The Great Shopping Spree of 2015 - picture of back of man walking down street with shopping bag in one hand

The Great Shopping Spree of 2015

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So, I was spacing out the other day – just flipping through our 10 channels – and I happened to land on an old rerun of “Friends.” It wasn’t intentional, but it was one of those times when you just want something to stare at. Anyway, the episode was about a table that Rachel bought from Pottery Barn. She was trying to keep it a secret from her roommate Phoebe – the all-natural, buy local, hippie/space cadet of the group – because she knew Phoebe would object to the chain store purchase. So, for the next 30 minutes, Rachel’s attempts to keep this terrible secret play out and “hilarity” ensues.

Personally, I’m neither a brand snob like Rachel nor a “local-only” hipster like Phoebe. In fact, I pretty much abhor shopping all together. That’s why this past weekend was so extremely painful for me.

Nerd Convention!

The annual FINCON conference is coming up, which is something I know 99% of you couldn’t care less about. Just imagine a convention center full of financial dweebs discussing budgets, spreadsheets, and blogging for 3 days and you pretty much got it. This type of stuff would bore normal people to death. For stiffs like me, it’s the social event of the year (and I’m freakin’ pumped for it)!

At the conference, we get to hang out with all of our colleagues and online friends, which is a total blast. Holly and I also have the honor of presenting an award, which means we’ll have to be on stage…in front of the entire convention. Because of this, my bae told me that we needed to look our best for the shindig.

Now, I barely get out of my pajamas before 3 PM, so my wardrobe could be considered a little light. As I briefly pondered this thought, my wife was just standing there, waiting for her words to sink in. Suddenly, everything was becoming clearer. This could only mean one thing: shopping.

I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags

Remember the first day of school when everybody would show up in their favorite brand new outfit? Fashion at FINCON is kinda like that, except for adults…financially nerdy, socially awkward adults.

I tried to suggest that we’d fit in fine, we could just wear what we had. No dice.

I told her nobody else would be dressed up. Still no luck.

Clearly, it was time to pull out the big guns, so I said, “I’d rather not spend the money.” The fire that shot forth from her eyes was meant to char my dainty little soul. I quickly scurried to the corner of my bedroom to regroup.

Somehow, I mustered up my last bit of strength, imploring Holly not to make me go. But, at this point I knew all attempts to resist would be futile. She was determined to make us look geek chic, and there wasn’t anything in the world that could stop her.

Fighting Through the Pain

Seriously folks, I haven’t been clothes shopping in years. I mean, I’ve picked up a few things here and there, but really shopping? Nuh-uh.

Fortunately, this is a pain I’m only forced to endure about every 5 years or so. Keeping this in mind, I persevered. Through gritted teeth, 2 nights, and 8 hours of endless clothes shopping, I eventually prevailed! We even had the kids in tow, which is a great way to test your patience if you’re interested in a fun character building exercise!

Still, through all of the trials and tribulations of our consuming binge, we were able to save a few bucks. (Leave it to Holly! That girl knows how to work a deal.) Here’s how you can do it too.

Tips to Save Money on Shopping

  • Shop for sales. – It may seem obvious, but the easiest way to save money on shopping is to find the sales. It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping for groceries or clothing, there are enough sales around that you should never have to pay full price to find items that will work. Take a look around. Don’t be a brand snob. And save.
  • Check online for coupons. – Before you head out, make sure to check online for coupons. Websites like ShopAtHome.com, RetailMeNot.com, and Savings.com can help you find some great deals at your favorite stores. Check your pride at the door and coupon it up!
  • Make your purchases with a store credit card. – You probably know this already, but you can usually get some pretty decent discounts just for signing up for a new store credit card. This is super helpful if you’re going to make a pretty good sized purchase. Of course, clothing stores aren’t the only places that offer credit. You can use store cards to buy furniture, hardware, and even electronics. Just be sure to pay the balance off immediately!
  • Ask at the counter for discounts. – In addition to store cards and online coupons, don’t be afraid to ask the cashier if they know of any special offers that are happening. You might find out that the store’s offer is better than your coupon. Better yet, you may be able to use them together!
  • Get those rewards! – If the discount offered for using your store card isn’t that great, make sure to use your favorite rewards card to rack up some points – especially if you’re going on a shopping binge like we did. Yeah, this technically isn’t saving you any money. But, you might as well earn something for all the money you’re spending!

I Survived the “Great Shopping Spree of 2015”

All in all, I survived the shopping trip and was pretty happy with the purchases we made. Of course, Holly still made me try on all of the clothes I bought right when we got home. I’ve never understood why she makes me do that. I mean, didn’t I just spend 8 hours trying all this stuff on to begin with? Oh well, thus is life in the Club Thrifty household.

