How to Save Money on Plus Size Clothes

Today’s post is a guest post, and if you’ve been around here for a while, you know those only happen once in a very, very, very blue moon. When I read blogs, I usually want to hear from the author of the blog, not someone else, and you guys have told me you feel the same way. But sometimes, there’s a topic that needs covering and I’m not brilliant/experienced enough to do it.

(That’s why I published a guest post up about cloth diapering.)

Anyway! When I asked what frugal things you struggle with, several of you asked for tips on shopping for plus size clothing. Since the curvy genes completely skipped me over, I’m woefully ill-equipped to answer this question.

(My expertise lies more in the area of skinny-fying clothing for my kids! )

So I reached out to a fellow frugal blogger, Jazmin, who happens to be of the curvy persuasion, and she was kind enough to write a guest post for me. Thank you, Jazmin.

How to save money on plus size clothes

As a plus size shopper, I know how difficult it can be to balance the art of wearing fashionable clothing on a budget. While I don’t necessarily consider myself to be a fashionista, I’ve found a few ways to indulge my desire for non-frumpy clothing while still saving a few bucks.

Online Savings

My preferred money-saving method is online shopping. However, I shop intentionally and in a very specific way.

I prefer to shop the clearance section during a great sale and ideally, I will also hunt for a coupon code that can be applied to clearance items; this requires some very close reading of the fine print of the coupon since many exclude clearance in their terms.

The clearance item + coupon code combo is used almost every single time I purchase clothing online, although sometimes, I don’t feel the need to wait for a sale if an item is an absolute steal.

Another way to maximize your savings is to go through a cash-back website like eBates or ShopAtHome. Admittedly, I’m bad about remembering to follow this tip. But if you shop online often, the cash-back can add up nicely.

In-Store Savings

When shopping in person, I almost exclusively shop at discount stores ““ mainly Ross Dress for Less. I’ve found that discount stores tend to offer the most bang for your buck while offering trendy styles. I prefer shopping at Ross because they have a great plus size section in terms of style and variety. I’ve had good luck at Marshall’s and Burlington Coat Factory in the past as well.

plus size clothing at Ross Dress for Less

If you’re shopping at a “regular” retailer like Macy’s, Kohl’s or Target, the prices will be higher, and the plus size selection will be smaller, but it’s still possible to get a good deal.

Personally, what I try to do is ignore anything that isn’t on sale or isn’t clearance. If you know you’re going to be stopping at a particular store in advance, search online for printable coupons before heading out. The same goes for in-store shopping at specifically plus size stores such as Lane Bryant and Torrid.

Thrifting for Plus Size Clothing

As of late, thrift shopping has been my favorite way to save money on plus size clothes. As with most thrift shopping, it’s hit or miss. But, this is especially true with plus size clothing since they’re typically carried in very limited quantities at thrift stores.

image005

My local Goodwill has just one lonely row of plus size clothing (the row pictured at the top of the post is it). Unfortunately, this row consists of only tops. So, if your store is anything like mine, I recommend you set your expectations accordingly.

With that said, I’ve walked out of Goodwill with tons of cute shirts ““ some from what I consider to be pricey name brands like Lane Bryant and Calvin Klein that I would never even consider paying full price for. I average two to three shirts per shopping trip, with each shirt costing just about $3.50.

Additional Tips:

““ Know when to pay for quality. Jeans are something that I’m willing to spend a bit more money on. Finding a good, flattering fit on a budget isn’t easy ““ and it isn’t something I’ve yet mastered.

““ Know your measurements and compare them to online size charts before placing an order.

““ Use reward/loyalty programs if you shop at a particular store often.
_______________________________

Jazmin Rode blogs at Frugality Gal, where she chronicles her experiences with freezer cooking, coupon-free shopping and living life on a budget.

_______________________________

Hey, lovely readers! If you’ve got tips to add to Jazmin’s, please do share in the comments and help your fellow curvy (and frugal) girls out. :)

10 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank (a guest post from Crystal Paine)

Hey there, readers! Today, we have a guest post from Crystal Paine, whom most of you know better as Money Saving Mom. She’s got a new ebook out about simplifying Christmas, and she asked if she could share a guest post here. As you know, I usually say no to guest post requests, but I’m delighted to open my blog up for Crystal.
___________________________________

It’s always smart to plan ahead, especially when it’s a major gift-giving occasion like Christmas. However, there will always be moments we can’t control that lead us to deviate from the plan. Whether you make these ahead of time or need something in a snap, these easy gifts will be just the answer you’re looking for.

1. All Natural Brown Sugar facial and body scrub
I know there are plenty of body scrub recipes out there but I guarantee this one is the simplest. It only uses two ingredients and can be made in only a few minutes.

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
1-2 cups brown sugar

Combine ingredients in a bowl.
Mix with hand mixer.
Empty contents into small mason jar.
Tie a small scrap of ribbon around the jar, into a bow.
Done!

You can adjust the measurements and create a bulk amount all at once to save even more time. Be sure to tell gift recipients, a little goes a long way. You can experiment with other types of “˜oil’ for different scent combinations.

