15 stores this mom swears by for saving money (and what to buy)

Flickr | JeepersMedia

Like most moms, I’m always looking for ways to trim my budget. And while saving money is nice, at the same time, I don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the things I’m purchasing. I’m sure you can relate, right?

So over the course of years, I’ve pretty much nailed down my favorite go-to stores for everything on my shopping list, from the more common items like make-up and groceries to the more random things, like eye glasses and underwear.

I’d like to think I know a good deal when I see one and these stores listed below have not disappointed over the years. Here’s my suggestions on where shop, what you can get a good deal on and how to make sure you’re getting the best possible price.

1. Michaels

Michaels is a great place to shop when you’re feeling crafty, but they also have a great home decor section. When you’re shopping there and have a little time, make sure to walk down some of the home decor aisles to find clearance items sprinkled in.

I’ve found candle holders as much as 90 percent off, baskets marked at 70 percent off and large fake trees for under $10. One thing to note is that the clearance isn’t really announced, and the products vary from store to store.

If you want to save even more money while shopping at Michaels, it’s also worth signing up for their rewards program. You’ll get coupons for an extra percentage off your total purchase (including sale items) and other valuable coupons you couldn’t clip out of the paper or find online.


2. Walmart

When it comes to makeup, there’s often been a misconception that if we pay more for a brand name, we’re get a better quality product. But that’s not always the case.  The drugstore brands of makeup you find at Walmart are not only much cheaper than what you’d buy at a department or beauty store like Sephora, they work just as well.

Even makeup artists will attest that the differences between cheap and expensive beauty products are hard to find. So save some dough and shop the beauty aisle — coupons in hand —  at your local drug or grocery store.

Getty Images | Joe Raedle

3. Lowe’s

Usually I’m one to say no to opening new credit card, but here is one of my exceptions. If you’re in the market for large appliances, Lowe’s has a store credit card that is definitely worth signing up for. The card offers 0% interest for up to six months on purchases of $250 or more.

As long as you pay the card off in the six months, you’re basically borrowing money for free. In addition, you’ll receive 5% off your entire purchase, which doesn’t sound like much, but every little bit adds up!

They also have decent sales running each week, rotating out different appliances, so make sure you keep an eye out for their weekly circular or check online at Lowes.com for the weekly deals.

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4. Aldi 

Aldi is the no-frills grocery store that is known for its amazing deals on everything from organic produce and meat to everyday items like cereal, crackers and chips.

There’s been a lot of research done on how Aldi compares to other stores like Whole Foods, Target, Walmart and more and The Penny Hoarder states that, hands-down, Aldi has the best deal on groceries. And I can attest to that.


5. Staples

Staples has excellent deals on school supplies, especially during the months of July and August. They often will offer $.01 and $.25 deals on items such as erasers, pencils, notebook paper, crayons and glue.

The store will typically limit these amazing deals for under $.25 to just five per shopping trip, but that’s not to say you can’t return to the store several times during their too-good-to-miss sales. I like to stock up during the summer months with enough supplies that will last me for the entire school year.


6. Bath & Body Works 

If you hit Bath & Body Works at just the right time, like during their semi-annual sale, you’re sure to score some great deals. Combine the sales they have with coupons and you’ll save even more. Another benefit: You can even stack multiple coupons!

To make sure you’re receiving all of the coupons Bath & Body Works offers, make sure to sign up for the mailing list. Typically, they’ll also hand out a few coupons with each purchase you make that are good for the following month.

Megan Fenno

7. Walgreens And CVS

Drugstores offer great loyalty programs that are worth signing up for. Because the stores are aggressively trying to lure you in, many like CVS and Walgreens will offer instant rebates on select toiletries.

For example, if you buy a two-pack of toothpaste for $4 on sale, you could get a coupon good for $4 off your next in-store purchase.

Combine the in-store loyalty program offers with weekly circular coupons to save even more.

Carsten Koall/Getty

8. Amazon

The secret to ordering diapers and wipes on Amazon for a great price is to sign up for their automatic reordering system. Just by subscribing, you can save up to 15 percent off your purchases of baby essentials such as diapers and wipes.

The catch though, is that you need to subscribe to five or more items per month.

In addition, if you sign up for Amazon Family, you can also receive a three month trial of Amazon Prime for free, and 20 percent off any diaper subscription.

Global Panorama/Flickr

9. Local Stores And Markets

Check out your local meat store or ethnic food shop for the best deal on spices. Most local stores like this will have the spices in jars and will price them by the pound. Meaning, you could get 1/8 of a pound  and it’ll go along way.


10. IKEA

IKEA stores have an “As-Is” section full of furniture and other random home goods that have even been used in the store as a model, has minor damage or has been returned. While it’s hit or miss, you can find quality pieces of furniture hidden within this glorious little section of the store.


11. Victoria’s Secret

If you shop at Victoria’s Secret at just the right time, like during their semi-annual sale, you can definitely save big. By hitting up the semi-annual sale and combining those deals with coupons, you’re likely to not only get the best deal, but can even get free stuff, like a pair of underwear. And who doesn’t like free underwear?

In order to get those money-saving coupons, make sure you’ve signed up for the Angel Rewards program. 


12. Dollar Stores

Most dollar stores sell a variety of greeting cards, even seasonal cards.  And if you hit the store at the right time, you might even be able to score two cards for $1 or an even greater discount.


13. Macy’s

If you’re looking to stock up on women’s clothing, Macy’s is the place to do it. Look for the ‘last chance’ section, which is usually located in the women’s career section, and you can save up to 80 percent off the retail price of everything from dresses, jackets, pants, shirts and tanks.

Even better, most of the items in the last chance section are name brand and high quality.


14. The Children’s Place

If you shop at The Children’s Place for clothing, my one piece of advice it to make sure you’re checking out their online offerings in addition to shopping in store.

On a few occasions, I’ve found boy’s jeans and pants for as little as $6.99 a pair. Plus, I love the quality of their clothing. It’s made with kids in mind and typically holds up quite well.

If you’re looking to save even more, make sure to also shop when you can earn or redeem The Children’s Place ‘cash.’ Shopping online on the days they offer free shipping (which is often) can also save you a few bucks.

Also, make sure to sign up for their mailing list, as typically they’ll send you a coupon good for $10 off your $40 purchase!


15. GlassesUSA

It may sound too good to be true, but this is where you’ll want to shop for glasses if you’re ever in the market. At GlassesUSA, you can pick up an entire new pair of glasses, including frames and lenses, for as low as $25.

Plus, you’ll get to choose from over 1,500 frames, so you’re bound to find something that suits you.

Glasses USA

So there you have it. If you shop at the right time and keep a look out for money-saving coupons, you should never have to pay full price again. And that, my fellow savvy friend, is worth a virtual high five!

About the Author

Megan Fenno

Freelance Writer. Accessory Designer. Blogger. Digital Content Producer. Lover of Cincinnati, Ohio and living a savvy lifestyle. Wife. And mom to a 6 year-old stud. More.

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