More Kick-Off Touchdowns, Bargain Hunter Style

costume costumes tjmaxx-sept2010007

I learned my lesson last year.  I waited too long to get the grandkids Halloween costumes.  I had noticed TJ Maxx’s costumes in the past, but I wasn’t in the market for them, and I didn’t know how quickly they fly out the door.  I saw a rack full early in the season last year and thought I’d bring the girls back later when they’d surely mark them down.  It didn’t happen.  TJ Maxx carries beautiful costumes—much nicer than any I’ve seen in the party stores.  I’ve gotten some nice costumes online, too, but at TJ Maxx I’m talking sumptuous. 

I was there on Sunday looking for snow pants—those sell out everywhere before Christmas, so good luck if you wait until you really need them—and I noticed the costumes.  There was a mom trying dresses on her kid over her clothes, grumbling that she’d been there just a few hours ago, went home to get the kid, and now half the stuff was gone.  I figured it was time to strike .  Got the blue dress for the older princess (not my photo, but same dress) and she doesn’t want to take it off.  You can’t see the fitted sleeve or the tulle and hoop underneath, but you get the idea.  Quality fabric and great construction.  The younger one (again, not my photo, not my kids) got the red dress—lots of lace, tulle, the hoop, and the collar stands up if you want to be a vampire queen.  She’s been parading around role playing in a believable Cockney accent.  (Thank you, Harry Potter.) Okay, these were at the high end of the $20-30 range, but they’ll wear them to the Renaissance Festival and play dress up in them until they can’t get into them anymore.  I think it’s a great buy.  So moms and grandmas, hie thee to TJ Maxx before the rack bones are picked clean.

My second killing of the week was 2 pr of sturdy $50 snow boots at Famous Footwear for $35—2 pr!  Last year I let the girls choose prettier ones, and they didn’t hold up.  These are like wearing rubber tires.  They have purple uppers, so the girls are happy, and they were on sale, plus buy 1, get 1 1/2 off, plus  I had a 20% off coupon.  Victory dance!

Third discovery in the Sunday flier—Maybelline Falsies mascara on sale.  I’ve wanted to try it.  Models and beauty contestants swear by Maybelline.  Got the stuff home, couldn’t wait to try it. Yes!  I see a difference.  I got shortchanged in the eyelash department, so this is a good find.

Which brings me to my final point.  Rant, really.  I browse magazines and watch the paper and the Sunday fliers, but TV advertising almost never moves me.  In fact, most of it offends me.  Pharmaceutical ads really get my goat, and the latest one peddles a drug for people who “suffer” from “insufficient eyelashes.”  Huh?  You’re going to risk that list of possible side effects and let somebody apply chemicals to your eyelids for fuller eyelashes?  Stick some of those false babies on for heaven’s sake! 

But here’s the real reason all this bothers me.  I saw a TV special recently–Sanjay Gupta or Anderson Cooper, somebody worth watching–about the shortage of life-saving cancer drugs—not the latest stuff, but the most effective proven drugs they’ve been using for years.  And why?  Because drug companies don’t make enough profit on them.  Why produce a cheap drug that can mean the difference between life and death when you can make more profit on penis or eyelash extender? 

I wonder if we can rein in some of the economic craziness we’re mired in by becoming picky picky picky consumers?  How are we changing our consumer habits?  Let us count the ways.   Tell us more—more tips, more dependable retailers, and more changes you’ve been making.  And where you draw the line. 

ONE BRAVE COWBOY goes on sale around Sept 20, but I’ll draw one name from among today’s commenters for a free autographed copy of one of the earlier books in the series.   

One Brave Cowboy books 2-5 trimmed

About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in advertising, costumes, giveaway, Halloween, Kathleen Eagle, ONE BRAVE COWBOY and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to More Kick-Off Touchdowns, Bargain Hunter Style

  1. Maureen says:

    Wow Kathleen! Those costumes are gorgeous. I can see why your grandchildren love them. Nowadays I do look for sales and deals and spend the time to look at weekly sales. There are a lot of sites that will highlight coupons and offers. I get a couple of them in my e-mail each day and it only takes a minute to look at them and see if there is anything I’m interested in.

