cheap clothes Archives

Gap Sale Experiences and New Gap Logo



Wondering what you missed at Gap yesterday with the big 40-45% off sale? My friend Alma went and here's her report. Also, the readers of Money Saving Mom say that some of them got to use their Groupons but others didn't.

Alma also offers her professional opinion as Marketing Mommy on the whole new Gap logo mess. I gotta say, that logo that Gap scrapped looks like it belongs to a consulting firm in a Chinese special economic zone. Not so much like a warm and fuzzy clothing store. Good riddance.

Did any of you take advantage of the 40% off sale yesterday? Score anything good?

20% Off at JCPenney Coupon Code

Use the coupon code ALLHERE at JCPenney's Web site, or through their catalog and get an extra 20% off regular, sale and clearance purchases. I like taking a discount off clearance stuff, don't you? Too bad they charge shipping, though.

Today Only: 40% Off at Gap

Today only, take 40% off your entire order at The Gap with this coupon. Don't suppose they'll let you combine it with your Groupon, but if you were going in anyway to spend that, it's worth a try. Pretty sweet discount either way, especially since it includes sale merch. (If you use a Gap credit card, it's 45% off.)

I saw this on Mashup Mom. Thanks, Rachel, for finding time to post in-between single-handedly supplying the Western Suburban food banks with all the soup they need for the winter!

Combine Coupon Codes at for Really Cheap Stuff

Money Saving Mom has a post today about getting The Big One towels at Kohl's today for $2.40 each -- shipped. That's very good, but I didn't want any towels. Still, she said that you can combine the 20% off coupon code FORUONLY with the free shipping code SHIPFREE, so I thought I would check the clearance section and see what else I could find.

To find the cheapest stuff, first select your category on the left, then pick a sub category. Then you should get a menu bar at the top of the page that allows you to sort by price, low to high.

I liked this baby Cubs romper for under $10 shipped



And I stocked up on women's tights at $2 a pair



I even found a bra. I have never bought one of those without trying it on, but for a couple bucks, I figured, what the hey?

High-End Consignment: ReFINE Style

I have posted about private buying sites like GILT Group, but I have a feeling this might be more up our alley for when we Frugalistas want to dress nice: high-end consignment, online. I just got a pitch from ReFINE Style, a consignment shop that sells online.

Hmm. Convenient if you live outside a big city, or, like me, live right by a big city but have trouble getting into boutiques because your entourage consists of a bunch of short people who terrorize shop ladies.

They have auctions like eBay and also "buy it now" like eBay does.

I liked this cocktail dress for under $30.

Course, you could always just buy clothes on eBay like a lot of people do. As for me, I have a hard time buying clothes online! Is that weird? It's just that, when I go into a dressing room with 10 things to try on, I'll usually emerge with one or none that I liked enough on me to buy. And it's even worse with shoes. Do you shop for clothes bargains online, and if so, do you have tips for me for figuring out if you will like the thing enough to keep?

JC Penney $10/$10 Purchase Coupon Codes

Money Saving Mom published two coupon codes that would allow you to make two separate purchases at today nearly free: GO4TEN and LIZ4YOU.

I used GO4TEN to get these skeleton PJs for my 3-year-old for $8 including the $5.99 shipping.



I clicked on quite a few things that were out of stock, and found out that unfortunately Melissa and Doug toys are not included in the coupon deal. Shoes were suggested by Crystal over at MSM, since they are shipping free right now; however I could not find a pair of shoes priced low enough for my taste that I wanted.

Also, you have to select something that costs at least $10 to use the code. $9.99 isn't good enough. The trick, I found, is to click around until you get the option to select a price range comes up in the left-hand border of the page. Like this Girls Toddler Clothes page. Then choose the $10-$19.99 range. Next, sort what you get in that range by price using the drop-down menu at the top left of the page.


50% Off Sale at Neat Repeats in South Suburbia

I'm actually trying to get to launching this afternoon's contest, but there are so many good deals in my email that I keep wanting to share just one more thing. So here's just one more thing: At Neat Repeats Resale in Orland and Worth, there is a half price sale tomorrow, Saturday Sept. 18, only. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., everything is 50% off at this domestic violence Crisis Center charity store.

Here are the two Neat Repeats locations:

Neat Repeats Resale Orland
9020 W. 159th Street 708-364-760

Neat Repeats Resale Worth
7026 W. 111th Street

Thanks to reader Renee A. for the tip.


Carson Pirie Scott Goodwill Sale and Online 25% Off Coupon

Enter your email address and personal information to get a 25% off printable coupon to use at Carson Pirie Scott. Print the coupon before you play the "Spin to Win" game (if you play at all), because it does not show up again after the wheel is spun. But don't worry, if you accidentally spin the wheel first, just use your browser's "back" button to get back to the coupon.

To get more coupons, bring clothing for donating to Goodwill to your local Carson's between today and Sept. 29. You'll get a 20% off coupon for every item you donate.

Then, you can go back to that Web site, tell them how many items you donated, and get another 25% off coupon.

All these coupons are, of course, subject to restrictions. Let me know if you participate and snag any great fall wardrobe items, though!

Kenosha Rummage Haul: Girls Clothes, Gift Closet

It seems like Kenosha, Wis., has more rummage sales than anywhere in the Chicago area. And lucky for me, that's where I am today.

On my way to pick up my middle child from her great grandma's house, where she had spent the night, I hit two sales, and then another one on the way back. I spent $8.20, and here's what I got:


rummagehaul (2).jpg

2 dresses and 2 t-shirts for my 1st grader

1 women's blazer

1 copy of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

1 bag of seasonal stamps (for art projects)

2 rolls of holiday colored ribbon

1 game that has never been opened and that's going in my gift closet

Love rummaging! Did you find any frugal treasures at garage sales this weekend?

