Yesterday, my husband and I got up at 4am, armed with lists and our Christmas budget, and hit the road. We were headed to a few department stores and then the mall. After a cup of coffee, we were raring to go.
The first couple of stores were a bust. We were looking for the early bird specials, and two out of three were already sold out. We weren't in dire need of anything, so we didn't get to any store early enough to stand in a line that wrapped around the building. Feeling slightly defeated, we headed to the mall.
There we fared much better, scoring deals left and right. Most notably, at Macy's, I bought 3 ties for my husband for Christmas for $27.95 when they were originally priced $113, and he bought me a sweater for $10.98 that was 69% off after a coupon. When we went to JC Penney, I quickly zeroed in on a blazer I found in the ad for $16.99, regularly priced at $44. We were able to find a register with no line and made it out of the store in record time. On the way out, I tapped on the shoulder of the last customer in a 20 person line and directed her to my secret, lineless register. My husband asked me why I did that and I replied, "Shopping karma. It'll come back to us."
By this time, we had been shopping for about 8 hours, so we stopped for a quick bite to eat, then hit the outlets nearby. We found a nice pair of Banana Republic black pants for me that, at 40% off, only cost $29.99. Then we went searching for dress shirts for my husband. Here is where I found my greatest victory of the day.
We went first to Brooks Brothers and looked at their no-iron shirts. They were offering them three for $159, which I know is their everyday price and not within our realm of possibility right now. Disappointed, we left to wander throughout the other stores and made our way into Van Heusen. We found that they had wrinkle-free dress shirts there for $27.99 where, if you buy three, you get 40% off. What a great deal! He picked out colors to match the ties from Macy's, and we went to check out. While we waited in line, the women in front of us received a coupon to three other stores in the plaza. When we checked out, I asked for the same coupons, but was told that your total must be over $60 to get the coupons. Our shirts were only $50.47. Oh well, at least we tried.
We continued our shopping nest door at Bass, where we found a couple of shirts and a pair of shoes for half off. At the check out, they printed out three coupons for $5 off - including one for Van Heusen. My husband saw the look in my eye and told me to "just let it go." I said, "Honey, no way am I letting this go. You keep shopping, I'm going to take care of this."
I marched back into Van Heusen and sweetly asked to get my price adjusted. The manager came out, made a phone call to the manager of Bass, and said she could adjust my receipt. Sweet! While she was calling the other store, she saw a coupon for 10% off one item and asked me if it were mine. Unscrupulously, I said it was. Then she scanned another coupon for 20% off another item! This was my shopping karma coming back for me. So all in all, we ended up paying $40.33 for all three dress shirts. It wasn't our best deal of the day (that prestigious honor goes to the ties), but it was the most satisfactory.
Our grand total for the day was $298.17, at an average savings of 55.69%. The interesting part is that most of the items we bought were clothes, and almost all of them were unadvertised. We just went out and looked around for things that struck our fancy. While this sounds like a recipe for disaster, we stayed well within our Christmas budgets, and we had a great time!