  2. Leann says:

    I swear by my favorite coupon site. She’s local, she only posts “rock bottom” deals, and I save a fortune on my groceries each week. As for all other buying, I hate my Target! When I was buying baby formula and diapers I found that by simply going to Walmart by my mom (20 min south of me) I could save $5 PER CAN of formula and another $5-8 on a bag of diapers! I now know for a fact that my local store is higher on just about everything than another Target just 5 minutes away! Taught me to price compare and take a closer look at what stores are around the one I’m thinking of stopping at. TIP: If the store you’re considering shopping at has no competition within a block or two of it, SKIP IT! Competition means lower prices and better customer service.

    • Great suggestion, Leann. I thought Target prices were pretty uniform from store to store. But the two closest to me have plenty of competition. I like Target’s Market Pantry brand for canned stuff. Much cheaper than name brands, but quality is much better than some generics. When I go to nearby super-T I stock up on my canned staples–kidney and other chili-necessary beans, diced tomatoes and like that.

  3. LSUReader says:

    What great buys! I love those dresses. That’s a good reminder of why I shop at these stores (TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, Stein Mart) and am willing to buy great deals when they become available. My closet always has stocks of Christmas and birthday gifts, because I buy something when I see it.

    I comparison shop on-line, too. A lot of places offer free shipping deals. If I’m looking for a specific kids book or DVD, I’ll check Wal Mart on line. Most merchandise can be shipped free to my local store for pick-up. And if I place my order through EBATES, I get a percentage of the sale returned to me as cash. Every little bit helps!

  4. michelehauf says:

    Nice costumes! I had no idea they had stuff like that there. Cool.

    What baffles me about the ads for eyelash enhancement and others, are all these new invented diseases the drug companies want to convince us we need to address. Like the eyelashes. Seriously? And restless leg syndrome? I know it’s probably awful if you have it, but this is something some drug company decided to capitalize on. We haven’t changed much physically in the last hundred years, but look at all the fancy new problems we can ‘cure’ with spendy drugs. (though I will confess I believe we have changed due to poor diets). Anyway, that’s my rant. Just say no to anything that must be advertised on TV, and trust your instincts (and change your diet).

    • I don’t think prescription drugs should be advertised on TV. Doctors have told me that patients think they can come to them and order up a drug they saw on TV. Unfortunately in some places they can. Saw a report recently about FL, where prescription pain meds are available in killer quantities. Meanwhile, I’m really outraged about the shortage of cancer drugs.

      • Marjorie Harper says:

        The drug companies spend more on advertising than they do on research. They also do not compare the new drugs effectiveness against the older, cheaper drug. Since they have put open stocks on the stock exchange, they are more concerned a stock holders and profits than they are about patients. They are also lobbing congress to cripple the supplement industry with the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010. The problem with anything natural is that it can not be patented. In 2007 Ralph W. Moss wrote an article in the New York Times called Patents Over Patients. In it he states that we could make faster progress against cancer by changing the way drugs are developed. Currently if a promising compound can”t be patented, it is highly unlikely ever to make it to the market–no matter how well it preforms in the laboratory. The reason for this problem is that bringing a new drug to market costs approximately $1 billion. To ensure a healthy return on such staggering investments, drug companies seek to formulate new drugs in a way that guarantees watertight patents. So even if a natural product might show it can reduce the size of a tumor by 75%, the pharmaceutical industry will show a total lack of interest. In this climate, penicillin from bread mold would not have been developed!
        I did see an article where Music and Movie actors do a yearly benefit for cancer research and all the funds go to researching alternate therapies. The article said the most current advances were coming from research funded by this money. I wish I had kept the article, but it was probably something I picked up in an office.

    • Leanne Banks says:

      My husband has had restless leg syndrome for many years. His mother also has it. Unfortunately the only real medication for the condition has some un-fun side affects and once you start taking the medication, you’re pretty committed to taking it forever.:/

  5. Keri Ford says:

    Those costumes are AWESOME. Son wants to be Jake from Jake and The Neverland Pirates.