Gleeday Deals Site Is Up and Running for Oak Park/River Forest With Ga-Ga Girls Deal



Gleeday is yet another daily deals site, but unlike Groupon and other sites, this one focuses on the suburbs. They have now launched their Oak Park/River Forest deals, much to my delight. And even more to my delight is the deal they have up today: 55% off at Ga-Ga Girls, a "boutique on a budget" on North Ave. in Oak Park.

That's $10 for a $21 voucher. The store sells both new clothes and "nearly new." I've been meaning to check it out for quite some time, and now I have a little push to do so.

Use the menu at the top of the page to select among deals for Park Ridge (78% off at Go Figure gym) or Oak Park/River Forest. Looks like they're planning to add La Grange, Schaumburg, Naperville, Libertyville and Arlington Heights.

The rest of today's Chicao daily deals are here.

Two Sales in Oak Park This Weekend

Saturday morning is the West Suburban Mothers of Multiples sale at Oak Park Arms, a really good consignment event. Doors open at 9 a.m., but people start lining up around 8.

They don't say, but I think the half-price sale starts at 11 a.m. That's the part I usually hit, except I can't this fall because I have to go to stupid old Six Flags with the family. Long story.

(OK, Six Flags is not stupid. But it is old.)

The other Oak Park sale I just found out about is a group rummage sale. Here's the email I received:

An 8th Grade Troop (42742) from Julian Middle School is having a Garage Sale this weekend to raise $1000 for their 2011 Summer trip to the International Girl Scout Center, Pax Lodge in London, England.
The sale is from 7am until 4pm on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29 at 712 S. Lyman in Oak Park. Great selection of items - toys, books, puzzles, games, small and large household items and more at AMAZING prices!
Please spread the word to your family and friends - best picks on Saturday, best prices on Sunday!!
I'll definitely try to hit that one on Sunday. 

30% Off Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic

Print this coupon for 30% off at the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic through Sunday, August 29. It's a Give & Get promotion, and 5% of what you spend will go to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Take the kids back-to-school shopping, or just get a little sumpin' for yourself. And thanks for participating in the charity aspect, on behalf of my father in law, who has lymphoma. He's in remission, thanks.

My husband sent me the email, so I'm not gonna credit any of the other bloggers who have already published it. Sorry, suckas ;-)

And no, you probably cannot get away with using this coupon with that Groupon. But if you try it, go ahead and let us know how that went, just in case.

Exclusive 20% Off thredUP Coupon

OK, I promised that this week's leg of the Frugalista Challenge was going to be all about grocery shopping. And here it is Wednesday evening, and before we even start all that, I have a few more items to share about school clothes shopping. Don't worry -- by the time we get to the Thursday drawing tomorrow, we'll have talked shop. As in, awesome grocery shop. Ping. Tips.


But first, back-to-school shopping agenda item no. 1: Here is a coupon code just for Frugalista readers. It will get you 20% off all swaps through the end of September on that thredUP site I told you about.

The coupon code is: frugalista

When I ran the thredUP contest, I said that everyone who entered would get this coupon code as a prize. Well, guess what? You all get it, even you ne'er-do-wells that didn't bother entering.

Up next: Gap discount and ideas for saving on school clothes.

More Consolation for Lack of Free Pants: Coupon for The Children's Place





Print this coupon for 15 percent off at The Children's Place, or use the coupon code F9A2010 online. It's good through Monday, August 16.

This is a GREAT time to use one of these coupons to stock up on summer clearance items for next year. I consistently find that clearance price items from The Children's Place are cheaper or the same price as similar items at resale events or consignment shops, and the quality is very good.

For instance, check out this floral halter for $2.99:


And all backpacks are $10 right now, or $8.50 after your coupon. And if you buy one Sunday, you'll still get that 5 percent off your taxes, too.

Try Sam's Club Free This Weekend and Sales Tax Holiday




OK, I'm not a big fan of the Wal-Mart or the Sam's Club, but I woudln't want you to hear about it from someone else: Try Sam's Club with no fee this weekend, August 6, 7 and 8.

This coincides with the back-to-school Illinois sales tax holiday, which I'm sure you've heard about by now. I want to post about strategic savings for the tax holiday, which runs Friday, August 6, through Sunday, August 15, but I can't promise I'll get to it before I leave for BlogHer '10 in New York City tomorrow morning.

In case I don't get a chance to write about this more until next week, here's a list of the clothing and school supplies included in the sales tax holiday. No, you don't HAVE to be shopping for a student to get it! Between this and the school supply sales going on, this is definitely the best time to stock up on scissors, pens and notebooks, not to mention steel-toed shoes, athletic supporters and rubber pants.

(All on the list. I'm wondering -- do they mean rubber pants like, for duck hunting? Or rubber pants for the baby to wear over his swim diaper? Or some third type of rubber pants I'm not aware of?)

30% Off at Boden or Mini Boden Plus Free Shipping



I am a sucker for the Mini Boden. It's a catalog/Web only brand of European clothing wtih great prints. But it's expensive.

Today only, everything on the site is 30% off, with free shipping. This apparently happens only once a year, so get on over there. Go through Ebates to get 3% cashback, too.

Another cool thing about Boden is that they will pay you $25 credit for referrals. You submit a friend's address, and if they're not already in the database, they send your friend a catalog, and you get the credit after they make their first purchase. Up to four referrals a month.

Want to sign up for a catalog through me? Send your name, address and phone number to, and naturally I will share that info only with Boden.

(Thanks, For the Mommas!)

Less Than 12 Hours Til the Block Sale Starts



This was my dining room this afternoon, and it doesn't look much different now. It's gonna be a looong night.

