I love new clothes. And shoes. And certainly purses. What I don’t enjoy is the actual shopping process. I know! Doesn’t it totally break down the stereotype that girls love to shop? Aren’t we supposed to routinely get together on weekends and head to the mall to watch each other try on new outfits? I go to the mall only if I need a new dress for some fancy occasion, because you have to try on dresses to make sure it fits and doesn’t look funny. But I still hate it. Cami knows how I feel, so I know I’m not alone.
My shoes mostly come from DSW, the shoe warehouse, because they typically have good prices, they keep sending me coupons, and they have dozens of shoes that are extremely cute, last a long time (unless the dog gets them), and are fairly comfortable. They usually have my size and it’s not too crowded if I go right after work. I can go in and fulfill my shoe needs all in one stop.
These days, my clothes come from Ann Taylor LOFT. At first it was because they had cute skirts on sale and then because they had comfortable pants that fit my short little legs. Then I discovered they often had awesome clearance sales online. Now, I shop a the online store mainly for convenience. I know how their sizes fit and how the different cuts fall, so I don’t have to try everything on to make sure it will look good. This means I don’t have to step foot in a physical store unless I really want to. I also don’t have to go from store to store looking for the perfect item. If I can’t find it at AT LOFT, then maybe I don’t really need it.
Now, with online shopping there are multitudes of ways to save money or rack up rewards points. There are always online coupon codes available, too. I remember using them for Sephora so I could get the Bag of Mini Products during Christmas shopping. You used to have to search for them and look through a couple of coupon sites before you found a valid one, or hang out on shopping forums to see if someone would post a good coupon. You can still do this, but if you subscribe to the philosophy that efficiency gives you good enough results, then just look at RetailMeNot.com.
If you can’t find an online store at that site, then it’s probably not one worth shopping at. Here’s why I like the site: each coupon code is rated so you can see if other people were successful in using it. Sometimes people comment that it worked only if you did this and this, or it didn’t work, or it worked last month but not last week. I tend not to bother with low-rated codes and I have pretty good results with the ones I do use. It’s really great for shopping at stores that you don’t frequent often. For instance, because I shop almost exclusively at AT LOFT, I signed up for their e-mails so I always have the best coupon code out there. Sometimes I like Banana Republic, but I don’t want to get their e-mails, so if I see something I want to buy online, there’s a good chance I’ll find someone else’s e-mail coupon code at RetailMeNot.
Over the weekend, T and I finally booked our flight to Seattle for our May cruise. We went back and forth on whether we wanted to use reward miles or just pay for the tickets. Flights to Seattle are not cheap! They typically hang around $300 R/T, which is a pretty big chunk of change when you look at it. But using our reward miles limited our itinerary to one that would get us home at 11 PM. Not enticing. I went through all the various cheap fare search engines, checked Southwest, and finally found a deal on Alaska Airlines (I think the only airline that goes nonstop from San Diego). I got to the billing portion and noticed there was a field for a “Discount Code”. There’s always that field, everywhere you go, but I’d never given it much thought. I went to RetailMeNot and found a 10% off coupon that worked, saving us $50! Who knew there were coupons for airfare?
So, there you go. Before you purchase anything online, check RetailMeNot to see if there’s money you could be saving. Even if you already have a coupon code, you can check the site to see if someone’s uploaded a better one that you don’t know about. I’m all about saving money because the way I buy clothes and shoes I need all the help I can get. I’ve also been trying to limit my new clothes shopping, but I really needed some extra color in my wardrobe now that I know what colors I “can” and “can’t” wear. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.