And as I help my 2nd grader get herself dressed every day, I'm getting a pretty good sense of some elements she's lacking in her wardrobe. I learned last year that I can be such a smarter shopper just by waiting a couple of weeks into the school year before picking up new clothes.
Today, I got the bulk of our new back to school wardrobe snapped up. Thank you online shopping. Thank you Forever21 for girls. Thank you 'buy 1 get 1 free.' Oh, and thank you free-shipping-on-orders-over-60-dollars.
I shopped it all up for $36 (plus tax).
How'd I do it?
SALES. Listen, with a constantly changing kid, from the length of her limbs to her personal tastes, I'm not about to pay regular price if I can avoid it. And I can. Plus, when shops pull out their really fabulous promos, like Forever21's Buy One Get One Free event (on until this Sunday), it's time to jump. The only exception I made this time: a pair of teal houndstooth tights, which I paid $5.90 for.
FREE SHIPPING. I know, on orders of $60 or more. But why pay for shipping? And why buy much more than you really need just to get it all shipped free? What I like to do is find a friend or family member and combine an order. So after I found for $36 worth and my BFF found for $24 worth, we were in the clear. (If I can't come up with a shopping buddy, I think ahead to Christmas and birthday gifts.) And here's the thing. Buy less, not more. I buy what I really need. A sale is not an excuse to go crazy. It just means it's time to buy. My goal was to keep our order as close to $60 as we could.
MIX & MATCH. I am a huge fan of being able to create as many outfits as I can with what I have. A versatile piece is a total bang for your buck. I can create way more than 6 outfits from everything I bought for $36. Do the math: that's less than $6 per outfit. I keep in mind what we've already got in our closet, too. So. many. outfits.
HAVE A PLAN. Shopping online is a little tough at times. How can you be sure it will fit? What if there's an itchy fabric you didn't anticipate? (Itchy = end of the world, by the way.) What if sale items are non-refundable? I know what I'll do in all these cases. If you don't think ahead, you may end up spending more than you bargained for in order to make an exchange, or waste your money buying something that won't get used. And really, if you do that, well, what's the point?
Total retail therapy.
(By the way, the price of all those items at regular price? a few dimes shy of $120. Yup.)