I wish I could be a garage sale pro like Money Saving Mom and have my stuff all priced and organized "at least a week before" the sale. I try. But really, just doing a sale at all at this point in our lives is a little crazy. The hubs has been working a lot. After getting the kiddies to the playground and fed and tucked in and cleaning up in the evening, there's been approximately 1 minute per day for gathering saleable items, and 0 minutes for sorting them. Then yesterday, which was supposed to be the day when I didn't blog at all so I could focus on pricing items, I was sick and once I got done taking the kids to the end-of-the-school-year pool party I could barely get off the couch all day.

Oh well. At least I got some free display items -- a table off Freecycle, a table out of the neighbors' trash, some clothing racks and tables borrowed from my parents, and a bunch of bags and hangers off Freecycle. And I got my big wad of singles from the bank for making change in addition to tons of loose change from all over the house.

So I got that goin' for me.

If you're in Oak Park or nearby, this sale is the 500 blocks of Cuyler and Highland, plus the 600 block of Cuyler as well. That's one block east of Ridgleand, and just off Madison.

It's gotta be a good sale -- it got written up on Garage Sale Warrior!

25% Off at Ann Taylor

Today, May 8, or Sunday, May 9, take 25% off your entire order at Ann Taylor, no coupon needed in store. On the Web site, use the coupon code MAY25, and shipping is free on orders of $150 or more. Which is probably not at all hard to spend at Ann Taylor.

If you go this afternoon, they're supposed to be having an event with "styling tips and music." Hm. If there are no free cocktails or appies, this Mother isn't going to go out of her way.

Saw 2 Liberty of London Kids' Items on Clearance



Target afficionadas have probably already heard about the Liberty of London line at Target -- super cute prints on everything from dresses to desk accessories to comforters. Blogger Suburban Matron wrote all about it.

Last night on a speed Target run I spotted a super-cute sundress, and yes, it was Liberty of London, but moreover, it was on clearance for $11.99. I was surprised because I read about a lot of this stuff selling out right away.

Only after I got home and looked the dress up on the Target Web site did I realize that the medium dress I bought was a girl's dress. I tried it on and it actually fits ok, but the elastic top felt a bit confining and is probably not meant for someone with a bust. Today I had my 6-year-old try it on and it's a bit too long for her but will make an adorable maxi dress on her next year. Twelve bucks is pretty steep for a kid's dress for me but oh, let's keep it, can we please?

Gap, Old Navy, Kmart, and More Weekend Retail Sales

1. Starting today, Gap put all its regular-priced merchandise except jeans on sale for 25% off. Limited time, in-store only. It's 30% off if you use your Gap card. And by the way, men's and women's shorts were already 30% off.

Everything except jeans, Gap? Isn't that kind of like going to Eli's and finding out that everything except cheesecakes is on sale?

2. 30% off everything at Old Navy, online (code ONBIG30) or in store. Thanks, Money Saving Mom.

2. At, Lauren by Ralph Lauren! merch ships free, at a 25% discount, with the promo code: MACYSFRIEND. Or, spend $99 on other stuff and get the same discount and free shipping with the same code.

3. Sears Friends and Family sale -- online, all weekend. In store, Sunday night only. See Mashup Mom for details.

4. Kmart -- save up to 20% online only, May 2 only, if you shop though this link. Does anyone actually shop through Kmart online? Or at Kmart at all, without a major coupon?

Chicago-Area Children's Resale This Weekend




This weekend there are some great kids' resale events so you parents can get the summer wardrobes together for less money:

West Suburban Mothers of Multiples Sale in Oak Park

Saturday, April 17

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (But they start handing out numbers for entry at 8!)

Half price sale begins at 11:30 a.m.

This is your typical charity sale with nice low prices and lots of elbow jostling to sort through and find the good stuff.

Best Brands Resale in Wheaton

Today 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This is a more upscale sale; my friend Adrianne calls it "eBay pricing without the wait." Admission is $2 and the stuff is on hangers so less spelunking in piles.

(Disclaimer: Pictured above is one of my most recent resale finds, not something that was actually spotted at one of these sales. But I'm sure you'll find something just as good!)



$5 Off Pants at Sears

I got this in an email from Sears:

The Haggar® Change Your Pants for Charity Event, taking place at Sears stores from April 16 - April 25, allows customers to receive $5 off the current sale price of any new pair of Haggar® pants when they donate an old pair of pants to charity. All donations collected will benefit Assistance League, a national nonprofit organization. Current sale prices of Haggar® pants range from $24.98 - $34.99 and event pricing will range from $19.98 - $29.99.  Offer excludes sales on or 

Sears is always on the lookout for ways to help those in need and to contribute to ongoing charity initiatives. The Haggar® Change Your Pants for Charity Event is just one way that Sears, Haggar and their customers can get involved in giving back to charity.

For more information on the Haggar® Change Your Pants for Charity Event, please visit, and to learn more about the Assistance League, please check out

Gotta Buy Some Clothes? How 'Bout Maria Pinto?


Maria Pinto, whose original designs have famously adorned the First Lady, is liquidating her West Loop boutique and has her clothes marked down 50-70% starting tomorrow, Tuesday. It's sad for Chicago, but here at Frugalista, we love to prey on others' misfortune, right?* Now, these clothes are still not going to be in my range -- the Trib article I just linked to says a sweater runs several hundred dollars -- but if you yearn for designer fashions this could be an opportunity.

There are some less rarified clothing deals out there as well today. There's a sweet 30% off Gap coupon beyond the break. 

Continue reading...

Chicago Area's BEST Kid's Consignment Sale Coming Saturday


You may say I am biased when I call the Parenthesis sale the best children's consignment sale in the whole Chicago area. After all, I am a client of this organization -- three times a week I pack up my laptop and two of my kids and work there while excellent preschool teachers care for the little ones. And I'm a volunteer helping run the sale.

