Saturday, May 21, 2011

Budgeting and Shopping for Clothes

As I mentioned in a post appropriately called “Spend Spend Spend”, I put $50 towards clothing each month. Some months I spend it, some months I do not and so I save it for a fun afternoon shopping with friends.

This is my third summer in the working world. My first summer I spent some money building a work wardrobe, but last summer I really cut back on spending due to moving and a plethora of weekend vacations. As the weather warms, I find my summer wardrobe could use a face-lift, so you can imagine how excited I was to go shopping with my girlfriends last weekend.

One cannot take shopping with my girlfriends lightly since we go prepared, very prepared. The Friday before we went I started to receive e-mails about coupons. My friend Lauren found coupons to almost every store on our list!! It was incredible and saved us a lot of money!!!

Our first stop was Nordstrom Rack, where I bought two dresses and a pair of shoes.


The dress on the left and the shoes are multi functional for work and summer dates, while the dress on the right is intended for fanciers nights out and a trip to Vegas we’re planning for later this year.


Unfortunately, we did not have any coupons to the Rack, but I still saved a fortune ($93.03 on the black dress and $63.03 on the green print dress). Additionally, I saved $50.05 on the metallic BCBG shoes. You know the last time I owned designer shoes?!?!?! If you guessed never then you are right.


My total savings for Nordstrom Rack came to $206.11.

Now, on to the Gap Outlet on King Street. I probably bought way too much at this store, but it was so hard not to with some of the deals I got.


I think I did pretty well considering I bought 9 items for just under $100 but saved $107.17. Plus, only one item that I bought would not be acceptable at work. Can you guess which one?


The best deal in that store was either the Navy Summer Cardigan for $10.70 (originally $34.99) or the Khaki Pencil Skirt $13.20 (originally 36.99). I was also pretty excited to pick up the bronze sequin skirt for $5.59. It will be great for going out in DC this summer but at the same time was not a big investment.

We combined Gap Outlet pricing, with a sale and a buy 2 get one free coupon for massive savings. When shopping for clothes, you almost have to turn on your grocery store attitude and use your double coupons when and where you can!

Our final destination was Old Navy. Here we also had some coupons burning holes in our pockets, but as you can imagine at this point we were tired. We lost our one friend, Courtney, after the Gap Outlet, so Lauren and I headed to Old Navy with the quick in-and-out shopping mind set.


Considering, we were pretty much done for the day, I think we did pretty well. This is the one store where I bought more clothes for play than anything else. Though I bet I could get away with my new Bermuda shorts on a casual Friday…


At Old Navy, I took advantage of two coupons. One was $10 off $50 and the other for 50% off one item. Because I was using two different coupons, I had to be rung-up twice. Most cashiers are pretty understanding and do not have a problem processing transactions this way, so don’t fret if you come in with multiple coupons. I think the $30.97 was worth it!

Wow, that was exhausting!!! I hope you learned a little something from my shopping adventure. In the end, I spent about $275 for 17 items (an average of $16 an item) and saved $344.25. Not too shabby if I say so myself!

How do you budget for clothing?

Are you a bargain hunter like me (please share your secrets)?

We found our coupons for this shopping adventure by googling our favorite stores. You can also get coupons e-mailed to your inbox from stores like Gap, Gap Outlet, Old Navy and more. Since I live so close to a Gap Outlet, I signed up for their periodic e-mails so I know when is a good time to go shop!

For all my shopping related coupons, I set up label rules in my Gmail-box. This allows me to quickly pin-point which e-mails are shopping coupons. If I am shopping soon I will pay more attention to these e-mails. If not, I simply click on the “coupons” label and delete all e-mails before moving on.