Sunday, August 29

Super Shopping

As many of us Pro-Shoppers know, fall time is one the best times to take advantage of major sales, designed to lure in bargain hunters like us! With the season's shopping well under way, Banana Republic, The Gap, and Old Navy, among many other stores, are making an extra effort by offering shoppers extra discounts for coming in to browse over these next few weeks. In fact, today is the last day for their Give to Get promotion. These stores are offering 30% off of ALL purchases, including sale and clearance items!! Yahoo!! :) What could make this promotion even better? An additional 5% of what you spend goes toward the non-profit organization Teach for America.

I, personally, can't wait to go and do some window shopping this afternoon. To print out your coupon, click here. I got mine through the Banana Republic E-Mail List. Saving dough on my splurges and promoting a great cause sounds like some super shopping to me!
I can't wait to hear about your fabulous finds, today!

Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, August 25

The Three C's

     What can twenty-one dollars and one afternoon of shopping do for the average Joe? Usually, not a whole lot. But for the canny spender, even the smallest of budgets can yeild amazing results! For me, as you saw from yesterday's extravaganza, twenty-one dollars refreshed my makeup stock, enhanced my shoe collection, and ultimately topped off my fall wardrobe. And I did it by following the Three C's of Shopping:
  • Coupons
  • Clearance
  • Control
     Ask your grandma, coupons are the number one way to save dough when you shop. The easiest way to get the coupons that will end up saving you the most is through E-mail. I have two personal E-mail accounts. One for personal E-mails from friends, coworkers, coaches, and teachers, and then an additional E-mails for stores! This way, I won't be tempted by those "save-ory" sales when I'm not intending on shopping, and E-mails that need a reply won't be hidden among the alerts. Now everytime a sales clerk asks, "Are you on our E-mail list?" I eagerly fork mine over. Another great way to get a heads up on sales and coupons is by becoming a fan or "liking"  your local mall or favorite shops on facebook and twitter. By reading about the grand opening of a local Tilly's store via facebook, I ended up scoring myself a a load of goodies and a free gift card. My beau, who I dragged along to the event, scored one worth $100! But I'll tell you more about that deal later. ;) Another way to get coupons is via snail mail. Old fashion coupon clipping will always be in style! Sign up for store mailing lists by inquiring about a free catalog!
    The second "C" of shopping is Clearance. The clearance sections are the best way to score inexpensive and trendy additions to your closet. While often mix-matched and messy, shopping clearance can be a challenge, because of the limited availability of colors and sizes. Don't let the clutter distract you from your mission for savings! Focus on finding peices that you can pair with a variety of items that you already own, to spice things up. And most of all, stick with your size. Regardless of how affordable something is, it isn't a bargin if it doesn't fit, which leads us to our next "C": Control. Next time you're tempted to blow it all on those $80 boots, think about how many other cute items you could scarf up for the same cost. Do 16 pairs of jeans or 8 pairs of ballet flats seem like a better deal? If so, you'd better put the boots down. While there isn't anything wrong with the occasional splurge, the key to getting the look for less is having self control. I will be the first to admit it: Restraint is difficult! But just remember, for every dollar you save on one outfit, you have one more dollar to put towoards the next one.
     How do you make your dollar stretch? Shoot me an E-mail (to the address for people) and tell me all about your deals and dilemmas!


I completely forgot to tell you about one the biggest bargains of my shopping adventure, yesterday! At Victoria's Secret they were having a sale on their new panty line. But, lucky for me, I had a coupon entitling me to one complimentary pair of panties with no purchase required! I scored a cute pair for less than a penny. :) I got this coupon in the mail, and while I try not to shop there too often, their freebies tend to lure me in. And let's face it: I'm a total sucker for freebies (not to mention PINK perfume) so they know what they're doing!
If you're as big of a Victoria's Secret fan as I am, you've probably already "liked" them on facebook. They're constantly posting about new additions and events, and you simply can't beat the sales and coupons!

Tuesday, August 24

Twenty Five.

Black Tee
Originally uploaded by Canny Chic
It's that time of year, again! Now is the season that cheesy slogans, super sales, and advertisements as colorful as the leaves on the trees float in the air, luring shoppers into their local department stores with lists longer than ever. That's right, folks: It’s back-to-school time! Accompanied by my Shopping Buddy, I set out today to see just how difficult the annual back-to-fall shopping spree would be, this year. Finding cute clothes for the season is simple. And spending loads of money on them? Well, that's even easier. The real challenge today was to stay on my small budget. After raiding my piggy bank and rummaging through my wallet, I was able to scrounge up $25 to spend on a new fall wardrobe. After a recent adventure into my messy closet, I've come to the conclusion that jeans and dress slacks are not a necessary buy this season. What I do need, however, are new tops. And a new pair of shoes couldn't hurt, either. After all, a girl can never have too many shoes! ;) For $25, I thought this list was pretty do-able, if I shop at the right places, of course. After grabbing a tasty lunch, it was time to put my money where my mouth was!
Armed with my stack of coupons, I walked in the first store: Kohl's. After a quick browse through the clearance racks and a shop around the beauty department, I ended up purchasing a black blazer and some liquid eyeliner. I also got a free "Flirt!" tote, just for purchasing makeup! The short cropped blazer with grey pinstripe cuffs, originally priced at $60.00, was a steal for only 12 bucks today! (I love clearance!!) The eyeliner, originally $12, was a bit of a splurge, costing me about $9. But here's the kicker-after deducting my coupons and discounts at the checkout, my total came down to only $6 for everything! With excitement in the air, my SB and I headed over to our next stop: Wal*Mart. For the quality of their products, I find Wal*Mart's prices to be slightly above average. However, if you're lucky enough to find your size in the clearance section, it's well worth the price! With this in mind, I meandered over to the clearance shoe section and, to my surprise, found a pair of brown knee high boots-in my size! Making this find even better was the low price of $7! To wind up the day of savings, we ventured to the mall for a bit of window shopping. I hadn’t heard of any outstanding sales, so I wasn’t planning on finding a lot for my leftover pocket change of $11.40. Walking into my favorite store H&M, however, changed my preconceptions. For only $5.00 each, I was able to purchase two tops to bring my day’s expenditures to a grand total of $23.60!! Not only did I stay under budget, but I racked up a savings of over $113.00, which can be accredited to having coupons, shopping clearance, and having self control!

