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Old 05-04-2012, 10:50 PM   #46
Blackbeltdisneygirl
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Alternative money saving: How to save on clothes:

Please see edit to post #1. I will edit it right after I finish this post.

I decided to expand this thread a bit to include not only ways to save up for Disney, but also to include alternative ways of saving on everything, bills, utilities, clothes, food, etc... My reasons for doing this will be explained in my edited post. I look forward to learning how everyone else lives their lives in a tough economy. What ways have you come up with to make ends meet????

This first post in the alternative methods posts will cover clothing. How do you save on clothing in your family? I may repeat some things I have said in previous posts, but I want to provide links in post #1 that come directly to the main posts about each area of alternative saving methods. If we get a lot of great ideas, I will then add those ideas to my list so as to give everyone awesome new ideas.

1. My first method is one I have mentioned before. I often shop resale. Many people frown on this, and I used to be one of them. When I was in jr. high, people got made fun of for shopping at K-mart or at yard sales, so I grew up very against these things. I was one of the ones getting picked on. I decided at that time to make my own money and buy my own things so I wouldn't be picked on anymore. I missed out on a lot of opportunities by completely ignoring resale shopping. My wardrobe could've been a lot bigger. It is all in how you shop at a resale store or a yard sale that matters. Here are my tips on how to shop smart at these kind of places:

a. I have two methods for shopping that seem to work for me in picking cool clothes. The first being: I let my eye roam the racks for items that stick out to me. Usually if a fabric sticks out at me, there is a good chance I will like it. The second being: If I have time, I will look at each item on the rack, moving through them at a fast pace. Again, what sticks out, I look at more closely.

b. Inspect items closely: I check for tears, stains (especially in the pit area), etc... If I love the item and it has a tiny tear or stain, I decide if I can fix it. If I can't, I don't buy it. Some stores won't go down on prices for a stain, so if the price is higher and there is a flaw, I won't buy it. At a yard sale I like to haggle with the person for a lower price, pointing out the issue with the item.

c. Look for brand names/designer labels. Let someone else spend the big money. Then when they get rid of it, it is your job to swoop in and pay a quarter for something they paid $35 for. I don't know if I mentioned this, but I once hit a garage sale that had clothing in my daughters' sizes (teen clothes), and they were all American Eagle, Limited, Justice, Gap, Charlotte Russe, etc... The woman was charging $1.00 per item. Thank you very much ma'am. I bought 35 items I think for $35.00. I walked out with two beautiful wool trench coats for church, and 32 sweaters, camis, and shirts. Each item looked like it had never been worn.

*EDIT* This tip is from Trixidixie: We go to thrift stores (that was how I was raised) and buy newer-like clothing at a fraction of the cost. It does make a huge difference at the register. We do this for DS and DH and I buy online on Ebay (Dealzone) for tops at a fraction of the cost elsewhere. For example, Dealzone has tops on sale for around $18 but when I get them, the tags read somewhere in the $69 to $90 range. A huge savings. My girlfriend keeps asking me where I get the great tops and I tell her! I also tell her the prices too.... Sure beats anywhere else (non-online).


2. For younger kids clothing, find an outlet store. Not only did I shop at resale shops and yard sales for my kids' clothes, but also outlet malls. When my oldest kids were small I spent TONS of money on Gap, Osh Kosh, Nike, Carters, Gymboree, etc... At least I got my money's worth as all the girl clothing was worn by my 4 girls, my niece, and my cousin. I wish I could've made better choices then though. I discovered our local outlet mall had Carters, Osh Kosh, and Children's Place in it. My hubby and I once went there and bought 139 items for $79.00. Yeah buddy!!!

3. Create more modest clothes. My daughters are very modest. Not that they cover up head to toe, but they do like their shorts longer and their shirts to not show anything. I think we can all see that a lot of clothes in the stores do not follow those guidelines. My 8 year old almost had a heart attack when we walked into Justice once and there were underwear that were very nearly thongs for little girls. Sick. We won't shop there. I was faced last year with having to buy my two older girls walking shorts (just above the knee is their preference) for $12.99 each for Disney. I had a couple pairs in a shopping cart online and then realized that for what I was paying, I could get only a couple pairs since they both wear roughly the same size, and I would have to get each of them a couple pairs. That is when I started looking through their old jeans and decided to take the ones that still fit in the waist but not the length and cut them into shorts. I rolled them up, put a couple stitches in them, and they looked like brand new walking shorts!!! For someone who is a little challenged in the sewing area, the same thing can be accomplished with hem tape. You can go to a local sewing/craft store and pick some up, and it just irons on to seal the hem. If anyone would like a tutorial on that, let me know and i will pick up some hem tape and take pictures of the process. Now we go to resale shops, buy brand name jeans, and hem them up! So cheap, so cute.

