It’s that time of year again. Clothing retailers fresh off the holiday high are now taking stock, and finding their inventory overflowing and their sales lacking. Their loss, our gain frugal shoppers.
Use those gift cards
Did you get a bunch of gift cards for Christmas? Now is one of the best times to use them, especially if they’re use anywhere cards like Amex or Visa branded. Next up is a short list of retailers to hit before February for the best selection of newly clearanced items.
First up is Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Between January and February, these discount retailers will do massive mark downs during their “yellow tag” clearance events. Be sure to scour every rack, not just the ones marked “clearance”. These stores are giant rummage racks, with different sizes and full price and clearance items sprinkled here and there. Coats and winter accessories are a good target, an excellent time to upgrade an aging winter wardrobe for less. Mid-level designer coats, boots and winter accessories can be found for $20 or less. The best deals are in-store, but don’t skip checking out their online stores too, to grab things that may not be offered in the stores near you. Pro tip, get their credit card and rack up reward dollars on your clearance purchases. Free money is always welcomed.
Next up is Macy’s. Their Last Act offerings will swell in late January and early February. Stock up on previous season leftovers for up to 85% off. And if the store near you has a Back Stage section, be sure to check the racks there throughly. I have scored $10 coats and $5 tops and sweaters from mid-level designers there multiple times. Pro tip, if you are near one of the stores Macy’s will close this year, get in on the liquidation pricing around February for a balance of the best pricing and best selection.
Last is Nordstrom Rack. If you don’t have one near you, check their website. I will warn you, however, their website’s stock on the best priced clearance items is usually low, so if you spot a deal, don’t delay, pull the trigger quickly. Designer shoes, boots and sandals can be found for under $30. Coats and sweaters are also deeply discounted.
What to buy
Classics, classics, classics. That’s the mantra you should chant as you rifle through the clearance racks. Items made of nice materials, cotton, wool, leather, etc. in classic styles should be your target.
The black Merlino wool pullover sweater for $10? Yes! The fast fashion style jeans for $15? No.
The leather upper and sole ballerina flats for $20? Yes! The trendy bling heels with manmade uppers for $12? Absolutely not.
Smart frugalistas don’t waste money on purses that will have loose strings in a year. We wait for the nicer items that last go on clearance. Then we look and feel expensive for cheap.