'll be honest about this next find. I picked it up, and put it back, then picked it up again, and debated buying it the whole time I was shopping. It's an official 'Wizard of Oz' shirt. It was only $4 and here is my justification for buying it.
1) It was new- I could tell by looking at it that someone bought it thinking they'd wear it and never did- or it was a gift.
2) I have always liked 'Wizard of Oz' stuff ever since I was in the play. (Quick side story- when I was in 6th grade, the high school did a performance of 'The Wizard of Oz' and cast elementary school kids to be the munchkins- obviously that was the role I played).
3) I figured that I could wear the shirt to school when I get a teaching job and the kids would like it.
4) It was only $4- worth it in my eyes.
So, that is a run-down of my thrift store finds for this week. Like I've said before, you never know what you are going to find. I do suggest to you to become 'friends' or 'like' thrift stores in your area if they have a Facebook page. They'll post sales and makes it easy for you to plan a trip rather than just taking a chance at them having a sale.
Well, that's it for this post. As always, I hope that I've inspired you to go out and hunt for your own great finds....and happy hunting :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Clothes! (Part 2)

So, here are some of my greatest clothing finds. I didn't get pictures of everything, like my Juicy Couture 100% cashmere lounge pants for $10 or my Banana Republic cashmere blend sweater that was only $1.50 during a thrift store's 50% off sale, or the Gap cashmere sweater that was also only $1.50 because those are boxed up with the rest of my winter clothes. Oh, and sadly my Banana Republic jeans that were only $2 because they are just a little too tight, so they are in my 'one day soon can be worn again' pile. But here are some of my more recent finds...enjoy and oh, yeah, be a just a little jealous :)

These three tops all came from the same yard sale a couple weekends ago.
The first black and white sleeve-less top is an brand I love that is sold at Kohl's- $2
The brown top is from Banana Republic- $2
The other black and white top is from Talbot's and was BRAND NEW with the original $89.00- marked down to $52.00 tag still attached.- $3

These are examples of other tops I have found for nearly nothing-
I think they were $1 each.
I hate that this trench coat showed up so orange in the picture because it is a gorgeous coral color. I wore it to church a few Sunday's ago over a brown and coral dress and it looked amazing. Only cost me $5.
I can't wait to wear these two dresses. The one on the left is pink and white seersucker, which I think is so timeless and classic- I only wished I would have found it a week before so I could have worn it for Easter. Found at a thrift store for $6 (but my total purchase was 35% off though because the thrift store was celebrating its 35th birthday- so it was even cheaper than that)
The green and white dress I found at a yard sale. I was debating spending $5, but it looked like it had never been worn and that sealed the deal.

Ah, shoes.
Starting at the left- the red heels and the navy (although they look black) sandals are both brand new- with the price tag still on them. The red ones were $5 and the navy ones were $4 both at the same thrift store.
The red polka-dot wedges in the back are so fun and totally worth the $4 I spent on them.
The black and white polka-dot ones in the front are Naturalizers, which can be pricey- but mine weren't at $3.
The black heels in the back, it's hard to tell, but are covered with black sequins- a little over the top? Not for me- and especially not at $4.
The silver heels and the black peep-toe shoes on the right are both Gianni Bini brand. I love this brand because they are made to last ( I have a pair of brown sandals I got 7 years ago that still look new). Both pairs were $5 I believe. I'm still trying to figure out what to wear the silver ones with, but I just couldn't pass them up.

I have to say, it's hard to find pants/skirts at thrift stores, but these made the cut.
Brown Bass Brand capri pants- $4
Black C.K. Jeans brand shorts -$4
Gap Jeans brand denim skirt- $5
Silk black and white skirt- $1 at a yard sale
These jeans have to be one of my favorite finds.
DKNY Jeans- just my size- looked brand-new- only $10
My husband has also found some great finds on clothes- he would probably hate for me to say this, but he finds more stuff on his own that I do shopping for him. We both have found him nice button-down collared shirts, polo-style shirts, jeans, and swimming trunks for hardly anything. I think my favorite find of his were the brand-new Gap jeans he found in his size. I won't forget him walking over, and being completely unaware of what any brands are or how much they retail for, and asking, "Is Gap a good brand? Are these worth $6?" Yes, they were worth the $6 and they look great on him.

I hope to stumble upon some more great finds in the clothing section- but it takes patience. I hope this has inspired you to search through your local thrift stores clothing section or to take a gamble on that yard sale down the street. You just never know what you will find. Have fun looking for your own great finds...happy hunting :)