Labor Day Bargain Hunting 101

Labor Day: the wonderful, amazing, exciting time of year when nearly every store you bop into offers deals on almost everything storewide; I refer to Labor Day weekend shopping as the mecca of deal finding. Let me outline my shopping experience to give you an idea what we’re working with.

My sister joined me for a sister-time extravaganza. On the agenda: World Market and Target. We did both need a few things, but our main goal was to have a good time together during our days off of work. We made a pact that only items which met one of the two criteria would be purchased: 1. We absolutely needed it (this does infer need, not want, to clarify) and/or 2. It was such an amazing bargain that we’d almost feel bad not purchasing it. You know what I’m talking about.

Upon sauntering into the store, we immediately stumbled upon some cutesy fake succulent plants in a hang jar: adorable. Turning over the price tag, I was pleasantly surprised to see a red sticker – insta-glory. Red sticker price was a cool $1.98, a 50% discount off of its original price of $3.99. Barely thinking, two found their way into the cart. We moved on to clearanced end of season summer items. A cute blue candle holder for $2.98 – a little more than I would have liked to pay – nagged me to nab him. Three items in the cart so far, although item #3 (blue candle holder) was still on the fence. He was along for the ride until crunch time at the register. There were many more deals and discounts a plenty, including 50% off of what I can only assume is a discontinued style picture frame, 25% off World Market brand chocolate bars (sea salt and dark chocolate anyone?!), clearanced “expiring soon” food items, and 50% off Dutch wafer cookies. Melt-in-your-mouth Dutch goodness at a discount. You can’t get much better than that.  I did splurge on a $2.99 bottle of Banana Bread Beer brewed by Charles Wells Brewery in the U.K., which either sounds like the best idea in the world or one of the worst things I’ve ever put in my mouth. Verdict is still out on that one. There may be a later blog post dedicated to my review. I tend to get a little nervous at the checkout. You never know if all of the prices are accurate…what if the associate tasked to posting markdowns made a horrible mistake, and the chocolate bar wasn’t in fact 25% off? Oh the horror! But, I was rapidly swept into Dutch Heaven, as you can only imagine my joy when the blue candle holder that was on deck rang in at half off of the already massively discounted price. It wasn’t the marked $2.98, but – wait for it – a measley $1.49! May the cherubs sing their hymns. Out the door total: $26 for 14 items (after my additional 15% World Market Explorer coupon), and not feeling too terrible about the items I didn’t actually need.

On to store #2, which I approach with guards up at all times. Target has always, and forever will be, on my list of eternal weaknesses. I’m not entirely sure how to explain it, as it’s really no different any other store. Everything you need under one roof, but somehow I end up spending so much more here. There is a Facebook group aptly named “Target Addicts,” of which I am obviously a member of. It does seem to be a universal problem. At least it’s not just me. (breathe in, breathe out.)

First and foremost: do not step any farther into the doors without hitting up the dollar section. To the marketer at Target who decided this would be a great idea, I SALUTE YOU. Quality of items is typically much better than items from Dollar General or Dollar Tree, and it is all so cute and season-appropriate. Three items immediately go into the cart, and I know they’ve sucked me in once again, less than two minutes in. The 70% off clothing clearance section was next, as in my typical fashion, I sweep right past the regular-priced items (why buy full price when you can get clearance?! A mystery I’ll never solve.), to of course find at least three items I don’t actually need, (as my husband will attest after a simple glance at my overly-stuffed closet), but I certainly cannot pass up at these prices. Onto the seasonal corner, where the heavenly gates opened up: basically everything was on sale. Having recently gotten married, and attempting to slowly but surely transform my husband’s bachelor pad into a homey “country chic” house bit by bit and piece by piece, I stocked up on weed killer, a new hose, gardening tools and grilling tools at 50% off. My sister invested in a grill for $200, which was less $125 off original price. At this point, I’m sweating. Not due to stress or angst, but simply because my excitement is catching up to me. And I can’t shut it down. Don’t even get me started on kitchen and home items, which I will refer to as the “unmentionables” of this trip (all clearance items, of course). Grabbed a few necessary paper items on the way out, and in the checkout line, as tradition holds, I search the Target Cartwheel app for items and brands in my cart. BOOM, another $3 saved. Combine this with the mascara manufacturer’s coupon I clipped a month ago and my Target RedCard (save 5% off your order! I like to think of it as basically cancelling out tax).

Labor Day Deals Summary
Stop #1: $26
Stop #2: $68 (Target, your stronghold continues!)
Grand Total: $94 (not to mention the endless laughs and memories made with my sister)

BONUS: Since my Target purchase was on a credit card, I have plenty of time to plan for the payment with no interest.

Another successful Labor Day in the books. And so, my thrifty soul can rest for a bit until fall and Halloween clearance time arrives…

  • the thrifty hollander



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