My friends all know that I am the self-proclaimed “cheapest person I know.” I typically shop at thrift stores and yard sales rather than malls. However, the one exception is Kohl’s department store.
Since I first started shopping there about a dozen years ago, it has become my go to place for anything that I want to purchase new, whether it be clothes, small appliances or gifts for friends. But remember, I still have my title as a cheapskate to uphold, so I have a number of strategies that I employ to get what I want and save enough money to uphold my reputation.
Using the following methods, I bought over $600 worth of clothes for my daughter for Christmas for less than $150.
1. Get a Kohl’s credit card
Now, like most thrifty people, I abhor credit card debt and the high interest rates it carries. But having a Kohl’s card costs no annual fees and entitles you to all sorts of special benefits that you’d otherwise miss out on. But here’s the trick: don’t leave the store with a balance still on your card. Instead, buy what you want, charge it to get the discount being offered, and then go to customer service and pay off the balance. No finance charges, no trying to remember to pay the bill.
2. Get coupons
Once you have a Kohl’s card, you will begin to get regular Kohls coupons in the mail. Be sure to give them your e-mail too, so you can get deals that way, too.
3. Stack coupons
When you get a new set of coupons, look them over carefully, noting the date that each begins and ends. Sometimes there are two coupons that overlap and can be used together. This is rare, but it’s worth looking into.
4. Research online
With your coupons in hand, go online and check sales schedule for your store. Typically there is one perfect day when the best coupon overlaps with the best sale. This is the day you want to shop.
5. Preview your purchases
If possible, go to the store the night before and pick out what you want. Then ask them to hold it for you overnight. Most stores will do this but even if they wont, you already know where your best deals are located.
6. Kohl’s Cash
In addition to markdowns and coupons, Kohl’s also offers Kohl’s Cash, typically a $10 certificate for each $50 spent. Note that this is for EVERY $50 spent, not purchases over $50, so you get a $20 certificate for spending $100, etc.
7. Don’t rush
Here’s a secret. The Kohl’s cash will say that it is good for a certain week, usually the week following the sale where they are issuing it. But that is not the only week you can use the certificates. They can be used any time after that week. I have never had a problem with the cashier knowing this, but if she doesn’t, ask to see the manager.
8. Put it all together
So, let’s look at a scenario. My son wanted a new suit. It was originally $250, but was on sale for 30% off, making it $175. I charged it because I had a coupon for 20% off my total purchase if I used my card. That made the suit $140. I also bought a pair of headphones that had been $20 but were on sale for $10. Since the $20 percent off applied to them, too, my total was $148, so I picked up a little trinket for $2.50 to bring my total to just over $150, netting me $30 in Kohl’s cash. The next week I came back and bought a shirt and tie, originally totaling $50 but on sale for $30, for free. Total value of suit, shirt, tie, earphones, trinket: $322.50. My cost: $150. Savings: $172 or 53%.
9. Don’t forget the clearance racks
These are some of the best in the business, with markdowns of 60-80%. When paired with a 20% off coupon, the items can be nearly free.
10. Don’t panic
If you miss one sale, there will be another one next week. So don’t fall into the trap of feeling that you missed the sale, so you may as well pay full price.
Be sure to check for Kohl’s coupons online!
Guest Author Bio: Susan Mathis can’t resist a good deal. When not at Kohls she spends her time at home with her husband, two youngest children, 1 dog, 2 cats and an occasional visiting bunny.