But the honest truth is that the Parenthesis sale is the best place I have ever shopped for kids' clothes, anywhere. I prefer shopping this sale to any other consignment event I've been to, to consignment shops, rummage sales, and goodness knows, to paying retail (Well except those amazing The Children's Place sales; resale can't really beat those prices.)

The spring sale (spring and summer clothes, plus all kinds of gear) is this Saturday, March 6, in Oak Park. The details are on Parenthesis' Web site. The regular sale goes from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the half-price sale is from 11:30 to noon. If you get there later in the morning, don't go away at noon -- there is a secret sale after the half-price sale and this is where I usually get my best deals!

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Buy Yourself Something Pretty: JCPenney and Carson's Deals

Saturday at Carson Pirie Scott, you get a coupon booklet including a $10 off coupon if you donate $5. They say the $5 goes to local school groups and nonprofits.

Or if you'd rather stay home, JCPenney will give you 40% off regular price items or 10% off sale and clearance price items with the coupon code FEB4010.

Not to be outdone, Macy's is having a one-day sale on Saturday. What else is new, though?

Sunday Ad Flyers 2/7 - Cheap Triscuits, Cheap Camisoles

Today is not just the Superbowl, it's also the third anniversary of the day I had a six-hour labor and barely made it to the hospital in time to give birth to Pebbles. So here's a gratuitous picture of Pebbles making her red velvet birthday cake (you know the mix was bought on sale and with a coupon) and looking disturbingly like the clown in It:



I already posted about the one-day only deals at Dominick's, which are pretty sweet and soon to be tapped by me. Here's the rest of the action in this Superbowl Sunday's ad flyers:

Jewel is offering its annual freezer deal today 2/7 and tomorrow 2/8 only, where you buy a $149.99 freezer from them and they give you $150 worth of frozen food coupons. I thought about doing this last year but read some online reviews that the freezer failed for some people after a short time. However people on Couponers Wanted who have done the deal before seem quite excited about it, so I guess some folks are quite satisfied. Today's also the last day to get Pepsi 12-packs and some 6-packs of bottles 4/$9. But to my frustration I don't see Sierra Mist listed in the choices -- what the what, retailers? I am almost out of Sierra Mist and I'm gonna have to go out and pay money for it before my parents visit next, and that's just not cool.


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$20 Off $20 Purchase at Ann Taylor

Print this coupon and take it to an Ann Taylor store Saturday, Feb. 6 only to get $20 off a purchase of $20 or more. Pretty nice! You do have to try on a pair of shoes, but not necessarily buy one.

I would totally buy some camisoles with that if I had time tomorrow. Too bad I'll be running around pulling together my kid's birthday party instead of trying on shoes.

A Few Tuesday Deals

Here are some great deals for today, Jan. 5: a free magazine, half-price sushi, cheap car chargers and super cheap women's clothing:

  • Free subscription to Cosmopolitan from Mercury Magazines.
  • Today's Groupon is a $40 gift certificate to Tank Sushi for $20. This used to be our neighborhood sushi joint when we lived in Licoln Square, and I can vouch that it is delish. I am tempted to snag one even though it's a long drive for us nowadays.
  • Today's Woot is something I never even knew existed: a 2-pack of car-to-car jump starters that go through the cigaret lighters. Jump start without the scary jumper cables thing? I will confess here that I have always been scared of jumper cables which makes me kind of a damsel in distress any time my car battery dies, which is more often than it should (I have little munchkins in my car who sometimes turn on the dome light without my noticing.)

The cost for this two-pack is $14.99, plus $5 shipping. The comments on the Woot page are mixed: Most people agree that this is a supplement rather than a substitute for jumper cables, something to try first but it might not work. Hmph.

  • At Borders, you can take 33% off the list price of any one item with the coupon code BSL7108N.
  • And this one's for my mom: Through tomorrow 1/6 only, take 75% off everything at Coldwater Creek with the coupon code 75SALE. (Thanks!) (Wow -- that would make this top $7.50 and this cardigan $10. Shipping starts at $5.95 for up to $25 and goes up from there, but you can get a 4% rebate through Mr. Rebates or Shop at Home which would partially defray that cost. Will I turn old if I buy some stuff where m mom shops? I think I'm about to find out!)

Deals of the Day for Monday Dec. 14: $5 Disney Hat and Glove Sets, Play Kitchen Under $100


Sick of Christmas yet? I was getting there, I admit, but then we put up the tree this weekend and the sight of all those ornaments clustered in the bottom three feet of a seven-foot tree made even Crabby Grinchy Mommy smile. The eggnog helped.

Here are today's best daily deals to help you get that holiday shopping out of the way:

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Kmart: $20 Down Jacket


OK, if I contemplate wearing clothes from Kmart, I must admit I get an echo of my 1980s schoolmates using the word "Kmart" interchangeably with "cheapanduglyandhumliatingandalsoyouhavecooties." Yet I have no problem dressing myself off the clearance rack at Target and at Goodwill. Silly, I know. If you have no such hangups, check out this $20 goose down jacket, marked down from $70. It says sale through 11/25.

I have some Catalinas to burn at Kmart from a much earlier Huggies deal. (They're still good only because the Catalina company had to mail them to me after they failed to print.) Hmm. 

25% Off at The Animal Store in Lincolnwood This Weekend, and Other Local Sales


Lincolnwood has this family-friendly pet shop called The Animal Store. It's just East of the Edens. (Hi, John Steinbeck fans!) This weekend, they're having a 25% off sale all day Saturday and Sunday.

It looks like they have all the normal pet store stuff: pet food, supplies, fish tanks, birds.

Also, they're giving stuff away this weekend. Raffle prizes include an Oceanic 8-gallon Biocube aquarium valued at more than $350 and a Zilla Aquatic Turtle Kit (valued at more than $300) or a bird playground (valued at more than $200). Kids can come in and play with animals and get free glitter tattoos. Sounds fun!

