Bargain shopping is a long-term pastime for me. My mother took me to my first charity shop when I was a young child and I loved all the diverse items in there. Over the years, I have loved going to car boot sales, flea markets and craft fairs. I love to find the quirky to decorate my home. I think the prices of too many clothes are over the top so I have used charity shops a lot to clothe myself and my children.
Today Rosey shares her simple strategies for bargain shopping. I love how she uses her thrill from bargain shopping to help other people whether by finding the perfect gift for friends or making generous donations to charity.
“If you’re like me, you want to get more for your money, whether buying something you need, splurging, or buying a gift. I consider finding bargains to be my secret super power, but it’s not complicated. Anyone can do it. My approach is not time-consuming, but it employs several basic strategies. I’ve used them to find amazing deals on everyday items for myself and gifts for other people.
I get a thrill from finding bargains. Sometimes I keep the items I buy. Sometimes I use them as gifts – purchased with a specific person in mind and intended to be given immediately or saved for later in the year. Sometimes I use them to stock my gift closet (an assortment of items that I collect so that I potentially have a gift available whenever I need it). Sometimes I save them until the holiday season, when there are usually multiple opportunities for gift donations to charity.
How do I find bargains?
Proactive bargain shopping
The best way to find bargains is to look for them, but we often pass up fantastic deals because we’re not paying attention. When shopping, I always go to the sale section first (even better if the section is labeled “clearance”). I’ve seen other shoppers walk past great deals and then only notice them when I’m walking away with items that they want. For example, last week I went to a discount department store to buy laundry detergent. I walked past the kids’ section and remembered to scan it for clearance signs. I quickly noticed that one rack was marked with greatly discounted items. I decided the laundry detergent could wait until I secured these deals.
I buy multiples of the same items. This allows me to potentially use them for different purposes (e.g., keep for myself/my family; Christmas, birthday, or baby shower gifts; donations to charity).
Revisiting old favourites
I remember which stores have provided high yield bargains, and browse the stores for deals from time to time. You won’t find bargains every time you go to the stores. However, if you look frequently enough, you will find them from time to time.
Fitting bargain shopping into my schedule
I don’t make special trips to find deals. I stumble across them when running errands, on a day off from work, or while on vacation. I find bargains on different days of the week and at a variety of times of the day. However, I find the best deals during the “slow hours” [e.g., when the store first opens or in the middle of the afternoon (after lunch but before everyone gets off of work)].
I’m not a patient person, so I don’t stand in lines or camp out for deals, but I strategically take advantage of special shopping days such as Black Friday and the day after Christmas. For example, I stock up on Godiva chocolates when the company offers 50% off selected items and free shipping on orders of a predetermined amount on Black Friday. These gifts make perfect Christmas presents for work colleagues and teachers. In my experience, the expiration date is usually about 11 months past the date of purchase, so I also buy some for birthday presents and hostess gifts throughout the year. After Christmas, I buy discounted (50% off or more) wrapping paper, ribbon, and tissue in non-holiday colors and designs so that I can use them for other occasions throughout the year.
Bargain shopping for good causes
As much as I enjoy shopping, I am sensitive to excessive consumerism. I collect discounted items over the course of the year and donate them to a program that helps low-income families at Christmas. Every year my donation gets bigger, because the deals I find get better and better. Last year’s donation toddler coats thermal underwear sets pyjamas, costume jewellery, books, and toys.
I hope you find these strategies helpful in your quest for bargains. Happy shopping!”
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Rosey Lee writes uplifting fiction stories with a little bit of hope, faith, and love. Her work has appeared in Bending Genres and Literary AMWA. She enjoys cooking, flower arranging, listening to live music and bargain shopping. Read some of her short stories for free on her website – roseyleebooks.com
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