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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tip #36: How to Shop Clearance (Repost)

I have had so many people tell me they don't shop clearance because they don't want to spend the time digging through everything.  Clearance racks can be overwhelming, but I have a system that makes clearance rack shopping not intimidating.

Step 1:  Know your SIZE and look only at those clothes.

Step 2:  Know what COLORS look good on you (for those of you living in Northern VA - I offer a Color Analysis service).  For example, I look for warm colors... I will pass right by a bright yellow garment  no matter how cute it may be.

Step 3:  Know what STYLES/SHAPES look good on you.  This is the hardest to figure out about ourselves.  It is not so cut and dry as size/color.  For me, I look at the neckline first.  If it is round or boat-neck, I move on instantly.  I have a long neck with short hair, so I go for collars, v-necks and turtlenecks.  For pants, I personally don't look at pleated fronts, embellishment or straight legs.

Step 4:  Consider the VERSATILITY of the garment.  Layering is in style this year.... can the item go under a sweater?  How will it look with different pieces of jewelry?  Can I wear difference color/style pants/jeans with the shirt?  If it is NOT versatile, how much will I wear it standalone?  How long will it be in style?

I have price points for different items (price points will be different for everyone).  For example, I don't mind spending up to $20 on a sweater based on how often I will wear it, how long it will be in style, how versatile it is, and how well it is made.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:  Clearance racks are most likely stocked with items from the previous season.  I buy most of my Summer clothes in the Fall, my Winter clothes in late winter/early spring, my Fall clothes in the winter.

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please let me know!  If you need help with your closet, let me know!  If you want me to go shopping with you, let me know!

Happy Clearance Shopping!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tip #35: After Xmas Sales

Bad News:  Store inventory is down, which means that there won't be as much left over for the sales.

Good News:  Crowds will be down due to weather.

So, if you are willing to brave the storm, happy shopping!  

(If you Cyber Shop, PLEASE remember to first start at OR for CASH BACK on EVERY PURCHASE)

Can anyone tell me of a good deal you got today?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tip #34: The White Shirt

What makes a great white shirt?

French Seam

  • Construction
  • French Seams
  • A double-lined yoke
  • Made from a thick fabric so it will last longer and drape better 
  • Straight, smooth stitching at the hems with no diagonal wrinkles
  • Collar shape
  • Make sure it is versatile (wear with blazers, sweaters, alone, etc)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tip #33: Save $ for a Bargain Shopping Spree in the New Year!

Oh My!  Didn't realize I hadn't blogged since Thursday.... my, how time gets away - especially at Christmas time.  My daughter turned 8 years old on Saturday... nothing like adding a birthday into the Christmas timeline to really make life interesting!

Have been shopping for presents and looking at all the items that I want to buy in January/February!  As much as you want to buy a little something for yourself, DON'T DO IT.... YET!!!


I get goose-bumps just thinking about the bargains I will find!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tip #32: Jeans for your Muffin Top

Some of you don't have a stomach... but, I am not one of the lucky ones!  Those 2 kids took away my flat tummy and no amount of dieting or exercise will make it go away (tummy tuck, anyone?!?)

So, when I found this article about Levi's Perfectly Slimming 512 Jeans, I was instantly interested!

Shop Smart Magazine tried them on a model against True Religion Jeans and the Levi's won!  Levi's had better construction than the $240 True Religion Jeans. AND the model's muffin top disappeared!!

Is the unique styling of the True Religion Jeans for $220 worth more than the fit of the $20 Levi's?!?

Go to the mall and try them on (they come in all styles)!!!!!  Give me your report!

Levi's Perfectly Slimming 512
Plus Size (black)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tip #31: The PedEgg

Today will be short and sweet since my youngest daughter is sick and very demanding when not sleeping :)

Have you seen the PedEgg?!?  Wondered if it works?

Consumer Reports says, "In our tests on es-than-beautiful feet, it smoothed away rough patches better than a pumice stone."

There you go.... it works!  Might want to pick one up (on sale, of course!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tip #30: Dressing for a Cold, Rainy Day

OK.... so, I got up this morning to get ready for church and it was raining and cold outside.  Yuck. 

What to wear?!?  I think logically...

  • Winter Shoes I don't mind getting wet... my brown boots... check
  • Jacket that is warm and rain resistant... don't have a warm rain jacket.... oh boy.... must wear a sweater with my black fall rain jacket.... check
Definitely wearing the brown boots and a sweater.... which sweater... hmmmm....

Since it was yucky outside and a Sunday, I decided I wanted to be comfortable.  I chose a pair of comfy brown pants and an ivory turtleneck sweater.  Threw on a matching scarf and earrings and off I went....

- Hip Bargain Chick

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tip #29: My Dining Room

Was decorating my dining room for Xmas and realized that everything I had bought was a deal!!  So, I had to tell you about it...