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Disney Deal and Whole Foods Coupons and Possible Free Kleenex at Walgreens, And, And, And!


I've got simultaneously napping kids here at home and the other one at school. It's been 2 hours of solid getting stuff done around here! I'm kind of giddy!

And here are some exclaimation-point worthy deals I just heard about too!

Today's Disney Store deal is $5 PJs. Normally $16.50! I ordered 5 pairs! Cause I'm on some kinda kids napping high! (Not a kidnapping high! Do not alert authorities!) Use code SHIPTODAY to get $5 shipping on orders of $89 or more (but my $25 order had shipping of just $4.95). Thanks, Mashup Mom!

And at Whole Foods, you can get a 2010 calendar with $30 worth of coupons -- for $2! Proceeds go to charity! Thanks, Garage Sale Warrior!

And, and, free Kleenex at Walgreens, says Money Saving Mom!

(Please see subsequent Udder Covers post before deciding whether to order this one!) And and and, a free Udder Cover to hide your boobs while you're breastfeeding, with coupon code cranberry2, says Money Saving Mom reader Courtney. $32 value! You just pay $8.95 shipping! The other brand of these things is called Hooter Hiders! Personally I can't be bothered with things like that but maybe you're going to a baby shower soon!

Seriously, folks, if you have not experienced having both your at-home kids nap simultaneously while your other kid is at school, you have got to try it. Best legal high I have ever experienced.

Shoe Carnival Coupon and More Thursday Deals

If you are shopping for fall boots pick up a copy of today's Tribune -- there is a $5 coupon for purchases of $39.98 or more at Shoe Carnival, good through 11/14.

Or, if you prefer not to leave your home, is having a clearance sale where you can get up to 82% off, plus free shipping. Thanks, Wise Bread.

Today's Groupon: a dozen cupcakes for $20 at Swirlz. (That's a deal?? Well, it's usually $40 for a dozen so those must be some pretty fancy cupcakes.)

We Give to Get is offering a $50 gift certificate to Bull & Bear Bar & Grill for $20.

And I love today's Kids' Woot: A Halo sleep sack for $2.99, in pink leopard print or camo. Shipping is a flat $5 and you can order up to 3 -- very nice to have on hand for baby shower gifts. My baby sleeps in a sleep sack every night.

Thrifting With the Garage Sale Warrior: Scored Baby Gap and The Children's Place for $2.99

Last week I slipped away to hit Goodwill with fellow ChicagoNow blogger Diana Durkes, who writes Garage Sale Warrior. Spending time with Diana -- and reading her writing -- is really interesting for me because she's pretty much on the opposite end of the thrift consumer spectrum. While I shop garage sales and thrift stores for everyday items -- mostly kids' clothes and toys -- that need as little work as possible to make them usable, Diana has the talent and puts in the effort to rescue old or damaged furniture and make it new again or better. Her other Web site, Fine Diving in Chicago, is a fascinating look at what you can do with cast-off furniture. Or rather, what she can do. Give me a piece of sandpaper and I might accidentally take my skin off; I can even get in over my head with a bottle of Elmer's glue. Which is sad, because I would LOVE my house to be full of the kind of things she makes out of her finds. (Good thing she occasionally sells items.)

Anyhoo, at Goodwill, I shared with Diana some of my rules for finding the best kids' clothes at thrift stores. She checked out the merchandise at the North Riverside Goodwill and deemed the kids' clothes quality better than you find at many other thrift stores. Indeed, we plenty of The Children's Place, Baby Gap and even a Mini Boden shirt. I spent $30 on a few goodies, like this 12-month size shirt from the $1.50 kids bin:

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Today's Sellout W00t: Never-ending Flashlight = Great Stocking Stuffer

Don't tell my husband, but I just ordered three of these rechargeable LED flashlights for $4.99 each on Sellout W00t, one of the sections of the daily deal Woot (or W00t) site. Available today only, till they're gone. The site claims these flashlights will operate for up to 10 continuous hours on a single charge, the bulb lasts 11 years, and -- my favorite -- will automatically turn on in a power failure so you can find it.

This is my favorite kind of Christmas gift: Something that the recipient probably didn't even know exists. So let's just hope the hubs doesn't read this post. Since I do all the bargain shopping around here, I don't think he's a big Frugalista reader.

Other deals I noticed out there today:

Half Price Chicago is offering $50 gift certificates to the Chicago Ahtletic Club, Carnivale restaurant and Oceanique for, you guessed it, half price. That's $25 for those of you math-challenged types. Some restrictions apply (like I noticed the Oceanique one requires a $100 minimum purchase.)

Use the code SWEATERS on and get free shipping when you spend $75 on sweaters or winter accessories. Sweaters are on sale up to 40% off.

Today's Groupon is a $20 oil change at Midwest Performance Cars.

At, the code LFTBELL will get you free shipping on Tinkerbell books and games, all the way through 1/31/10.



Cheap Halloween Costume Shopping Ideas -- Even at the Last Minute

My Halloween-obsessed 5-year-old has assigned her dad the role of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. Too bad @Epu's been working late every single night this week and hasn't started yet.

Oh well. Garage Sale Warrior has tips on where to look for a dirt-cheap secondhand costume, and I see no reason why these options shouldn't still work last-minute. Also, as I mentioned in my Wise Bread post "28 Ways to Have Cheap Halloween Fun," procrastination can be a virtue when it comes to Halloween because most of the stores now have deep discounts. All the Star Wars costumes at Target seem to be 50% off, for example.

Happy hunting out there! You still have a few days left, so don't panic.

What You Can Get for Free or Very Cheap at Lands End or JC Penney

Money Saving Mom recent posted these $10/$10 coupon codes for JC Penney and Lands End, as well as a way to get an additional $10 voucher for use in-store or online at Penney's. Combine the coupon code and the voucher, and you can spend $20 at Penney's and pay only the cost of shipping. After browsing around the sites, here are some items that would be free or very cheap after the discounts (You do have to pay shipping, but Money Saving Mom suggests that you sign up for Ebates or Shop at Home and shop through there, since either site will give you a $5 first-purchase bonus that nearly erases the shipping charge.) 