2. Custom set of table napkins
If you know how to sew, you can easily whip out a set of table napkins. Gather scraps of fabric and cut into 18-21 inch squares. You can double layer them if you like.

If you have a serger, these can be finished within minutes by simply serging each side. If not, you can sew each side using the zigzag stitch setting on your sewing machine.

Click here for a more in-depth cloth napkin tutorial.

3. Pillow Case
Who wouldn’t like a unique pillowcase all their own? There are easy tutorials online showing how to sew a pillowcase but even without a tutorial you can look at a pillowcase and see the simple shape. This is a beginner project so don’t be afraid to try it, even if you aren’t that experienced.

You can make it a plain rectangle or spruce it up a little by adding a coordinating fabric for the edge.

If you are adding a fabric edge: pin long fabric edge to larger rectangle with right sides facing. Sew across pinned edge. Unfold edge.

Assemble your fabric rectangle with right sides facing. (with edge unfolded if you created one)
Sew up sides leaving short side open.
Turn right side out.

4. Customized Journal
You can find blank books/journals at any dollar store. You can also usually find decorative paper or use some from your own stash.

Supplies
blank book
scrapbooking paper
glue stick/double sided tape/adhesive

Cut decorative paper slightly larger than book cover.
Cut 2 pieces of decorative paper slightly smaller than cover.
Glue larger piece to cover using adhesive of choice.
Fold over edges and glue.
Glue smaller pieces inside front and back covers.

5. Digital Keychain
This idea isn’t homemade but you can customize it using your own digital photos. A gift like this can usually be found in a pharmacy type store for under $10. After you’ve purchased the keychain, following instructions you can upload your own digital pictures to fit the recipient in just a few minutes. This makes a great gift for a grandparent or a parent when you include family pictures.

6. Mug o’ Goodies
I know you can always find good, solid mugs at the thrift or dollar type store. Fill it with the gift recipient’s favorite candy, goodies, packages of hot cocoa, cider or tea. Wrap with a bright red bow.

7. Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

Chocolate dipped marshmallows are a fancy and delicious treat, and they’re simple to make!

Ingredients
large marshmallows
cup milk chocolate chips
sprinkles
chopped nuts

Melt chocolate in microwave
Dip large marshmallows in melted chocolate
Roll in favorite sprinkles or nuts
Let cool on wax paper lined cookie sheet

Wrap individually or place in a nice container or small pastry box.

8. Chocolate Dipped Stir Spoons

These spoons make delicious accompaniments to coffee or a cup of hot cocoa.

Ingredients
milk chocolate chips
sprinkles
plastic spoons

Melt chocolate in microwave. Dip spoons numerous times until chocolate it built up thick on the bowl of the spoon. Dip in sprinkles. Wrap individually in small treat bags, tied with a bow.

(I’m going to barge in here and say that if you prefer not to use disposable spoons, you can pick up some super cheap metal spoons at your local thrift store instead. -Kristen)

9. No Sew Fleece Throw Blanket

These fleece blankets are cozy, cute, and so simple to make!

Supplies
1 yard fleece
scissors

1 yard is just the right size to snuggle up on the couch. If you want to make it extra cozy, you can easily make this blanket two layers.

Cut small slits along all four sides of the yardage, to look like wide fringe. Tie each strip of fringe into a knot.
If you are making this double layered: lay each piece of fabric on top of each other and cut slits. Knot each strip of fringe together so that both layers are attached.

10. Tea Cup Candle
How many times have I recommended the thrift store? It’s too good of a place to pass up, to find great deals. Find a nice tea cup and saucer and place a tea light in it. Include a few extra tea lights in your gift box.

Some of these ideas make take more time than others, but having a running list of frugal gift ideas will keep you from spending a ton of money on last minute gifts. If you always keep some big marshmallows, chocolate, plastic spoons, and sprinkles in your cupboard, then all you need is a few minutes! If you sew a lot and always have leftover fabric, then you’ll always have a stash for your napkins!

Choose the ideas that work best for your home and let go of the guilt and stress that so often accompanies the holidays. For more ideas on how to simplify your Christmas this year, check out my new book, Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas.
It’s only 99 cents through November 15!

Crystal Paine is a wife, homeschooling mom of three, and author of the brand-new ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life. For more encouragement to get your life and finances in order, visit her blog, MoneySavingMom.com.

_____________________________

Just a few quick notes from me about Crystal’s book:

It’s available only in Kindle format, but you can read books in a Kindle format online, so no worries if you’re Kindle-less!

I got a sample copy of Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas and after reading it through, I’ve concluded that you can benefit from it despite the fact that I blabbered on about Christmas for the whole month of October! Crystal’s book focuses a bit more on the practical side of simplifying Christmas whereas my posts were more about changing your mindset about Christmas.

So, I actually think that her book and my posts work quite nicely together. And since Crystal’s book is only $0.99 (thru tomorrow, that is!), you’re bound to get your money’s worth.
______________________________

Joshua’s 365 post: Pixels and Lines (I don’t think this is a guess post, but it might as well be because I have no idea what I’m looking at in today’s photo.)