Today I took a friend of mine shopping. We did AWESOME!
A little back story - my friend is going thru a rather unpleasant divorce and there are young children involved and it's just bad. She hasn't worked full time since she had the first baby and has only had a couple of short term part time jobs in between - then the out of the blue divorce nastiness and the economy she hasn't been able to find a job, the not soon enough to be ex isn't giving her any money. She's just having a really hard time right now. So last week I get a call for an employment reference for her - she got the job! So excited for her! Of course will the toll the divorce and not seeing her kids has taken, she's super skinny now and none of her work clothes fit. Lucky for her, the new job is business casual and it's full time, but they only work 4 days a week (seriously? *I* want that job!) so as a celebration - I asked her to let me take her shopping for a couple of new outfits.
So in preparation for today's trip, I went thru last week's newspapers and scored 2 $10/$25 no exclusions coupons for JC Penney. Now if you've ever shopped at JCP you know they practically give away stuff with their clearance prices. Plus they were having door buster deals from 9am-1:00pm today. Sweet - that was our first (and turns out ONLY) shopping stop! I also found a 20% off 1 item coupon for Stein Mart and a 20% off purchase coupon for Macy's - all good on sale items. Macy's was also valid on clearance.
She texted me that she was on the way over at 9:38am - she arrived around 10:05, we left the Paisley Cottage around 10:20. We were done shopping (including drive time from my house to the mall) at 11:33am and then I took her to lunch at Smokey Bones for some yummy BBQ (and free Kettle Chips from checking in on Four Square on my phone - I love free...).
Back to shopping. I swear we spent 15 minutes in the parking garage trying to adjust the seat belt in the stroller for her toddler. We finally walk into JCP and as luck would have it right into the women's section - woo hoo! So we head to the clearance racks first - they had some super cute stuff I have to say.
After 1 quick trip to the dressing room - she picked the following:
- silver gray dockers pants ($6.70 after the clearance discounts and coupons)
- green / gray plaid peasant Henley top (sort of a cross between a peasant blouse and a button front Henley) $9.52
- gorgeous sheer magenta / purple top with cream color crochet trim (ANA brand) along the neckline and double layer flutter sleeves $7.15
- total for that purchase $24.89
- khaki Levi's pants $5.96
- ANA brand beautiful emerald green silky tank top with a keyhole neckline and ruffle edge along the neck (will look amazing with those silver gray pants) $5.60
- ANA brand tan chino skinny pants $4.97
- total for that purchase $17.60
$42.49 for 3 outfits!
JCP also prints your total savings on the recipes - #1 was $101.47 savings! #2 was $92.63 savings!
Grand total of savings $194.10
That's 83% off - I was totally planning on spending $100. She wouldn't pick out anything else. She hates "charity" - I don't see it as charity, she's a friend, I can afford to help her out, so of course I want to. The fact that I can put her in 3 outfits for less than it costs me to fill up my gas tank every week is just CRAZY! I know she will enjoy them and wear them proudly to work next week and of course I wish her the best with the new job - I know it will make a HUGE difference for her and for that, i'm thrilled and excited for her.
I'm also super stoked at the savings! Proof that just because you aren't rich, doesn't mean you have to shop at Walmart, you can buy brand name clothes for next to nothing, BRAND NEW for less, you just have to know where to look.
Here are stock photos from the JCP website of some of the items (some aren't found online)
The Ana skinny pants - they have some super cute top stitch details too.