JC Penney, where you can use the coupon for any item, sale or regular price:

Microfleece robe $6.99 (would have to pair it with another cheap item to pass $10)

Men's shearling slipper $13.99 (very good Xmas present, no?)

What I don't know is if you still have to buy something worth at least $20 if you combine the voucher and the coupon code. Because if not this telescope is a nice freebie at $19.99. (To anser my own question, it looks like the telescope for some reason cannot be bought using the SWEETS4U promo code at all, no matter if you try to pair it with the voucher or not. When I tried combining the two deals on another item that was on sale for $19.99, the site told me the final price could not be determined at this time and I'd find out after I ordered it! No thanks!) As is this iPod dock. Or any two products from the $9.99 or less section.

Lands End, where the coupon is limited to full price items:

kids' gloves $10

girls' knee socks $12.50 (I ordered these for my daughter's Xmas stocking)

Monday Morning Deals

Good morning! Did you kow that if you bake using glassware you can set your oven 25 degrees lower? That's one of the fun oven facts in Nora Dunn's Wise Bread posts about efficient oven use. I also learned that, sigh, I should really clean my oven because all that burned crap sticking to the bottom is not just making the smoke alarm go off, it's also soaking up heat.

A few more Monday morning tidbits:



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Discounts and Deeper Discounts: Baby Gap and Running Shoes

I was going to tell you about BabyGap taking 20% off layette stuff online only, but then I thought, only 20% off? Meh. Although if you have a Gap card you can enter the code MYCARD for free shipping. I'm also a little meh on Garnet Hill's 20% off sale on all full-priced items.

But Amazon's got all kinds of athletic shoes at 70% off in its fall closeout. And you're not going to stop working out just because it's cold and dark out there, right?

Um, right?

As a Packer fan it pains me to point this out, but they have a Chicago Bears logo Reebok sneaker on sale for $17.95. Well, there's also a Packers sneaker on sale for $25.49, but it's not as cute.

I suppose that's Brett Favre's fault too. Haven't we suffered enough??

P.S. I just found the same exact shoe with the Packers logo. But thanks for letting me have my little cry; it's been a hard couple of years for us Favre fans.

$15 off $30 at Express

It's embarrassing to do while pushing a baby stroller, but sometimes I still shop at Express. In fact last time I was there I found a top for $15 that strangely resembled a nursing top: stretchy fabric, cris-crossed decollatage, ruched tummy area to cover that post-baby flab. No wonder it was marked down -- Express shoppers do not have post-baby flab, as a rule.

But if you are an Express shopper, here' s a treat for you: use the code 4313 to get $15 off a $30 purchase, or $30 off $75 on There's a printable coupon here for use in store. Expires Oct. 25.

And while we're talking clothes, high-end Gap site Piperlime is having a 30% off sale. They always have free shipping.

Feeling Chilly? 5 Clothing Deals to Warm You Up


Feeling the brr out there? If you are cold and need to warm up with some new sweaters and other clothes this weekend, here are more than five ways to save. OK, 60% of them are at Old Navy, but as cheapskates I'm sure you all love Old Navy anyway so have at it:

1. Today is Thursday, you know what that means? Old Navy will be putting new in-store coupons on its hide-and-seek site Old Navy Weekly. At an undisclosed hour (the scuttlebutt is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. tonight), Old Navy will hide a bunch of really good coupons on that site, and you have to randomly click around to find them. The coupons are as good as "$75 off $100 purchase," BUT it seems that those really great ones go in the first few minutes of the site being reset each week. Anyway, I was able to get an ordinary coupon last week, for 20% off my order, by checking online bulletin boards like this one on Slickdeals for specific instructions.

2. Or if you don't win an Old Navy coupon, use the code to get 15% off and free shipping on any order of $75 or more with the Old Navy coupon code ONPLUS15. What should you order? I just bought the "lantern sleeve" sweater coat after seeing it featured in the now-defunct Cookie magazine, and I LOVE it.

3. Speaking of Old Navy, they're celebrating their 15th birthday this weekend, Oct. 10-12, with all kinds of items priced at $15 and "surprises galore." Would be a good time to bring in the coupon if you find one on Old Navy Weekly tonight -- although I imagine it will be packed.

4. The Children's Place: has coupon codes for 15% off any order or $20 off an $80 order, and shipping is always a flat $5. Fall sale and Halloween costume sale going on, too. Or print this coupon for 20% off in store (thanks For the Mommas!)

5. Give Gap your email (there's a window to enter in on the right side of the page, toward the bottom) and they'll send you a coupon code for $15 off a $75 order.

5 +: Take $15 off for every $60 you spend at Express with this printable coupon, or online with promo code 3069. Through the weekend only.

5++: Print this coupon for an extra 10% off at Ann Taylor's 40% off sale this weekend.

Photo by Vato Bob, used by Creative Commons license.

My Little Frugalistas


Everything my kids are wearing in this picture is second-hand, except the pine cone and the backpack. Nutmeg's outfit cost me probably $10 including the boots at the consignment sale; Pebbles's shirt was $1 at Brown Elephant thrift store in Oak Park, her sweatshirt was a couple bucks from Chloe's Closet children's resale in San Francisco. Pebbles very proud of her new Nike running shoes from the sale, and I think the jeans were a hand-me-down from someone.

Wish I had their wardrobes.

Joint Juice Moneymaker and Other Ways to Save This Weekend

Money Saving Mom says there's a moneymaking Catalina deal on Joint Juice at BOTH Jewel AND Dominick's. Sweet.!

