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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
Smart Shopping Secrets

I have to give credit to my mom for teaching me these principles about shopping. Being a single mother she had to make the dollar stretch a long ways when we were young.  However, you would not know it by looking at my sister or I.  We always had really nice clothes and our house always looked so nice.  Just because we didn't have much money did not mean we had to look like it.  She never went into debt to provide the finer things either.  She just knew how to shop.  Here are some of her secrets of being a smart shopper that I have learned and having the finer things in life without the big price tag.
With children, think ahead.  Buy next year's clothes at the end of this year's season.  Get familiar with a few stores so you know when their good sales are and you can get there before anyone else can and find the "good stuff" and have more of the selection.  I did this with my son and daughter's clothes this past summer.  My one year old has tons of clothes, about $400+ worth that I only paid around $50 for.  This included pajamas and outfits galore, let just say he has plenty of adorable outfits for spring and summer and I do not have to buy anything else.  My daughter has her Eater dress, which I bought at the same time as I bought my son's clothes and she has some fun, new outfits to wear right when the weather starts getting warm without having to rush and get some clothes that fit her at full price.  You can then have the money to buy shoes or other necessities as they come due without having to buy a whole wardrobe.
Use those extra off the sales price coupons!  When stores want to get rid of their merchandise they definitely want to give the customers the incentives to come and buy and reduce their inventory.  When I worked retail many years ago we just wanted to get rid of the clothes on the floor since totes of new merchandise were just waiting in the back room to get out.  Add up the saving by using an extra percentage off with coupons. 
After shopping my mom and I have the ritual of adding up the regular price of all the merchandise and then comparing it to what we actually paid for it…sometimes we are in shock ourselves.  When you save hundreds of dollars and pay under $100 for a bunch of items…even the men can't complain about that.  In fact my husband is not even afraid of having me shop because he knows I will look for the great sales…now that's a good thing.
Next week look for my smart shopping secrets on how to decorate and furnish your home. I am also going to, over the next few weeks give you smart shopping secrets on grocery shopping and gift shopping.  With prices going up and budgets getting stressed, enjoy shopping without the stress, not to mention having the finer things in life without the guilt.    

posted on: 3/19/2008 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances

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If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

by Triste Horrell

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About Triste:

Being an organizing expert makes one want to be a "showroom" in all areas of life. However reality can hit hard when you're a mother of small children and a military wife and own an organzing business. Of course Triste would like to have a picture perfect Better Home and an even Better Garden. Throw a Pottery Barn in the backyard for exceptional creative time to become the wiz-woman for all the ideas and inventions that the world could not live without. But Triste has settled on the fact of telling herself "I can be perfect in my mind and no one can mess up my space there!" In reality Triste is very self-motivated and has true business accomplishments like having SYSTEMIZE since 1997, the first home and business organizing firm in the state of South Carolina. She has been repeatedly recognized in her Greenville, SC area for her organizing expertise and makeovers on local NBC and FOX news, Greenville News, local magazines such as Greenville Magazine and Upstate Parent and NPR radio. She has turned people's lives around by focusing on what she calls the "four building blocks of being organized" consisting of space, time, financial and personal. This is even represented in her business logo. "That's what I'm in business for, turning people's lives around!" Also applying her popular 3 Steps to Systemize have not only organized her clients but KEPT them organized for years.

Triste's Website:


Downtime Activities

  • Reading Magazines
  • Spending time at our cottage
  • Keeping our Westie pretty
  • Putting tealights around after the kids are in bed
  • Adventures with my awesome hubby
  • Making microwave smores...just for me
    1 graham cracker, broken in half 1 small piece of chocolate 1 big marshmellow On one side of cracker put piece of chocolate and marshmellow on top. Place in microwave and heat for approx. 17 seconds (while cooking replace marshmellow on top of chocolate if needed). Put other half of cracker on top, eat and enjoy and watch out for oozing chocolate!

My Organizing Tool-Box

  • Time - Outlook
    This is a great way to keep papers off the desk and track where you need to go, task list, jot down quick notes on the virtual "post-its, keep up with contacts in the virtual Rolodex
  • Personal Finances - Quicken
    This simple yet practical program keeps your bank accounts in tact...did I mention simple?!
  • Business Finances - QuickBooks
    I have used this program for years and have set many clients up on it. It is a must for keeping track of business transactions and keeping tax time easy...push a few buttons and out come the reports, your done and your tax preparer loves you.
  • Space - turntables
    I love these things! You can put them in cabinets, the fridge, garage, and closets. They are inexpensive, easy to find and available at any discount store and you can even find fancier ones. If you are not sure what they are, they are the white (or other fancier kinds) and spin around like a lazy susan, you can have a single or double-tier one for spices.
  • Personal - Magazines and Internet
    I love to look at magazines and the internet for good articles on personal development, pictures for decorating inspiration and fun projects to do with my family. I keep my magazine subscriptions to a minimum (3) so I can read them and enjoy each one. I look for things on some of my favorite websites for whatever fancies me at that time.
  • Online Recipe Boxes
    Use these on some of your favorite websites, bring the laptop into the kitchen while the recipe is up and you never have to have the paper clutter. One of my and my husbands favorites is Williams-Sonoma.

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