Today’s post is by Aimee Heckel of ShopAtHome.com.
I’m not going to say my favorite part about being a mom is dressing up my daughter in bows, sparkles and satin ribbons, but I’m not going to say it’s not, either. I know I’m working against the clock. This Easter, she’ll be freshly 4. And I know the time bomb has already started ticking for the day my kid is mortified by everything about me, especially the clothes I pick out for her. Moms don’t know anything, you know. Until every child turns 22.
I’m a seize-the-day kind of mom, so this year my munchkin is going to Easter service dressed up fluffier than a stick of cotton candy dipped in clouds dipped in Dolly Parton’s hair. After all, it may very well be my last chance. But my desire — nay, motherly need – to swathe my child in the most beauteous and impractical garb possible directly conflicts with my practicality. I know it’s financially irresponsible to drop big bucks on a dress she’ll only wear once, probably for only 13 minutes of the service.
But — sparkles! My solution: lots of pictures up front and smart shopping.
Here are my favorite ways to save money on gorgeous Easter clothing for the kiddos. Because a good bargain has been known to keep me out of the confession booth.
1. Shop online. I know it seems fun to touch and try on clothes at the store, but, reality check, shopping with kids is actually Dante’s 10th Circle of Hell. Save the gray hairs and do your browsing in your PJs after they go to bed. Best of all, you can save money by shopping online. Many stores offer online-only specials and coupons.
2. Use coupons. I know you’re busy. But this does not have to be a time-consuming, stressful thing involving scissors, binders, folders, tabs and the Dewey Decimal System. My favorite place to find all the best coupons for babies and kids stuff in one organized place is www.shopathome.com/savings/babies-and-kids-coupons. Browse by store (I’m pretty sure every online store in the vast Interwebs is on here) or by category (hint: Go straight to “kids clothing”). Here, you can find pages of coupons for stores like Macy’s, Gap, The Children’s Place, JC Penney and more.
3. Pair coupons with Cash Back. Oh no, another step, right? Nope. The only “work” you have to endure is the 15 seconds it takes to sign up for an account on ShopAtHome.com (you can even log in with Facebook). Once you’re logged in, simply find the store you want to shop, pick the coupon you want to use and click. You’ll be redirected to the store’s website, just like Google would redirect you, and your purchase is tracked. ShopAtHome will automatically bank the Cash Back in your account and send you a check once you’ve reached $20 (trust me, this happens quickly).
Cash Back seriously adds up. I’ve seen it higher than 10 percent. Right now, JCP is offering 9 percent Cash Back. So take that $40 dress you are wincing to buy for your daughter’s Easter dress. Pick your favorite of more than 250 coupons, like an exclusive deal for 10 percent off your entire purchase and save $4. Then, get another 9 percent Cash Back off that price – nearly $3 more savings – and that dress is suddenly marked down low enough to feel like you’re shopping your own personal sales rack.
Not a total sin. Which frees up your conscience to steal a handful of those jelly beans, right?