Tuesday, August 17

Charlotte Russe

Free Bag!
Originally uploaded by Canny Chic
After a trip to the mall, I have decided that Charlotte Russe might just be my new favorite store! While many of their fashions were a little pricey for my petite budget for the day, their clearance selection was the perfect place to start my back-to-school style search. And at a Buy one, Get one 50% deal, on top of clearance prices, who could walk away empty handed? Certainly not me!! What originally had drawn me into this chic outlet, was a pair of jeans that I had scrounged up a local thrift store only weeks beforehand. My Refuge brand jeans (which cost me only $5.00 at my local thrift store) are those favorites that I pull down and wear everytime they come out of the wash. I found out through a trusty Google search that Refuge brand was sold at the Charlotte Russe outlet. So, of course, I searched the listings of local stores and treked the nearly 90 minute drive to the enchanting store. To my surprise, when I arrived, I couldn't find any, and was disapointed when I came home and learned via facebook that Charlotte isn't selling Refuge jeans anymore!! But, I'm hoping that this isn't true. I am determined to continue searching Google until I find these amazing jeans! "I'm feeling lucky!!" Anyway, my spirits got a pick-me-up when I saw the racks and racks of bargains marked "CLEARANCE". After some difficult decisions and some tough love from my shopping buddy (she keeps me on track!), I walked away with a head start on my fall shopping and I only spent $41. And the bargains didn't stop there; Because I spent over twenty five dollars, I was entitled to either a free Charlotte Russe tee or a handy shopping tote. While the shimmery tee caught my eye, I was informed they had only limited sizes, which unfortunlately did not include any that would flatter my frame. So, I selected the cute bag instead-not a bad deal!! My favorite peice I purchased was a dark blue ruffled flower tee for only $4.99! Unfortunately though, excitement got the better of me, and I put it on to wear to dinner that night, so I wasn't able to get a picture of it before it hit the hamper. But I'll be sure to show you how cute it is as soon as I can!! :) As for the other amazing finds, check out the photo album! All in all, Charlotte Russe was a wonderful place to begin my bargain hunting. Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, August 10

The 5 Necesities For Everyday Style

Originally uploaded by Canny Chic
While t-shirts and sweatpants are a comfortable go-to for couch potato evenings, I find that there are 5 Necessary items for my wardrobe that contribute to outfits of any style for the days where you simply must go out.
The first must have item is a pair of Black Ballet Flats. These simple shoes are the perfect addition to any outfit, casual or dressy. I purchased a pair for only $9.00 at Wal*Mart. Paired with skinny jeans, the shoes scream style! Yet, they convey class when worn with dress slacks or a black skirt.
Item number two goes great with everything from sweaters to blazers to low cut tee shirts. It's the white tank top! I bought one at H&M for only $5.99. It's also a great stand alone peice for a casual summer day out.
Number three on my list of must-have's is a pair of comfy jeans. Every closet needs at least one pair of well-loved jeans. Dark wash is more dressy, so I tend to gravitate to them more, because they can double as casual work wear and anywhere-where! My favorite place to get jeans is the Goodwill. Where I live, they charge about $5 a pair, and when you consider how much one pair of jeans is sold for at a department store, that's a whole lot of savings! When being a thrifty shopper, you have to keep an open mind about where your fab-outfits are coming form. Garage sales, consignment shops, and even the Goodwill can be great places to search for shabby chic treasures. You just have to keep your mind open, and your eyes peeled!
Must have number four is a pair of black dress slacks. With a white tee shirt, they're a casual way to dress at work, or a dinner out. But with a colorful blouse, they're instantly formal enough for a job interveiw or event. Dress slacks may not be what you wear the most, but they will most likely be one peice that lasts a long time. These are worth a small splurge. I purchased a pair at Kohl's for $14.99.
Last, but not least, my fifth must have item for everyday style is your favorite accessory. For me, it's a strand of pearls. I have countless strands, but my favorite is the one pictured. It's short enough to be a little more casual, while still looking classy. I actually purchased these in a 3-pack (they're stretchy, but you wouldn't be able to tell when you're wearing them). I wear them with almost everything. And it was an investment that only costed me a few dollars.
With these five items, you create infinite possibilities within your wardrobe.

Friday, August 6

Canny (adj.)

I will admit it: I'm addicted. I love to shop. I love to scour the racks and mix and match the new trends with vintage finds to create something new that is all my own. The creativity that shopping demands paired with the expression of individuality that it generates, is rewarding, making shopping worth all the sweat of running between the sales. But what I love even more than pairing the perfect combination of peices, is being able to pair those peices while spending next to nothing. Bargin hunting is my true addiction. NOTHING is quite as rewarding as being able to pull together a killer outfit for under $20. But, unfortunately, $20 outfits tend to add up, and credit cards can only cover so much before the guilt of spending sets in. So with this blog, comes my personal challenge: Enjoy shopping and outfit creating without breaking the bank! From now on, I will be the ultimate of Frugal Fashionistas, and the most savy of savers. I will be Canny Chic.
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