My secret is out! My super power is bargain shopping. Well, I guess it wasn’t actually a secret since I mention on my “Meet Rosey Lee” page that I enjoy “occasional bursts of fanatical bargain shopping.” But just how successful am I?
My guest blog post at Kate on Thin Ice (available here) lists the basic strategies I use to find amazing deals. Check out the blog post for a discussion of my strategies, because this post will show some examples from my conquests.
Okay, let’s get right to it. I recently found myself in a popular discount department store. As I walked past the kids’ section, I remembered to scan it for clearance signs. I quickly noticed that one rack was marked “$1” and another was marked “$3”. I selected the following items:
- 9 toddler Sherpa pullovers ($3 each; regular price $11 each)
- 6 sets of Disney toddler pajamas (featuring Minnie Mouse, Doc McStuffins, and Dumbo; $3 each; regular price $7.50 each)
- 2 baby onesies ($1 each; regular price $3 each)
- 2 pairs of toddler winter mittens ($1 each; regular price $5 each)
Great deals, right? I bet you’re wondering what I plan to do with all of this. Keep reading to find out.
I also love saving money by taking advantage of rebates offered through my credit cards. Some credit cards partner with merchants, who provide a rebate when you spend a certain amount at their stores. I choose merchants for everyday needs based on these offers. I scan the rebates offered through my credit card and load them to my account. This must be done prior to purchase, as the rebates are triggered with the purchase. I have received discounts on mobile phone services, printing services, travel accommodations, spirits, office supplies, shipping services, restaurants, and wedding gifts.
When possible, I use multiple offers and promotions at the same time. For example, I once needed a hotel for a 2-night stay. My credit card company had an offer for a $70 rebate after spending $350 or more at a particular hotel (which happened to be a 5-star hotel). I booked a promotion on the hotel’s website for a queen room at $186/night, which included a $50 hotel credit for each night ($100 total). After taxes and fees, the hotel cost $433. I used the $100 hotel credit to purchase a gift card from the hotel spa, which can be used in the future at all properties in the hotel’s portfolio (and not just at the hotel spa). To summarize, I paid the hotel $433, and I received a $70 rebate on my credit card statement and a $100 gift card, so the 2-night luxury hotel stay essentially cost $263 ($433 – $70 – $100). Because of my status with the hotel’s rewards program, I also received a $30 food and beverage credit for each night of my stay ($60 total). I used it to purchase a light dinner in the hotel’s restaurant and breakfast and lunch in its café.
As much as I enjoy shopping, I never want to give into excessive consumerism. I balance this by collecting discounted items over the course of the year and donating them to a local church that adopts low-income families for Christmas. Last year, I donated 5 Madden Girl toddler coats ($8 each/ regular price $90 each), 21 thermal underwear sets ($1/ regular price $15 each), 8 pajama sets (featuring DreamWorks Trolls characters and Dora the Explorer; ($3 each/ regular price $12 each), costume jewelry for teen girls, books, and toys. I plan to do the same things with the Sherpa pullovers, pajamas, and mittens discussed earlier in this article. I also purchased Peppa Pig tooth care sets for this purpose during an after-Christmas sale ($1.50 each; regular price $5 each).