March 04, 2011

Frugal Friday - store closings

In our area, unfortunately, I'm seeing more and more stores closing. A lot of times they are places that I don't need anything from, but lately there have been a few places that I frequent closing their doors. I guess it's just a product of the current economy.

Recently, our local Kroger closed. I went weekly to scope things out and see what I could stockpile, but I made some blunders and learned a few things in the process. I was used to shopping advertised sales and matching coupons, but this was so different because I had no clue what to expect each time I walked in. I couldn't prepare ahead of time.

I like to be prepared.

A Babies R Us near us is currently in the process of downsizing and relocating. I've been going weekly and finding a goal mine of organic kids' foods, baby gifts and birthday toys, some future clothing, sunscreen, baby wash, toothpaste and organic cleaning products. Babies R Us only carries clothing up to 4t, which is a bummer because their clothes are good quality and massively reduced now. I'd have done a lot more stockpiling had they even just gone up to 5t, but alas.

What I've learned:

1. Go frequently. A lot frequently. You never know when things are going to mark down again and the stores usually aren't too open to sharing this secret.

2. Know your brands and prices. Know what they typically carry and what your price point is... Not just for this store, but others in the area as well.

3. Know your coupons and take them ALL with you. Familiarize yourself with your coupons, that way when you see an item you know whether or not you might have something.

4. Ask questions, don't be shy! This is where I struggle, I don't want to bother anyone, but I've learned that (for the most part) people are more than willing to help if you ask kindly.

5. Repeat. At least weekly.

My number four tip really came into play this week. There was a sign in the Babies R Us window that said, "Due to store closing, we can no longer accept coupons at this location."


But, I found a nice manager who said he would be happy to honor any manufacturers coupons I had, just no Babies R Us coupons. This ask saved me about $20, most of which was almost free organic baby food that I turned right around to donate!

Since the store was closing, I couldn't ask for rainchecks on items, but I did ask what they had in the back. This helped some of my couponing tremendously, think buy three and save $1 baby food coupons.

There are quite a few more items that I have my eye on, bit they weren't marked down enough yet. I'll be heading back next week to see about snagging some new deals with a new price drop!


Anna said...

Adam and I are going to Babies R Us today! I never seem to have enough PJ's, so they are on the list, as well as checking out the G diapers. Interested to see what else I can find! I'm not really educated about the prices of various items - I can't tell you the last time I was at a Babies R Us, honestly!

ASC said...

Is it the BRU at Park/Preston?

Allison said...

as a business owner this makes me sad. in our small town we have lost a grocery store and losing a borders. the borders deals haven't been so great yet, but i keep checking back. on the flip side we are getting a new candy store downtown, this makes me happy.