Designer Maxi Dresses Blow-Out At Dillard’s!

Adrienne Vittadini Twist-Front Maxi Dress Reg.$130

Since it is clearly the end-of-summer,  season end sales are popping up.  Although there are fewer styles and sizes, the savings are certainly enough to warm any bargain fashionista’s heart.  Find maxi dresses to wear now and next year many under $20I know!

Take a look at this  maxi dress by designer Adrienne Vittadini, comes  in indigo size small, right now only $19.50!

If you’ve haven’t shopped Dillard’s lately, these designer deals are a steal and well worth paying the pricey shipping costs (although MDM likes the extra care and attention they give to their packages reminiscent of bygone shopping experiences).

While you’re  visiting check on the other additional savings in all departments!!!

Melissa McCarthy, 40% Off At Lane Bryant & Real Women $$$!

A much beloved actress and icon for real women, Melissa McCarthy has now become a designer as well.  One retailer she has joined forces with is Lane Bryant and this Labor Day you can purchase her latest offerings at 40%off using promo code:  HAVEFFUNLB  on regular and sale merchandise!

One example is this fringe long cardigan for Fall.  This style segues from Summer into Fall and adds the hot fringe so popular this season.  Reg.$118, on sale $70.80.  Colors are rose quartz and medium heather grey.  Sizes 1X-3X.  Plus earn real women dollars $25 for every $50 earned toward future purchases. Ship to local LB Store for free!

MarkdownMom says if you haven’t visited Lane Bryant recently, you really owe it to yourself as they have some really hot, young, styles!

Labor Day Sales Sparks ABC’s Good Morning America’s Slick Deals

The Best 2015 Labor Day Weekend Freebies, Deals

Selection of end-of-season merchandise is a major  impetus for bargain hunters  to shop the Labor Day Sales.  It’s true that 20% off will give rise to larger discounts in the ensuing months leading up to  Black Friday, but fewer choices will also be available.  If you are grilling this weekend–and who  isn’t?  You may want to check out grills especially if your grill is experiencing that ‘ole shipyard rust–a nice industrial decor look, but not great if you have it flaking on your burgers!

Check out the freebies that Regina Conway, consumer expert with Slick Deals, mentioned on ABC’s GMA for this weekend.  They include food deals and even free AAA towing in certain states if the old clunker gives up the ghost.  MDM suggests if that happens have them tow it to a car dealership offering Cash for Clunkers.

 

bloomingdales Labor Day blow-out sale–Up To 70% Off!

After Labor Day, there won’t be another super sale day by retailers en masse until Black Friday.  So, in between hot dogs, football, and get-togethers, take time out to ferret out the bargains online.  You will be surprise what you can find.  MarkdownMom found an extra 20%  off at Bloomingdale’s using promo code BIG20, that added to a third markdown on clearance resulted in up to 70%  off on many items you can wear now and next year from popular  designers like Ralph Lauren, Mynt, Heidi Klum, DKNY, and  other favorites  For instance, this kimono sweater by Ralph Lauren was orig.$150 with 20% off is now $46.80 and if  you are a Loyalist Member, shipping is free.  Comes in sizes XS-XL, multi, made out of cotton, linen, and acrylic.

Perfect with jeans, dresses and so many upbeat combinations.

Cookie Exchange: Good Deal or Not???

The Holidays are an endless source of approved indulgences.  A time to make merry, and to sample all the goodies this special season can offer–and, oh my, yes there are many! Ho, Ho, Ho!!!  For example, Christmas cookies, so many to choose from and don’t they look wonderful and colorful on a sideboard.  But to get a nice assortment from a bakery, it’s easy to spend $50-$75 for these confections.

You can, of course, save money by  baking your own, but in order to have a variety that captures the eye as well as the palate, you have to plan in advance, your materials, your kitchen to go into full production, and have time.  Groan–so much work, so little time…

The light bulb turns on with a bright idea:  A Cookie Exchange!  The Cookie Exchange was born to answer the call of hostesses with the mostest for creating that last pièce de resistance for their buffet table–with less fuss and small muss.  Great idea, win-win, right?

However, not all Cookie Exchanges are created equal and may be more work than you expected.  The idea is to make 1-2 dozen of one type of cookie for each participant –the more participants, the more variety of cookies.  In theory, if you have 12 participants, you make 12 dozen cookies of the same recipe to exchange and you receive 1 dozen each of 12 different holiday cookies creating a beautiful assortment for your table.  Right??? Maybe not!

