Saturday, August 8, 2009

We love Tax-Free Weekend!

This weekend is tax-free weekend in Oklahoma.....which, to many people in this area, is a true blessing! No tax on apparel purchases! And the stores have some great deals on school supplies. We got up early so we could try to beat the crowds. By the time we got to Kohl's, the lines were about 15 people deep. But luckily, the lines were moving really quickly. Mr. Hautemama and I figured out that you have to find the least shopped department and check out there....we went to the jewelry department and did our checking out. Not many people there!

While at Kohl's we found some great deals on Vans jeans for the boys. They don't want the baggy, loose jeans anymore, it's straight leg all the way! I don't like the look of black straight leg jeans (reminds me too much of the goth look when we were in high school) so the boys just bought the dark denim. They actually fit really well on my skinny, long legged boys! Kohl's also had t-shirts on sale for $6.30 and $4.20. We scooped up about 4 or 5 of those. I actually had taken back a couple of dresses I bought for the summer and had a store credit. You have to love store credits, plus Kohl's gives you Kohl's cash back based on the amount of money you spent that day. We also had $20 in Kohl's cash. So, our trip didn't cost hardly anything for about 9 pieces of clothing. I love it!

Some Vans shorts I bought for the boys. Now this is a fad I could get used to-plaid shorts are adorable on little guys!

Adidas pants I need for the Fall now that I don't have to dress up for work!!! I love it! Comfort during the workday! Who knew that really existed!!???
Our next stop was JCPenney's.....Mr. H's favorite store in the world. Can you tell I married an accountant???? He loves a good bargain and absolutely hates to waste money. Sadly, I'm becoming more and more like him! Oh the days of being able to freely waste money on clothes!!!! While at JCPenney, we looked around and found some jeans for my husband (he-he, I love saying that since we got married!) and they were buy one pair and get the second for $1. You cannot beat that deal! We ended paying around $15.50 for each pair of jeans we bought. Awesome! We also used two coupons - one was a mailer and the other was from the internet. That knocked off another 40%!
The last stop was Target where they had a multi-pack of four notebooks for 60 cents! Four notebooks for 60 cents, people! We bought 2 packs. You can never have too many notebooks and at least we'll be prepared when the teacher asks for more school supplies towards the end of the school year. I usually try to buy extra school supplies to help out the teachers here in our little town but this year I didn't do that. Since quitting my full-time job, I'm really careful about how we spend our money. We had a significant cut in our budget but right now I think it's worth it to be with the kids. I know many times teachers have to pitch in their own money to help the kids less fortunate in our area. With the economy in the toilet, there has to be at least a few kids this year that can't afford school supplies, we spent $140 just getting the supplies on the school list. Yuck!
Speaking of saving money, I have a few tips for ya!
Shop the house: Before buying something at the store, make sure to look carefully in the pantry and around the kitchen. Make sure you don't already have it. In the past, I would buy something I thought I needed, only to find it in the back of the pantry! That's wasting money!
Reuse things for a different purpose: Ever used a toothbrush holder as a flower vase? I have and tons of people thought it was adorable!
Decorative idea: For my wedding, we used Ikea vases ($2 each) and filled them with split peas or navy beans and a Dollar General candle - was absolutely stunning....and affordable! Split peas and beans are one of the cheapest things at the grocery store.
Also, buy cheap frames at Dollar General or the Dollar Store and paint them. It doesn't matter if they're gold and you don't like gold, spray paint them black. It's so much cheaper!
Eat more beans: Speaking of beans, eat them at least once a week to save grocery money. There are a ton of different kinds of beans; navy, lima, pinto, split peas. Cook them with some ham and onion, cornbread and some fried potatoes and you have a Southerner's dream dinner!
Generic food: I've started buying the generic Walmart brand....I can't tell the difference. Just be careful and really look at the prices of the generic versus brand name. Sometimes the generic can be more than the good stuff. But, generally speaking, the generic is cheaper. Try Aldi's if you have one in your area, much cheaper. Different brands of food, but actually good food. And, so inexpensive! I even started drinking Sam's Diet Cola.....I can't really tell the difference in taste.

The biggest tip of all: Who cares if all of your friends have an IPhone....I don't. You don't have to have the latest technology in the world. I tell my boys all the time.......
There will always be someone that has more than you...be glad that you have as much as you do....because sadly, there will always be someone who has less than you also.
All in all, I think we had a great day shopping with no taxes! I loved it! The boys are ready for school. After cleaning their closets last weekend, I think they now have more than enough clothes to wear to school. There were shirts that had hardly been worn. This school year I'm putting the clothes that have been worn at the end of the closet and pushing the clothes forward. That way, they wear everything in the closet instead of just grabbing their favorites. We'll see how that works! It'll start a gripe session, I can guarantee it! Ten-year olds apparently really care about what they wear....and Mom (as in, me) just doesn't understand!

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