Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Spring Shopping is Coming (am I ready?)

Busy day, but fun! I got to scrapbook, but didn't finish a whole layout, so no pix to post. Maybe next time.. I had lunch with my friend Carla at US Pizza-it was sooo good (Veggie Pizza with such a chunky sauce, crunchy crust, and hot stringy cheese, mmmmm!), then ran by Rick's Bakery for some sweets for my sweet mom, then by Harp's to pick up her blood pressure medicine. I'm sure she needed it with Ethan! I don't think he took a very long nap-he was already up when I got back!

I've printed the coupons I need for this weekend (I'm meeting my friend Angie in Branson Friday. We'll shop-til-we-drop till Sunday. We get away twice a year to clothe our families and feed that shopping dragon that lays dormant most of the year!). We have a sophisticated (or so we think) system of shopping so as to cover all territory. We shop both Tanger and Factory Merchants Outlets and then we also make it to Branson Landing and the P. Graham Dunn gallery! Sometimes we take the girls, but then we go slow and leave out lots of stores. They are sweet, and giggle, and pick out clothes and jewelry, but we don't get much done!

My strategy is this: Beforehand, I go thru their closets to see what they can still wear from last year, make a list of the kids' measurements (I even made a paper cutout of Ethan's foot to try in each shoe for him!), their sizes, and a list of what they need for the next season (I'm working for spring and summer now). We get our returns together with our receipts (which live in a special Receipts box), print out our online coupons from emails or factory websites, and rest up! Then when we get there, we write down our favorite stores, number them based on importance, then compare notes, map out a list according to location, then get to work. We ALWaYs go get the coupon book-we joined at Tanger about 6 years ago for $10, and we save probably $100-200 per trip! At Gap alone, we save about $60-$100. If the coupon requires a minimum purchase, sometimes we put our stuff together to get the higher % off. If we need to shop for different things, sometimes we split up for a store or two. We always get dessert (most often Coldstone Creamery-on the way to Branson Landing!) and discuss our fabulous finds!
I have already gone through the closets, printed coupons, gathered returns (actually they live in one of those blue tubs in my under-the-stairs closet!), and made a list of what they still need. I have to work on measurements and finding receipts...
I've almost got the house all clean, and I have to keep up the laundry, then make some food for the weekend. I'll probably make tuna salad and banana pudding (not together!).. Stuff that'll keep for a couple days. I can't wait to go, but I have guilt while I'm gone! It helps if I feel like I worked really hard earlier in the week to make the weekend go smoothly. Ches doesn't mind (althought if he misses his workout on Saturday, it's painful..) as long as he gets to ride Friday before I leave and Sunday when I get home. Can I just say that I don't think Angie and I have ever spent two nights? We usually go early on Saturday and come back at midnight that night. SoMeTiMes we spend Saturday night, but not very often. Angie and I decided it'd been soooo long since we'd had any time together (since we don't see each other much in between), that we needed a little more time. We won't get started till late on Friday, and we'll leave early on Sunday...Well, that's what I'm telling myself! : )

Well, my 6 hours of sleep a night aren't working out so well...so I must retire early tonight! Let me know if you need anything in Branson! (I'm looking for Susan a big Alpha/Omega sign thing like one I got a year ago-it's a cool, cut-out of letters at P. Graham Dunn!) Do you have a request? I can add your stuff to the list! : )

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