    When I suggested this, who knew they didn’t ahve this costume available??? So I’m playing mix-n-match game and spending more than usual BUT while searching for this costume, I found some GREAT birthday party ideas. I’m hoping we can get double-duty out of this pirate outfit.

    • Keri, I’ll have to do a birthday party ideas post soon.

      TJ didn’t have a lot for boys, but what they had–nice skeleton that glows in the dark (got that one for my grandson), orange suit (NASA, I think), Air Force flight suit, camo outfit, very nice dragon, all well made.

  6. Laney4 says:

    I draw the line at redeeming a coupon just because I have it. If the item isn’t a good price with the coupon, or if it isn’t a good price with being on sale and then using the coupon, I don’t use it. It is often cheaper to buy something else instead. That being said, I buy cheap ketchup for mixing in recipes, but I buy our favourite (Heinz) for fries, burgers, etc.
    The “secret” for me, I guess, is buying in quantity, but not buying too much that it will go bad. I have four adults living at home, and we rarely eat out (way too expensive).
    I cook delicious meals here, oftentimes for company too. I try to bake when the oven is already on with perhaps meat cooking in it already. I just see what temperature is required for the main course, and then I choose a dessert that will fit beside it in the oven at that same temperature (or close to it, as if the meat requires a higher temperature, I just put the meat on the lowest shelf instead). My kids often tease me about how cooking is an “exact science” – well … not for us, anyway.
    Kathleen, I bet your “Prairie Writers Guild” would love to let each other know what recipes work well with each other, etc. Good luck with that!

  7. loisgreimanl says:

    You go girl! Now that you’re back in the trenches of raising kids, you have to be extra smart, I’m sure. I’m so impressed with all you’re doing for the little ‘uns, Kathy.

  8. Leanne Banks says:

    Kathleen, you’re such a wonderful gramma.:) xo, Leanne

  9. MaryC says:

    Beautiful costumes!

    I have noticed that prices at Walmart and Target vary by location – some supermarket chains do too. Some supermarkets in my area do not like to honor coupons printed online due to the growing
    fraud issue.
    I check out the weekly supermarket ads and compare prices to those at the warehouse clubs. For cooking, many of the vegetables and spices I use are much cheaper at the Asian grocery stores –
    ginger is .99 -$1.29 at the Asian store versus $3.99 at the supermarket.

    As for the drug commercials on TV, after listening to all the possible side effects, I would only take it if it was a matter of life or death.

  10. Quilt Lady says:

    I only use coupons on stuff I usually buy I draw the line on buying things I may never use. The biggest problem i have is not having any place to shop. We only have a Walmart and Kroger and believe me when I say our Walmart in higher in prices then other Walmarts. Sometimes Kroger is cheaper then Walmart so I usually hit both stores.

    • Stephenia says:

      Wow, great costumes! My sister always bought the ‘good” kind of costumes like those for her two granddaughters also. Back when they were in the fairy princess stage, they’d wear the costumes almost every day when they came home from school and continue wearing them after Halloween until they were just worn out. Definately a big bang for shopping bucks. I like to price compare online at places like the Gap. My daughter found a coat she liked there last year, tried it on in the store, emailed me the picture and I ordered it online for 40% off on the same day – can’t beat that. Love hearing everyone’s bargain hunting tips.

  11. Kathleen O'Donnell says:

    We have a chain store called Winners that is great for bargains in Canada that is great for getting kids costumes from and other things. Much like your TJ Maxx stores. We also have another store chain which for the life of me the name won’t come to me. I hate getting old. I don’t shop there, so it is not on the tip of my tongue. But it is another store that is great when it comes to getting the kids costumes for Halloween.

  12. Minna says:

    Why buy something if you can get it by swapping? I certainly have always stuff I no longer need, but someone else might. And I’m no stranger to fleamarkets, either. You wouldn’t believe what you can sometimes find there.

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