Let me know, do you love to shop or do you feel my pain? Do you have anything you need to shop for that you might be dreading? Fire away below!

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25 Comments

  1. I hate to shop! I am the Speedy Gonzalez of shopping 🙂 . I never try things on either. I hate it. I only linger at the handbag section. You know how the husbands seat on those chairs waiting for their wives? I’m right there whenever we have visitors. I used to love it years ago, but l grew out of it. Yeah.. I feel your pain!!!

  2. I used to love shopping (clearly, if you’ve read about all the clutter on my blog), but now it’s just exhausting. Having to get rid of all the stuff is so tedious. Now, I try to shop my closet. However, if I’m out and about, your tips are great. I’d also suggest trying to shop off season, especially since seasons in the fashion world end probably halfway through the actual season.

    1. Great point on off-season shopping! If I’m going to buy, that is usually when I do it.

  3. My husband read this article and laughed, because he totally feels your pain! I, however, absolutely LOVE to shop, and since I don’t get to do it very often because of budget constraints, I couldn’t emphathize 🙁 Have fun at FinCon!

    1. Ha! Glad he and I could bond over this all important issue 🙂

      Missed you at FinCon! You coming next year?

  4. I have to get some new work pants before my trip to Alaska. Mine are falling apart. I don’t really like to shop for clothes but shopping for work clothes is even worse. I feel like most clothes are made for teenagers or old ladies, and when I see things like MC Hammer pants making a comeback, it makes me wonder about the youth of today. At least I don’t have to do it that often!

    1. Yes, shopping for work clothes IS the worst. Luckily, I’ve moved from a uniform of a suit to pajamas, so I don’t have to worry about that any more.

  5. I am thoroughly impressed by your ‘5 year shopping cycle’. I have mine down to once a year… but no matter how I try to stretch an extra months use out of an old pair of jeans I haven’t been able to make it much longer.

    Great piece to kick off my day!

    (and I totally get the “try it on at home thing”. Things just feel different when they’re tried on at home. I don’t know why it’s different… but it just is.)

    1. Ha! I’ll try to send you some notes on how you can extend your shopping hiatus for a few more years 😉

  6. My husband is the same way – he is currently wearing shorts with holes in them because “I work from home and you’re usually the only one that sees these” <– which is really only half true. Ha. Glad to hear you were successful though – nothing is worse than needing new clothes and not being able to find anything you like/in your price point. Happy Friday!

  7. It sounds like we are cut from the same cloth. I disdain shopping too and rarely go. In fact, I can only think of 1 time in the past 5+ years that I’ve gone clothes shopping and that was because I needed some professional clothes for a new job.

    At least you made it through and the shopping ordeal is done. You and Holly enjoy FinCon!

  8. I hear you! My hubby hates shopping too. I can get him to go maybe every couple years. Mainly when he needs pants, since those have to be tried on! Shirts I usually just buy for him if he needs. Have fun at FinCon!

    1. Yup, shopping for clothes is pretty much the worst torture that I can imagine. I’m glad I’m stocked up for a while now!

  9. Ugh yes, I hate shopping for clothes in particular. It’s such a painful process, I would rather be doing literally anything else! Hah. Have fun at FinCon, hoping to maybe join the ranks next year 🙂

    1. Totes. And, if you want to experience a life-changing event, FinCon is it. Hope to see you in San Diego!

  10. I shop for clothes on an as need basis. Thrift stores for outer clothing. That involves thinking and matching. Online for the same old underwear, shoe, sneaker and stockings styles when on sale or I have coupons. That’s fairly mindless. I’d be in deep yogurt if they discontinue my faves though. Most shopping is not pleasurable except when I’m pawing through vintage junk at yard sales. Then you have me. I’m a sucker for cool old junk. The side benefit in getting spiffy outfits is you can wear them for a budget date night perhaps, using a twofer and a discounted gift card from Gift Card Granny.

    1. Now that is the type of thinking that I like! Coupon and gift card date nights are the only type of date nights we have 🙂

  11. I enjoy shopping for my children’s clothes, not so much for me. When I do shop I take all the steps listed above and usually come out fine. Enjoy Fincon!

    1. Yeah, I don’t mind shopping for others nearly as much as I hate shopping for myself.

  12. As much as possible, I don’t shop unless it is sale. Imagine how much money we can save. And, the next time I shop, I am gonna ask the sales lady or the counter if there’s discount. Thanks for the advice. Shopping would be more fun!

    1. Yeah, I pretty much avoid it at all costs…and only if its on sale. Def check if there is a discount at the counter. You may be able to save even more!

  13. I’m guessing no neck-ties were purchased on your spree? 🙂

    FinCon is on my list… Is a very long way to go though so maybe 2017. If I’m lucky.

    Where are the pictures, Greg? We need pics!

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