4. Make your own Disney shirts. I buy plain t-shirts all through the year as I come across them. Today I stumbled on some when I walked down an aisle at Walmart when I was buying a paper cutter, We were looking for plain purple tees, and there they were! Right in the craft aisle for a couple bucks! I had picked some up months before for the kids at $1.28 a shirt on the discount rack at Target. When the adults decided purple was a good color for our family shirts, I thought it would be rough finding them. Yay!! Look in places you may not be used to. I found cheap shirts at Walgreens one day. They were 4 for $10.00. Not bad. Save them up until you are ready for your shirt projects, and you will be glad you saved so much on them by buying throughout the year. I also went a step further and bought an embroidery machine, but that was an expense, not a money saver. It will save us money in the long run though since I spent close to $200 on transfers last year.

5. Use coupons. I am pooh sized, so I shop at Lane Bryant. They have fantastic coupons that can be used in combination with sales. I save so much money since it is necessary for me to buy there. i know some of you may think this is TMI, but it qualifies as a money saver, so I am going to say it anyway! Since my "girls" are on the very large side, I have to buy my bras at Lane Bryant. Some of you may have to as well, or you may be able to buy elsewhere. In either case, look for sales and stock up. LB offers buy one get one half off sales and sometimes they offer a buy two get two free sale. That one is my favorite. My point is, I can use those sales in combination with a coupon to save a lot of money. By purchasing 6-8 bras this way, I can wear them all year, and they don't wear out as easily as if I buy 2 at a time.

*EDIT*: I got a private message from someone suggesting that Kohls.com also sells them in larger sizes and that they often run sales. I will leave that person's name off unless they give me permission to use their name. Thanx for the tip!!!

6. If you have the time, hang your clothes on a line. I will address this later on when we talk about utilities, but it also helps clothes last longer. I have always done some version of this, even when I was in high school. I find my clothes line time to be the most peaceful time of my day. There's something wonderfully calming about doing something that people have done for centuries. Keeping clothing out of the dryer not only saves money on utilities, but also on replacing worn out clothes. Darks hold their color longer, whites become whiter from being in the sun, material holds up longer, etc... It is just so good for your clothes. I hang all my kids' flame retardent clothing even in winter b/c some fabric softeners and dryer sheets can take the flame retardency out of the clothes. i have my hubby put a hanging rod in every laundry room I have had, including when I only had a closet for my washer and dryer. I hang clothes I don't want to iron, pjs with flame retardency on the label, etc...

*EDIT* This is a post from LovesTimone, who has very similar ideas to my own. I thought I would include this post as affirmation that this method works!:
As far a clothes go I outlet shop, Ross, Marshalls, T-J Maxx and clearance rack shop in major dept stores. I don't buy just to buy. (I like this point! BBDG) I just scored a jacket, sweater, running pants, 2 long sleeve shirts, a white strappy summer top and a nice t-shirt for 50.00 dollars at a local dept store. Sweet..

But I would like to talk about washing clothes.

Do's - Use a good product's for me it's tide, downy, and spray and wash with resovle. I find that I can use less and not have to rewash items, which saves money! I shop the sales ads and stock up and use my coupons. Sometimes target will have a store coupon and you can use a mgr. coupon for added savings.
I turn all my jeans and dark clothes inside out when washing it helps keep the color from fading.

Don'ts - I don't use my dryer very much. This is a energy saver on the light bill. But mostly I do it to save my clothes. I stretch out and shape all my shirts and lay on top of the dryer, I never ever dry my jeans or dress pants or lingerie. The way clothes are made now, they are made not to last, how many times have you bought a shirt, it fit great in the fitting room you wash and dry it and it doesn't fit so great or it's to wide or too short? It's the way that the fabric is cut, to get more pieces per bolt. so by stretching and shaping and not putting in the dryer the fabric doesn't contract or tighten up. It also help with the wear and tear on the garment overall.

