Friday, January 22, 2010

Breaking News: Water is Wet!

I always joke around that there is breaking news right now: water is wet, the sky is blue, and it gets cold in Michigan. So why is it that people are shocked when snow falls on the ground? We've been pretty much wearing our winter jackets since before Halloween and I anticipate we'll be wearing them through March and possibly into April, you just never know how long it's going to stay that cold here.

One thing I started doing years ago was buying my kid's clothes a size or so bigger at the end of the current season for the next. It's not really that hard, and I've done pretty well guessing on just about everything. One thing I try and remember to do every year in January is hit the clearance racks and get winter jackets and snow pants. Last year I got wrapped up in just general chaos and missed my window, and ended up not getting a very nice jacket for Nathan.

So the other day I noticed that JcPenney was starting to mark their jackets down, and I decided to swing by today and see what was what. I don't like to spend more than $10-$15 on a jacket (a girl has to have her limits right???), so when I did the quick math and saw that the jackets I had picked out for Nathan and Nick were going to be closer to $20 I did hesitate a little. Do I risk it and wait for the next wave of markdowns? Or do I just get them now and be done? The deciding factor was that I was only able to find 3 jackets in about 10 racks that were even in Nick's size that I was looking for, so I knew if I waited much longer, I was taking the risk of not getting a good quality jacket or not finding one at all and being stuck paying full price later this year when the snow falls again.

Original price: $222.57
Clearance price: $50.32 (or $16.77 each)

Of course I'll still have to budget for boots and stuff later on this year, but the biggest expense is already out of the way!


Moderate Means said...

I really need to do this. Usually, my mom gets coats for both kids for Christmas. This year, unfortunate timing on 2 growth spurts led to 2 children that had outgrown their coats in November and I had to buy coats. Talk about sticker shock - having never bought a winter coat in 7 years, I was stunned at the prices. I ended up spending $90 on coats ($45 each) and didn't like it. I managed to find two that have zip out linings to convert into spring.fall jackets but still... I going to try to find some end of season snow pants in future sizes for each of them, too! Thanks for the reminder - I don't want to miss the final sales!!

Martha said...

My youngest is 17 but when both my boys were younger I did the same thing. J.C. Penney always had good sales in January and I would always get a good quality jacket at a bargain price.

In our small community the United Way has a coat drive every year in the fall so when they grew out of their coats, I donated them.

My 17 year old son wears size 13 1/2 boots. He needs boots to walk to work when there is a snow storm and also for shoveling our sidewalks and driveway. The prices were outrageous at most stores until I decided to check out a Farm Supply store. They were a lot cheaper, better quality and were a lot warmer. Something to keep in mind when you are looking for a hard to find size.

JennyWLS said...

Martha, we do have lots of those kind of stores here since we have quite a few farms around. I know we have Family Farm and Fleet, Tractor Supply Company, and the Do It Best Hardware. Matt's been watching for markdowns on boots for himself since he could use another pair and full price just is way out of our budget.

When I was at JcPenney yesterday I noticed that they had some Columbia jackets on the racks, and they were a bit more than the Arizona ones I bought, but they didn't seem like they would be as warm since they didn't have that extra zip out layer, which we depend on over here! Plus the Arizona ones cinched at the waist, which I've also learned is important to keep the cold out!