Clearance…it seems to be a multi-functional term these days. For many, it might mean their employer is clearing out the office of employees. For others, it may mean a great sale at their local store. For me, recently, clearance has meant both. This is for those of you who use coupons, who want to use coupons, those which do not use them, and those who want to know how a clearance deal is going to help you.
As a stay at home wife and mom, I consider part of my job duties to include being cost effective in buying goods for our house. We have a three member family: my husband, our son, and me. One might think it doesn’t take much to buy for only three members, but everything still costs.
Having couponed heavily, although not extremely, for the past 4-5 years, I continually have a nice little stockpile (remember, not extreme) of goods for us. I adore clearance specials, and am not quite sure how I became, dare I say, addicted, to them. This probably occurred when I ran into items that were marked down AND had coupons with me for those items. In the meantime, I have been able to donate, sell, give away, and use a wide variety of clearance items that I have purchased.
Getting back to the meanings of clearance, my husband recently came home and announced that his company was going to be laying off employees, and in his area. He has been employed with this company for twenty-five years, so needless to say, we were both feeling somewhat overwhelmed with the possibilities. My thoughts centered first on how he would deal with being unemployed, should it happen, and secondly, how I would function in buying things for our household (meaning food and household items). After a few weeks of perusing all the possible outcomes, my common sense kicked in. Not only was my husband’s employer having a clearance, but I had also been visiting many clearance counters myself, lately. As far as being stocked up for a possible layoff, we were in great shape! I had managed to get things on clearance at places like Kohls, Target, CVS, Albertsons, and Kroger. At some clearance shelves, I had coupons available to use, and in others, I didn’t, but still got great deals on things we use or will use. In the past several months, I have managed to find some of the following: clothes on clearance at Kohls, for my son’s next size up; paper plates (400 to be specific) at CVS, literally for a penny each; decorative plastic ware at CVS for .50/package that will be used at birthday parties, small group gatherings, and in our son’s lunches; toys at CVS for our son’s birthday next month; grill accessories that we will eventually need once we need to replace what we currently use; seasonings at Albertsons for free due to clearance and coupons combined; deodorant at Kroger due to clearance and coupons combined.
Whether you use coupons or not, always check the clearance aisles. Learn where clearance items are kept at each store in which you regularly shop. Identify the end cap they are on, and visit that end cap each time you enter the store. Learn the color of that store’s clearance stickers, so you can glance down an aisle quickly to identify whether anything is marked down. Ask an employee if you can’t easily find their clearance items. They should know immediately where to direct you.
You might find something that is in perfect condition that the store is no longer carrying, and get a great deal on it. If you have a coupon to go with it, then consider that a bonus! Buy things ahead that are non-perishables, such as health & beauty items, paper goods, canned goods, gifts for birthdays, or anything else that you know you will eventually use when you run out of what you now have. Finding clearance can result in your saving a lot of money over time. In addition, should you ever come close to you or your spouse’s employer having a clearance of his/her own, then you will be prepared and not have to worry about to handle the endless supply of needs at home.