For instance my BFf and I both bought a TH black polo shirt. mine is still black and her's is starting to fade, the only difference is I use tide and do not put it the dryer. (end of post)

Well, I think that is a good start. I am sure I have other things that have just become so natural that I can't remember them right now. I will edit if I remember. Please, add your ideas, and we can all help each other to save for more Disney trips!!!!
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Last edited by Blackbeltdisneygirl; 06-18-2012 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:32 PM   #47
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What would you guys like to talk about next? We could talk about bartering for services and items, or we could talk about something else. Anyone have any preferences?
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:29 AM   #48
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I take 10% of each cheque and out it into savings before it hits the bank. then I take $50 every 2 weeks and put it into a high interest tfsa. I also budget my paycheque and any extra/leftover goes into the tfsa.

I sell all my old textbooks for a low cost to other students as I have a bursary that pays for my books. The money I make from that goes in my account and I usually sell them all because they are so much cheaper that anywhere else.

I make the things my friends love on pinterest but don't have time to make. They pay me by making a donation to my trip.

I take about 70% of my tax return and put it in my trip fund. I also put any get rebate cheques I get into my savings.

I roll all my mom's change for her. She will usually split it with me then.

I have started hand washing my car at my parents house so the money from car washes in the spring/summer will go into my change bin.

Lastly I sometimes put myself on a restricted budget and anything extra I consider buying, I refuse and out 50% of the cost into a special fund that I then split between my trip and car repair fund
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:59 AM   #49
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I recently read, and plan to check next time I go, that you can buy Disney gift cards using your Target debit card and receive 5% off! Apparently, they are not considered gift cards at Target, so they qualify for the 5% off. For those of you that shop Target and don't have this card, get it! It pulls directly from your checking account and gives you 5% off every purchase! Then, for every 5 prescriptions you fill, you get an additional 5% off everything! I just got my additional 5%, so I'm going to stock up on Disney cards for our trip!!

Also, I am allowed to work overtime at my job. I know what my normal paycheck is, and I transfer anything extra to our savings.

We do other stuff already listed like a monthly transfer to savings ($75) and the coin jar (my husband's a bartender so that adds up fast for us). Also, we secret shop which gives about $50 a month!

I'm so excited too and I have to share! We bought our home last summer through a foreclosure. They estimated the taxes based on the previous taxes but the estimate was way off apparently. I checked the mail this weekend and our payments go down $150 starting next month!! You know where that money's going! Also, to make up for the difference, they cut us a check for almost $3000 dollars! WAHOOO!!! We're going today to buy some bikes for my husband and oldest son from the resale store and then the rest is going straight to savings!! What an amazing, unexpected gift!
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:26 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontthrowsand View Post
I take 10% of each cheque and out it into savings before it hits the bank. then I take $50 every 2 weeks and put it into a high interest tfsa. I also budget my paycheque and any extra/leftover goes into the tfsa.

I sell all my old textbooks for a low cost to other students as I have a bursary that pays for my books. The money I make from that goes in my account and I usually sell them all because they are so much cheaper that anywhere else.

I make the things my friends love on pinterest but don't have time to make. They pay me by making a donation to my trip.

I take about 70% of my tax return and put it in my trip fund. I also put any get rebate cheques I get into my savings.

I roll all my mom's change for her. She will usually split it with me then.

I have started hand washing my car at my parents house so the money from car washes in the spring/summer will go into my change bin.

Lastly I sometimes put myself on a restricted budget and anything extra I consider buying, I refuse and out 50% of the cost into a special fund that I then split between my trip and car repair fund
Sounds like you have a great plan in place! I like the Pinterest idea. I don't personally spend a lot of time on it, but I could see myself looking into what people are pinning most and making things to sell at the flea market. Thanx for the idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halloween Baby View Post
I recently read, and plan to check next time I go, that you can buy Disney gift cards using your Target debit card and receive 5% off! Apparently, they are not considered gift cards at Target, so they qualify for the 5% off. For those of you that shop Target and don't have this card, get it! It pulls directly from your checking account and gives you 5% off every purchase! Then, for every 5 prescriptions you fill, you get an additional 5% off everything! I just got my additional 5%, so I'm going to stock up on Disney cards for our trip!!

Also, I am allowed to work overtime at my job. I know what my normal paycheck is, and I transfer anything extra to our savings.

We do other stuff already listed like a monthly transfer to savings ($75) and the coin jar (my husband's a bartender so that adds up fast for us). Also, we secret shop which gives about $50 a month!

I'm so excited too and I have to share! We bought our home last summer through a foreclosure. They estimated the taxes based on the previous taxes but the estimate was way off apparently. I checked the mail this weekend and our payments go down $150 starting next month!! You know where that money's going! Also, to make up for the difference, they cut us a check for almost $3000 dollars! WAHOOO!!! We're going today to buy some bikes for my husband and oldest son from the resale store and then the rest is going straight to savings!! What an amazing, unexpected gift!
Good tip about Target. I personally don't use it, but my mom does. I prefer to get my cards at Giant Eagle for the Fuelperks, but a lot of people don't have a GE near them, so that was a great idea! Thanx!