Groupon has a pretty amazing offer going on this weekend, if you live anywhere near 901 N. Larrabee Street. It's $10 for a 2-pound bag of some more-than-fair-trade coffee, PLUS a free coffee or espresso drink in the @Spot Cafe every single day for a month. Lattes included! The cafe people say it's worth up to $115. You can buy this one through Sunday at midngiht.

I think I have to move.

Finally, I just returned from shopping and volunteering at the Parenthesis consignment sale here in Oak Park, and I just want to let you know that the tables are piled HIGH with clothes. Girls 4T and size 6, I noticed, were practically breaking the table with the weight of all the nice clothes piled on there. I saw an adorable Ralph Lauren blouse for girls in size 6 that was marked $1.50.

And I left it there for you!

Coming Up: Oak Park Consignment Sales


This week I'll be quite busy helping get things ready for Friday and Saturday's semi-annual consignment sale at Parenthesis, a fantastic organization in Oak Park that gives parents a break while providing high-quality children's programs for an affordable price. Parenthesis also provides parent education and other programs. (And incidentally, I write most of my posts whlie my 2-year-old is in Parenthesis' morning drop-in program.)

But most importantly to you all, Parenthesis' clothing sale is the best consignment event I have ever shopped. The gently used clothes are high-quality and well-organized (I know because I am personally one of the people doing quality control and organizing it all). Only seasonally appropriate clothes are out there on the floor. There's gear too, like strollers and baby swings. The prices are much lower than in consignment shops and I believe that they are lower than many other consignment events as well.

The deets:

VIP Sale Friday 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., $20 entrance fee

Regular Sale Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., ENTRY IS FREE

Half-price Sale 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Bag Sale (They do NOT advertise this) 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

405 S. Euclid Ave., Oak Park (it's in a church)

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Sunday Flyers -- 9/20

The SmartSource this week include more Campbell's coupons for the Jewel-Osco Catalina, a buy-one-get-one coupon for a caramel apple or double chocolate fudge shake at Steak n Sheak (damn those look good), Dairy Queen and Quiznos Qs. The RedPlum includes several that would be useful for the week's CVS deals, including $1/1 Neutrogena hair product and $1/1 Aquafresh.

At Target, I don't see any hot gift card offers like recent weeks, but there are a couple of sales: memory foam mattress toppers are on sale for $43.49 (twin) through $135.99 (thicker full version). They don't list prices for queen or king but they do say others are on sale. 12-count Pop-Tarts and 8-count Nutri-Grain bars are on sale for $2 each. (Combine the $1/2 Pop-Tarts manufacturer's coupon from the 9/13 RedPlum or the $.55/1 printable with the $1/2 Target coupon to get them for a buck a box.)

Toys R Us is having a birthday party for Geoffrey, its mascott giraffe, on Saturday, Sept. 26 from noon to 3 p.m., with parades, activities and product giveaways. How nice of them to schedule it right during most tots' naptime. They're also having a sale that lasts all week" buy 2, get the 3rd free," good on all Lego Building Sets, all video games, all books, all LeapFrog learning toys, all Barbies, all Star Wars, all Playskool and a bunch of other stuff. There's also an offer for a $20 Pizza Hut gift card if you buy the game Birthday Party Bash for Wii, and a $15 Toys R Us gift card if you buy a Scooby Doo game and video together. They also have a $5/2 coupon for Pampers mega packs, which can be combined with Pampers manufacturer's coupons, and a $2/1 for value boxes of wipes.

Kohl's says you get $10 "Kohl's cash" for every $50 you spend, in addition to a big anniversary sale where you can take 15%, 20% or 30% EVEERYTHING when you use your Kohl's charge card. Both offers are in store or online, through Wednesday.

Through Sept. 29, Carson Pirie Scott is giving out coupons for 20% off any item (regular priced or sale) for each clothing or home textile item you donate to Goodwill. You are supposed to bring the items to the Carson store to get the coupons. You know, that is probably the best price you're ever going to get for most used clothing items. I would really like some boots for this fall; maybe I should figure out a way to squeeze a trip to Carson's into my schedule. And maybe get these?

CVS: A slow week. The only freebie I'm interested in is Crest toothpaste, free after ExtraBucks and the $1/1 coupon from the 8/30 P&G insert. (Because SOME people I coupon shop for are picky about their toothpaste brand. I'm looking at you, Mom and Dad. And Grandma.) The candy deal is all right if you want to get ready for Halloween: spend $15, get $5. It includes some items not listed in the flyer, like some individual bars. For the rest of the meager CVS deals this week (including free Sally Hansen nail polish) see Money Saving Mom.

Walgreens deals include a store coupon for 12 rolls Angel Soft toilet paper at $5.49 (combine with a $1/1 manufacturer's coupon from the 9/13 RedPlum). Reese's Pumpkins (size of a single cup) are 50 cents, so you should be able to use that $.55/1 coupon from the 8/23 RedPlum to get them free. For more Walgreens deals (including free Crest and a ThermalWrap moneymaker, see I Heart Wags.)

At Jewel-Osco, they're advertising Colgate toothpaste (4.6 oz.) for 1, so you could get it free with a $1/1 coupon (There's one in today's SmartSource that says "Sensitive" but you could probably use it on any Colgate paste. Or use one from the 9/13 SmartSource.)

Office Depot's Hot Deal of the Week is 500 sheets of multipurpose paper for 99 cents after rebate, limit 2.

Sports Authority has a $25 coupon off a purchase of $100 or more, good through Tuesday only.

Kmart has a Catalina deal that may have been going for a long time because it sounds familiar: Spend $25 on certain brands, get a $5 coupon; spend $50, get a $12 coupon. Brands are Huggies, Pull-Ups, Scott, All, Glade, Snuggle and Off! But after my experience with Catalinas at Kmart, I wouldn't touch it.

