Thursday, October 27, 2011

We're in Interesting Times

Missy, here. And we're in interesting times. With the economy tanked and so many without jobs, people have had to find ways to make do. Ways to make ends meet, to be thrifty.

I got an interesting promotional email the other day.

Dillard's (for those who don't have them in your area, it's a department store like Macy's), is actually offering a Trade-in event! I don't think I've ever seen such a thing. You can bring in a used handbag or watch and get a discount toward a new one. Up to $50! And what's really cool about it is that they'll donate the used ones to local charity.

It really hit me that it's a sign of the times when one of the finer department stores offers such an event. I imagine a lot of people are choosing to shop at thrift stores and consignment shops these days. Sales are probably down for retail stores, and they're having to offer more bargains. This will be a win-win situation for those wanting to buy a new purse or watch, for the store, and for those who receive the donations.

What have you been doing to cut corners and stretch your dollars? I always look suggestions for how to save money!


  1. Missy, This is interesting, especially after reading an article yesterday on Yahoo. It was about how Americans are economizing on household cleaning supplies and other things, but not accessories. It said that instead of buying a new outfit people are buying new purses and accessories to enhance their wardrobe rather than adding to their wardrobes.

    As for us, we've cut out unnecessary vacations and small fall trips we had planned. I'm not attending writing conferences unless I'm speaking. I'm giving to fewer charities and helping out family members that have been unemployed for a year or longer. I believe family comes first--they are my charity right now--especially when those family members have always done so much for me.

    We're still eating out, but not as often. We'll choose restaurants that don't require tips over those that do and order water over sodas and skip desserts.

    I took a train ride to a book signing in Raleigh rather than driving to cut back on my vehicle when the gas mileage was going to come out to be the same and I could get work done on the train rather than not getting work done b/c I'd be driving.

  2. Jenn, those are some great ways! And most are things we've been doing as well.

    I've never thought to try the train, though. Will definitely check out that option next time!

  3. BTW, that's really interesting to hear about the article on people using accessories instead of buying new outfits. Maybe this promotion will be a hit for Dillard's.

  4. I have Dillards in my area, but must've missed the ad. Oh well, I'm not in the market for a handbag or watch anyway,

    Stretching that dollar, eh? I try to stock up when things I use regularly go on sale. I pretty much live at Walmart, just ask Lindi:-) And I like to use coupons, especially on some of the more expensive stuff like my contact lens solution, face products, body wash, shampoo and conditioner.

    When all else fails, it's beans and rice for dinner. Heck, we like pintos and rice, so we might have them just because.

  5. Hi Missy:

    As someone with lots of retail experience I would never trust a trade-in sale. Here is what the store is most likely going to do. Instead of offering discounts or lower prices to stimulate business, the stores offer trade-ins in lieu of the discounts they would have offered.

    This way they have something new to promote in the ads and they also get the good will of helping charities plus any tax write-off they can claim.

    Normally only higher ends stores can afford to do this. Wal-Mart already has very low prices and could not afford to do this because the trade-ins would be actually real.

    I mean do you believe the car dealer when he says they will give a $3,000 trade-in for any car that you can dive to the dealership?

    Nonetheless, it does sound good to tell your husband that you traded in an old purse for that new one. (Unless he is in retail) : )


  6. Mindy, I also use coupons. And before we go shopping, I always get online to look to see if Macy's, Belk or Dillard's has a shopping pass. Plus, I've learned to keep all the mailed coupons in my purse--like for Kohl's, Bath & Body Works, Old Navy. Nothing makes me madder than to get to a store and know I have a 30% off coupon at home!

    Coupons on a smart phone are a great way to keep up. I can pull up emailed coupons on my phone and show them if I've forgotten the printed copy. :)

  7. LOL, Vince. Actually, my husband would tell me to go shopping in my closet! :)

    You have a good point about the promotion. It would basically just serve to assuage someone's conscience who knows she doesn't really need a new purse or watch. ;)

  8. Ah---yes, Mindy does live at Walmart!
    We aren't eating out very much at all. We do like Applebees 2 for 20--2 full dinners and an appetizer for $20.
    I'm watching where I drive--trying to combine trips--not going out if I don't have to.

    And Vince, I work at a car dealership--of COURSE we'll give you 3 grand for that trade you've towed in--oh, I meant drive in--ha! :)