Coupons And Courage

I often forgo department stores for their discount counterparts. With time and patience, you can really score with clothes, linens and things for the home. But trust me, there are times when department stores have amazing deals.

My daughter and I went shopping for something great to wear for her sweet sixteen party. What I had hoped would be a fun mother-daughter bonding day, turned into mutual disbelief at each others clothing suggestions. Anything I picked out got that look of horror that I would actually think shed wear something like that in this lifetime. Every thing she picked out looked like it belonged on a 21 year old of questionable morals. Needless to say, we came home with nothing.

Shes a junior in high school. Shes in Marching Band and a flute quintet. Between her workload, band practice competitions and sleep, that translates in to an hour and a half of free time a week. Much to her dismay, she was going to have to let me shop for her. She was terrified. I wasnt terribly comfortable either.

My first effort at favorite discounts stores led to 3 shirts, 2 dresses, and eventually, 5 returns. Needless to say, I was NOT getting it.

Trying a new strategy, I suggested we go online together to some websites of her favorite stores, and she can show me what shes looking for. We looked, I got a better idea of her tastes, and the next day, off I went with my coupons and my courage.

This time, though, instead of heading to her favorite trendy stores, and my usual discount haunts, I went to Macys. I headed for the trendy teen department and dress department and was stunned. There, before my eyes were about 15 racks of items on clearance. Granted, things were stuffed in and not necessarily sized according to what the little plastic doohickeys said, but there were discounts galore! I took a deep breath and dove in.

This time, I came home with 4 things, 2 of which were a hit, and 2 not so much. But I found the dress and my daughter was ecstatic!! Ok, so my husband thought it was a little low cut, but he wasnt with me when she tried on the 24 previous dresses!! Even better, besides being on sale, the dress was further discounted, and because I used my Macys card, and I had said coupon, I got an additional 20% off. A $ 59.00 dress ended up costing $ 23.60. And the other cute shirt that was originally $ 42.00? Mine, for $ 5.88. Honest. I can show you the receipt!!

Go to department stores. Go with patience, time, coupons, and go directly to the clearance racks. There are amazing deals to be had, especially on the off-season clothes, or the kinds of dresses that are NEVER off season for teenage girls!