As usual: 40% off one item at Michael's and Jo-Anns.

Coupon matchups from the Hot Coupon World database.

Sunday Flyers 9/7 -- Labor Day Sales

I have never understood exactly WHY there are no coupons in the Sunday inserts on holiday weekends, but that's how it is. So don't go out and buy an extra papers today.

There are deals in the flyers, though. Theoretically because of Labor Day there should be more sales. Well, let's see.

Yep. Here are the LABOR DAY SALES:

Toys R Us is having a sidewalk sale today and Monday only, with a bunch of toys and Crayola products at 50% off and a free ice cream sandwich with any purchase of $20 or more. They're also advertising a "Trade-In Event": get 20% off a car seat, stroller, travel system, high chair, play yard, bassinet or crib from participating brands when you bring in a used item from any of those categories, any brand. Since those items typically sell for pennies on the dollar used, it should be easy to come up with a really junky old one for a 20% discount. That deal runs through 9/20. Then there are the typical store coupons in the flyer too, for $4 off formula, $2 off baby bagth products, etc.

Jo-Ann's Labor Day sale includes half off and buy one, get one for a bunch of stuff including foam by the yard and fleece, and then there's a coupon in the flyer for 10% off total purchase including sale stuff. Good Sunday and Monday only; the online promo code is NGSE250.

Michaels has a coupon for 50% off any regular price item, Sun or Mon only, in addition to its usual 40% off coupon. Lots of stuff on sale for 40% or 50% off as well.

Bed Bath & Beyond is having its semi-annual storewide clearance, with savings up to 50% off original retail. There's a 20% off a single item coupon in today's paper, and it says if you sign up for email updates you'll get another one of those coupons in your inbox.

Office Depot's Labor Day sale includes doorbusters today and Monday, like 100 sheets of photo paper for a dollar (after rebate), or a ream of multipurpose paper for $1 (also after rebate).

OfficeMax is still offering discounted school supplies, like a ruler for a penny, composition books for 75 cents, filler paper for a quarter, and markers for a quarter per pack (limit 3).

Famous Footwear has a sale: "buy one pair, get second pair 1/2 off," plus there's a coupon in the flyer for an additional 20% off entire purchase. Get those gym shoes! (I'm holding out for the Sept. 26 consignment sale in Oak Park to shop for mine; that's what a mean mom I am.)

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The Sunday Flyers -- Free Ice Cream, Kmart Super Doubles

Oh MAN I am tired what a weekend. My father and brother came to see us yesterday to help watch the kids so Epu and I could spend some time cleaning out all the half-unpacked boxes and piles of junk in our basement. So now it's 7 p.m. Sunday and I'm just now sitting down to tell you about the deals in the Sunday newspaper. I can already tell you the highlights, though: Free ice cream at Target and another week of double coupons at Kmart.

Before we begin, help for the newbies: Glossary of terms; How to CVS; What's a Catalina; Overview of the Frugalista's Methods.

Coupon Inserts

It's a good week to pick up extra papers (or do a little Dumpster diving) if you are doing CVS deals, because there are lots of coupons tying into ExtraBucks deals this week.

First of all, the September P&G Brand Saver is in today's paper. There's a $1/1 Bounce dryer bar Q and a $.75/1 Tide Stain Release Q that work w/ an ExtraBucks deal at CVS to get you the dryer bar for $2 or the Tide for $2.25, and Duracell Qs that work with an ECB deal too. (CVS's rewards are called either Extra Bucks or Extra Care Bucks. For some reason the deal-hunters online have chosen to call them ECBs, not EBs. Fascinating, the etymology of the deal-hunter tribe.)

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$10/$50 Old Navy Coupon From GreatClips

There was a coupon for a $6.99 kids haircut or $8.99 adult's haircut at Great Clips in yesterday's Tribune (sorry if I've sent you scrambling for your recycle bin). The flyer mentioned that you get a $10/$50 Old Navy coupon with every haircut at Great Clips. Not bad timing since Old Navy is having that $10 back-to-school sale right now.

It's not clear whether the Great Clips coupon will be good at the Old Navy Web site, but if it is, they are also offering 10% off a $75 purchase or 20% off $100 with the checkout code GETMORE, through Saturday only.

Money-Saving Tip for Parents of Tall, Skinny Kids

OK, this money-saving tip is cracking me up and I have to share. My kids have tons of cute clothes, but because I am too cheap to buy anything at retail price, they're sometimes lacking in some specific item of clothing that I haven't found anywhere.

This summer, my 5-year-old has been lacking in short leggings to wear under skirts and dresses. She's also low on regular shorts, which means that it's sometimes hard to find something for her to put on to make sure she's not showing her Dora undies when she hangs on the monkey bars at the park.

Yesterday, I stopped into The Children's Place while out running errands and snapped up a couple pairs of capri-length leggings on sale for just a few bucks each. This morning, she was wearing what looked like one of those pairs of leggings under a dress. Only later, I looked more closely and noticed that what she was wearing was a different color than what I had bought. They looked vaguely familiar, but I knew she didn't have any leggings like that.

Then it dawned on me: She was wearing a pair of 18-month size pants that I had put aside because her 2-year-old sister had gotten too tall for them.

So, here's my tip: If you have a tall, skinny kid like I do, don't give away those outgrown pants with elastic waistbands. They might just make good capris or shorts in a couple years!

P.S. Here are the clothes I got at The Children's Place for a total of $26 including tax, or $4.34 per item. Since I typically pay about $4 per item for newish brand-name clothes at consignment, these items were a steal. I bought them on the big side so hopefully they will still fit next summer. And this is really a reminder to myself to remember to check out end-of-the-season sales at the name-brand kids' stores before I end up paying the same price or more for used stuff.


With back-to-school clothes shopping season in full swing, do you have any money-saving tips for clothing your children?

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