Honestly, although I do profess do be a bargain shopper - I have never been able to pull something like this off to this extreme before (especially with clothes). So - if you're looking for instructions on how you can go out tomorrow and do the same thing, I'm afraid you might not like my answer. However, maybe you can take some of my tips and it will help you save some money on your quest for a great deal!
It all started with Groupon. They emailed me a special promotion for $10 towards a Groupon. Around the same time, I found there was a $20 Old Navy Groupon for only $10. I used my $10 credit towards that Groupon and got it for free. Groupon also has a referral program which allows you to refer friends and earn $10 credit for each person who creates an account and buys. I ended up with $60 in Old Navy Groupons to spend.
I waited to use these until there were some good sales going on in the store so that I could get more for my money. However, I never expected the deal to be as good as it was. Sunday afternoon, my sister texted me and told me that Old Navy was having a big sale and all of their clearance was marked down an additional 50% . On top of that, for every $20 you spent, they gave you $10 Old Navy bucks to come back and use.
I headed straight to Old Navy the moment I got her text in hopes that I would find me some good stuff. And find me some good stuff I DID! You know how it is with clearance - it can be very hit or miss. Most of the time, for me at least, it's a miss. You are usually left with the clothes that no one else wants to buy, or when you find something cute it's not in your size. Well - not this time! I felt like a kid in a candy store as I pulled item after item off the rack to try on. Most of the items were $5 or less! I'm sure it was a funny sight for the rest of the shoppers to see as I attempted to haul half the store in my arms to the dressing room to try on.
(Now I have to stop here and say that I know there are much bigger needs out there in the world, and I do not at all want to minimize those things with a silly little post about such a minor need in my life. However, I believe that God not only cares about the big stuff in our lives, but also the little stuff. Honestly, other than a small amount at Christmas that was paid with another Groupon - I have not really been clothes shopping in well over a year. I cannot even recall when the last time was. This girl that years ago once frequented the mall so much that the workers in my favorite stores knew me by name has learned how to live with less).
The thing is that I was really coming to the point that I needed a few items, like some jeans. I only have one pair that fit me right now and I wear that same pair ALL of the time - I can't believe I just admitted that - ha! Anyways, as I began to try on my ridiculously ginormous pile of clothes, I began to hang the items up in 3 categories: "HAVE TO BUY", "WANT TO BUY" and "MAYBE". After I had finally tried on my last item, which seemed like hours later, I got out my phone and started adding up the prices of my found treasures, so I could figure out what I could keep and what I would have to part with. Keep in mind that I only had $60 in Groupons to spend, so I was trying to keep the total right around there.
I started with the "HAVE TO BUY" group, thinking for sure I would rack up my $60 there. I literally had tears in my eyes when the total only came out to around $27. Every single one of those items were things that I really needed (like 2 pairs of jeans) and prayed that God would help me to find. I was then able to add all of the "WANT TO BUY" items as well!!! I stopped and thanked the Lord right there and jumped up and down in the dressing room as giddy as a 5-year-old little girl who had just been given a pony! Seriously - I wonder what the sweet young Old Navy employees were thinking as they saw my feet below the door as I did my happy dance. I am laughing out loud right now just thinking about it.
When it was all said and done, with my Groupons, sale prices, an extra discount for a hole I found in one of the tops, and a sweet cashier who allowed me to combine my Groupons with the store promo of Old Navy bucks (they normally don't allow this), I paid $21 and got back $30 in Old Navy bucks for a net of $9!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!
I know without a doubt that God orchestrated all of this in order to provide for me in a very practical way. He truly does care about our EVERY need no matter how big or small. This doesn't mean He is going to give us everything we want. He knows what is best for us and what we truly need. The truth is that in the big scheme of things, I didn't REALLY need new clothes - but just like a loving earthly father takes great delight in giving gifts to his children, our Heavenly Father loves to do the same for us. He chooses many different ways to do this, as each of us are special and unique, but I think His heart bursts with joy every time He gets to shower us with undeserved blessings like this. I honestly think He was in that dressing room jumping up and down with me! ;0)
Okay - so there you have it. One very long post with a very long explanation - if you are still reading this at this point, I applaud you. I will be back with some posts that have a little more depth to them soon. :)