I stumbled upon a super (duper) clearance sale at Kohl’s last weekend. What brought me into the store was an online coupon for an extra $10 off any $30 purchase, so I thought I would see what I could find on the clearance rack. Well as it turned out I saved $428! This was because there was an extra 40% off all clearance! This is key to saving lots of money. Always look for “Take An EXTRA % Off” sales and you can save 75- 85%.
Watch this video to see my recent hoist of 4 sweaters, a hoodie, a pair of jeans and a wool coat for $93.48!
I love a good clearance rack, and I know some of you loathe them, because you need to have time, patience and be in the mood to look at old merchandise. I have always found really good deals on practical pieces at Kohl’s at their end of season clearance sales. After my recent major haul (while I am still giddy), I thought I would share my tips on shopping the clearance sales so you, too, can save and come home with pieces you will actually wear and with pride!
1. Make a Quick Shopping List
As much as it may not seem fun to shop for last fall’s fashion in spring, this transition is actually a great time to take inventory of what you actually wear (because it’s so fresh in your mind) as well as make a list of what you may be able to wear into the next season. My uniform as of late is jeans, tops, knits, jackets and coats. These items were on my short list. Living in Chicago a clearance of fall fashion usually works out well for spring, because I know I will continue to wear jeans and jackets throughout the summer. For spring I was on the lookout for white shirts, tees, cardigans and dresses.
2. Set A Budget
I set a budget of $50, but when I found multiple pieces I could wear (and knew that I could even return them if I changed my mind) I expanded my budget … by $43!
3. Set Aside The Time
I think you need at least 2 hours per store to rummage their sales racks. Sizes often get mixed up at clearance sales and you will need the time to look through all the sizes. You will want to have time to go back and forth to the dressing room, perhaps several times. I also recommend trying on several sizes, and go up in sizes. You can always alter and take things in but not out! I usually wear a size Small but I found a few sweaters that worked “boyfriend style” in sizes Large and XL. I also tried on a few large sweaters that looked absolutely terrible, and way too oversized, so be patient and only go with a larger size if the proportions work.
4. Shop on a Cold or Rainy Day
This not something you have to do, but it is easier to look at fall merchandise when it is not a bright and sunny day, which only tempts you to overspend on all the new arrivals! Stay focused and don’t look at spring. Keep in mind you will save money at the fall clearance rack, and if you find something like jeans or a leather jacket, you can wear them year round!
5. Look for Basics
Shop for basics in black, white or solid colors. Ask yourself it anyone will know if it is from Kohl’s or could it be Vince? If it looks like Vince or Theory, then get it! Think of enhancing what you already own rather than making a statement with your new purchase. For example, the black oversized V-neck sweater I found in an XL will work well with cropped pants, and will add a new look to my spring wardrobe.
6. Go Easy On The Prints
Avoid textures, fabric and prints that scream “inexpensive” like the popcorn knits, sequins and just plain ugly poly fabrics (Uggh!) I avoided at Kohl’s! But you may find a fun and trendy print that is what I call a “fooler” and looks expensive (for example a Missoni-looking space dyed knit, or a Pucci print) so go for it, if you like it, especially if it is only $15.
6. Buy What You Will Wear 100 Times.
If you find something you know you will wear multiple times at price you cannot pass up, you gotta get it. You may have to adjust your budget like I did when I found a black wool Simply Vera Vera Wang coat for $33.97. I’ve already worn it three times! At this rate I will wear it 100 times and the cost-per-wear for my coat will be…34 cents! Check back next week for Tips on Cost-Per-Wear.