We bought a foreclosure in July! We were advised to wait till next year to pursue the tax change. I can't remember why, but they wanted 2011's amount the house was bought for to show up when they reevaluated. Our house was sold a couple of years ago for $166,000, and we bought it for $67,900, so the difference in taxes is going to be pretty significant. Maybe we will get reimbursed too. I won't count on it, but it would be nice. I will actually be talking a bit about buying a fixer upper in a later post. Good deal! Glad you got a nice bonus!!!
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:26 PM   #51
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My girls are only 4, but we do clothing swaps. Thankfully there are 2 in my neighborhood, one organized by the neighborhood association (since there are a ton of kids) the other by a church group. Both are free, you bring your outgrown items and swap them for new items. I just got my kids a summer wardrobe for free this weekend. I have another swap next month, so I'll go through and see what else I can get rid of. I think I've spent $100 on clothing since they've been born.

For shoes, every time I go to Target, I check their clearance. about 2 years ago, when they were 2yo, I found sneakers on clearance for $3.74/pair. I got them each a pair in every size up until they're about 6yo. My kids have one pair of sneakers, one pair of nice shoes. That's it.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:30 PM   #52
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i put the money i Used to spend on a pack of smokes every day into a savings acct and at the end of the year when i'm ready to book my trip i have the money to pay for it
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:17 AM   #53
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i put the money i Used to spend on a pack of smokes every day into a savings acct and at the end of the year when i'm ready to book my trip i have the money to pay for it
That's awesome! That's what made me quit too. I tallied up how much I spent each year on smokes and I almost fell over when I realized it was almost $2K!
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Butterbunkins View Post
We put away $100 per month by buying Disney gift cards. DH and I each do $50 and we use the gift card website. They have a huge selection so we find ones we think the other would like. You can also personalize them and use your own pictures. So this month I used a picture of our house since we celebrated the 1st anniversary of buying our first home. It serves two purposes: money saving for the trip and everytime we get a card it gets us that much more excited for our trip!

For my birthday one of my gifts was an extra GC above the $100 we got that month. When DH's birthday comes in Aug. I'm going to get him Lego store GC since he collects Legos and we always stop at the one in DTD when we're there.

And we have a change jar.
When you get the gift cards do you keep them to use at the parks? OR can you use them to pay for your vacation thru Disney? I do the change jar too.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:05 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimilady View Post
My girls are only 4, but we do clothing swaps. Thankfully there are 2 in my neighborhood, one organized by the neighborhood association (since there are a ton of kids) the other by a church group. Both are free, you bring your outgrown items and swap them for new items. I just got my kids a summer wardrobe for free this weekend. I have another swap next month, so I'll go through and see what else I can get rid of. I think I've spent $100 on clothing since they've been born.

For shoes, every time I go to Target, I check their clearance. about 2 years ago, when they were 2yo, I found sneakers on clearance for $3.74/pair. I got them each a pair in every size up until they're about 6yo. My kids have one pair of sneakers, one pair of nice shoes. That's it.
Tried to respond to everyone last night, and my computer froze!!! Argh! Anyway, I wish we had clothing swaps in our area, that would be awesome. Good for you that you found such a valuable resource!

Aaaahhhh....shoes. I do the same. I buy whatever I can at a low price and get as many as I can. I will own up to the fact that my kids probably have more shoes than I do though. That is due in large part to the facts that I find them dirt cheap, and that a lot of times they can be handed down to my other girls. Since I always want them to have new shoes too, they have the hand-me-downs for play shoes, and I buy their other shoes for the season. I usually only buy tennies once a year, and I spend a bit more on those. I buy them at the end of the summer/beginning of the school year so they will last the whole year (usually). I buy them flip flops from Old Navy when they are $1.00, and they wear them all summer. My theory is that it gives their toes extra free space to grow as much as they want! Then we go to a store locally that offers buy one get one half off to buy the tennies, and take advantage of the summer shoe clearance for next year. I buy Crocs and Tevas on ebay brand new to get them cheaper, and usually buy each kid one pair of dress shoes for Easter and Christmas for them to wear the whole season. I think my shoe issue is that my feet are so bad (I was nearly disabled about 5 years back) that I am always nervous that my children will develop the same issues I have. I had to have my tennis shoes specially fitted and they cost me $150. I also practically live in Crocs, so I am always looking on Ebay, and sometimes even buy them full price (GASP!!!) from the website b/c I need them to be able to walk. Somehow you managed to find the one sore spot in my budget! My feet!! It is what we spend the most money on in our home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by budcollector View Post
i put the money i Used to spend on a pack of smokes every day into a savings acct and at the end of the year when i'm ready to book my trip i have the money to pay for it
Quote:
Originally Posted by chimilady View Post
That's awesome! That's what made me quit too. I tallied up how much I spent each year on smokes and I almost fell over when I realized it was almost $2K!
I love that you both turned something negative into such a wonderful positive!!! Good for you! You should be very proud!!! I should've thought of that when I broke my Coca-Cola habit last year!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dealia View Post
When you get the gift cards do you keep them to use at the parks? OR can you use them to pay for your vacation thru Disney? I do the change jar too.
I know you didn't ask me, but I have the answer!!! Pick me, pick me!!!!