Has anyone had the good fortune of hitting Target right after Xmas for their 75% off sale?  I hit is just right last year and got 3 tablecloths for under $4 each - including the one shown.  Of course, my table is longer than the tablecloth (oops!). I had gotten red velvet pillow case covers at an estate sale years ago.  I cut them along the seam to make a long strip.  I usually use these as a tree skirt, but this year I used the other tablecloth as a tree skirt and the red velvet pieces to line the end of my table.

The end chair (I have 2) were bought at a consignment store for $20 each.  I have to admit my dining room chairs were not a great deal, but a good deal at $60 a chair - brand new (in the clearance center of a huge furniture store).

The chandelier was once the gross brass lighting fixture the builders put in.  Kai (my husband) spray painted it.  I am still looking for some glass sconces to finish off the look of the chandelier, but the greenery looks nice at Xmas.  And the bulbs were bought at Target last year.

I buy Xmas cards, lights, wreaths, bulbs, ornaments (for exchanges), cookie plates... right after Xmas for the following year.

- Hip Bargain Chick

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tip #28: 3 Gifts... Just like Jesus

Is it just me or does it feel like Xmas came early this year?!?  Why does buying presents have to be SO stressful?!!?  I don't even have a big family and I have 18 gifts to buy - not including neighbors and friends!

Thank you to several of my friends (you know who you are) for offering this advice:

Jesus received 1 gift from each of the Wise Men.  So, I told my children, "Daddy and I wrote Santa and told him to deliver 3 gifts each.... just like Jesus received from the Wise Men."  They were VERY excited about that!!!

Setting limits is a good thing :)

Happy Xmas Shopping!

 - The Hip Bargain Chick

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tip #27: Beat the Supermarket at their own Game!

Strategically placed signs, flashing coupon dispensers and displays play mind-tricks that make you buy more, spend more and make impulse buying almost irresistible:


  1. AT THE ENTRANCE:  Product posters can increase the likelihood that you'll buy the product.
  2. LOOK HIGH or LOW for HIDDEN SAVINGS:  There's a zone on the shelves where you're most likely to see merchandise.  It goes from slightly above eye level to about knee level. Look above and below that zone to discover bargains.
  3. AT THE END of AISLES:  Retailers place impulse items there because you're more likely to see them.
  4. AT THE BACK OF STORES:  Staples such as milk and eggs are way in the back.  You have to pass by or through several aisles to reach them, which means you'll probably make a few more unplanned buys.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tip #26: Retrofitting $s to Purchases

Did you know that most stores (if not all) will honor a lower price after you have bought the item?  For example, I bought a sweater on-line from JC Penney's the other day.  I noticed they were having another sale today, so I looked up the price of the sweater.  It had gone done $10 in price!  So, I called the 1-800 number and they credited my account.

Ever gone to the grocery store and forgotten a coupon at home?  I did that the other day.  I bought rice and forgot a $1.00 coupon at home.  Since it was double coupon day the day I bought the rice, they honored that and gave me $2.00 cash.... yeah!

Did you know that Bed Bath and Beyond will let you use as many coupons as you have items?  And they honor expired coupons.  For example, I bought 3 items and used 3 20% off coupons. And they are good for sales items.

Any stories to share?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tip #25: Shopping my Closet... Outfit #2

This Banana Republic jacket is one of my all-time best finds.... $4.99!!!  Bought it at Leesburg Outlet last spring.  It was on deep discount, to say the least.  Love the color - great for 'Autumn' people (if you don't know what primary or secondary season you are, please let me know so we can figure it out... this is one of the most important things to know when dressing yourself)

The tank underneath is from Target $4.00.  I like the long and lean tanks because they go to the thigh.  Very important when trying to 'flatten' your silhouette - even if you aren't tall.  AND You don't want them inching up and showing that plumber's butt!

The jeans are Cabi.  Cabi clothes are NOT cheap, but I do love the way they fit.  I was able to get these pants at a Cabi Sample Sale for 50% off for $45.00.  Having a party is another good way to get free clothes.

The necklace I got from my mom (free).  And the earrings were a Kohl's clearance - $2.50.  Like my last post, these earrings are round (for my narrow face).  When I shop the jewelry clearance for earrings, I look for versatility in bronze, gold, silver.

The shoes were also found on a spring shopping trip to the outlets in Williamsburg.  Naturalizers - very comfortable.  I like to have a pair of brown loafers on hand for my preppier outfits.  They can be worn with or without socks.  Shoes = $9.99 - another end-of-season deep discount.  Outlets are not always the best places to find deals!  Don't think because you are shopping at an outlet that the prices are actually cheaper than mall prices.  Be very careful and do your homework!

Happy Shopping!! - Hip Bargain Chick