I personally do both. I pay for my trip with the cards AND I use them in the parks. We usually charge everything to our rooms on our KTTW cards, and pay it down with gift cards at the front desk every few days so they don't ever have to charge our debit card we have on file. That way I get free gas for buying the cards at our grocery store.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:45 AM   #56
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Dvc

Everyone has shared fab ideas on saving money in general. We bought into DVC in 2008 AFTER we had just paid $8000 for a 5 night stay at Port Orleans and then 4 nights on DCL....that was half the cost of ownership at DVC!!

I sat down the other night and added up what we would have paid cash for our stays at WDW, DL and DCL in the past 4 years and we are by far ahead now. By at least $3400 now.

We have used the DDP and also have decided to pay as we go. We save the receipts and compare the differences. Whether we are there for 5 or more days or just two, we ALWAYS save money with DDP.

By doing this, we use our spare money to pay off student loan debt.

I am also a couponer, sale buyer, thrift store consignee, eat at home, use home made laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent and use only Windex, Clorox and a steam cleaner for house cleaning. It helps save money throughout the year.

Happy savings
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:55 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by weezyree View Post
Everyone has shared fab ideas on saving money in general. We bought into DVC in 2008 AFTER we had just paid $8000 for a 5 night stay at Port Orleans and then 4 nights on DCL....that was half the cost of ownership at DVC!!

I sat down the other night and added up what we would have paid cash for our stays at WDW, DL and DCL in the past 4 years and we are by far ahead now. By at least $3400 now.

We have used the DDP and also have decided to pay as we go. We save the receipts and compare the differences. Whether we are there for 5 or more days or just two, we ALWAYS save money with DDP.

By doing this, we use our spare money to pay off student loan debt.

I am also a couponer, sale buyer, thrift store consignee, eat at home, use home made laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent and use only Windex, Clorox and a steam cleaner for house cleaning. It helps save money throughout the year.

Happy savings
Sounds like you have a great plan in place as well. We hope to one day either buy DVC or another house in FL. I think I would prefer DVC though! We want to pay our house off in under 10 years, so in order to do that, no DVC for me!!! We always save money on the dining plan as well. Taking 7 in our immediate family and 12 total makes for a nice savings on dining! We like going during free dining, so we save that way. When I figure my trips, I always figure them with free dining. We have never gone without it. I know you can't do that with DVC, but since we don't own DVC yet, it works out well for us. Disney AND free food???? The best things together? Paradise.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:19 PM   #58
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We save $$'s for 7 years - and then finally can go to WDW
Hey, every penny saved goes into our magical dream account

Plus every 7 years - there is something new to see at WDW
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:29 PM   #59
Blackbeltdisneygirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pooh2001 View Post
We save $$'s for 7 years - and then finally can go to WDW
Hey, every penny saved goes into our magical dream account

Plus every 7 years - there is something new to see at WDW
No matter how long it takes to get there, what's important is that you get to be at Disney!
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2010: POR 7 days, 2011 split stay: POR 4 days CSR 7 days, 2012: CBR 12 days, 2013: POR 9 days, 2014: 12-14 days AoA???
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:19 AM   #60
dawnmichele
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My Target (in Lawrence, KS) doesn't sell Disney gift cards. When I asked they looked at me like I was crazy. When I told them about people buying them with the Target card to save 5% they told me I couldn't put gift cards on a credit card. What's with all that, I wonder. Anyone else have a Target that doesn't sell cards? I know I can get them online, but since my credit card has been used two different times by strangers illegally, I'm worried about buying stuff online. Anyone know anywhere else I might buy them?
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