Follow these Guidelines from Markdown Mom to avoid the pitfalls of a Cookie Exchange, and there are pitfalls, Virginia:

  • Know the baking abilities of all participants. Just like planning  a family potluck dinner–there is always one kitchen challenged relative you ask to bring either an hors d’oeuvres tray or the green leaf salad.  Look for Pillsbury Bake-Off Winners!
  • Know ahead of time the cookies they will bring to avoid duplication.   Additionally, you do not want to spend oodles of time and expensive ingredients and exchange for cookies of less effort and quality.
  • Cardinal Rule:  no substituting homemade with store bought  if that happens, you  either keep her/his portion of your cookies, or depending how insulting that store bought cookie is–say an Oreo–you pelt them with their share of your cookies  and blacklist them from future Cookie Exchanges.
  • No cookies made ? Even though you agreed to participate,  save yourself the embarrassment, call in sick.
  • A successful Cookie Exchange should be photographed and accompanied with recipes–in a number of years,  you’ll have a book!
  • Give ribbons for the best decorated, flavorful, etc.–a quality control incentive.

****Better yet, sign up for a Cookie Exchange offered through Community Education of your local school where you can go and make and exchange cookies in one night.  This way, you get an assortment, somewhat smaller, but you don’t have the clutter and disruption in your kitchen, you meet new people, plus you may  gain a a few tips and baking shortcuts, and you can always blame the instructor!

The Dog Days Of Summer-Clearance

The store aisles are packed with Back-the-School supplies and the switch from summer to fall that  began mid-July in now almost completed.  The bargain hunter has his/her work  cut out for them as the pickings are pretty lean right now unless there is a last minute shot in the arm for sales by retailers for Labor Day Weekend.

  •    Younkers Yellow Dot Sale additional 40% off.  They have added a Black Dot in-store to this sale of additional 50% off.  Better sale online of up  to  75% off as oppose to in-store of up to 70% off.  Also, best deals are had on merchandise with 2 or more markdowns.  Online prices already reflect discount.  Free standard shipping on purchase of $75 or more, promo code :  FREESHIP75Markdown Mom found one black dot item, denim maxi dress, but it had hole in bottom of skirt–really!
  • Dillard’s.  Okay. Dillards Clearance Sale was last week, but there are still deals to be had, if you dig deep enough.  The only thing that continues to bite is their shipping charges that charge more for spending more.
  • Saksoff5th.com Labor Day Sale. 40% off use promo code:  LABORDAYIn-Store Blowout, Buy 1 and Get 2 free through 9/1/2014!
  • JCPenney50%-70% off in all departments,  price listed  includes discount.  Look for clearance signs

Good Luck & Be Careful Out There!

Grocery Wars Part 2: Less Choices

Retailers learned their lesson following 2008 crash that controlling inventory became key to improving sales. What they did not count on was a continuing decline, not only in the purchasing power of consumers, but also the on-going decline of the middle class that began in 1980 and continues today.

Food always has been competitive with narrower profit margins than most other businesses; however, it was somewhat recession proof since consumers could forgo buying a new car or the latest fashion, but everyone has to eat, right?  However, now grocery stores have begun to control inventories beyond seasonal items and what this means for the consumer is a decline in the number and type of selections a store will carry.  Add to this natural causes such as drought, floods, and shorter growing seasons, that have increased prices substantially on beef and pork, and the consumer increasingly is being placed between a rock and a hard place.  As the middle class keeps losing ground coupled with higher prices, grocery stores are scaling back the volume and variety they offer in almost every department.

How many times have you experienced going to either a warehouse store or local grocery store for a staple that you have been buying for years, only to find that it isn’t being carried by the retailer anymore?  Are these products no longer being supplied?  In some cases, yes—some businesses have closed either through competitive attrition or retirement in family-owned businesses, but not all.  Stores are cutting back on what they consider gourmet items but also on staples if price is prohibitive and sales are limited due to the makeup of their clientele.

What this means is that many of your favorite items will be harder to find and indirectly will affect the type of meals you will be able to offer your family.  Additionally, prices will increase as competition declines.  What this means in the long run for the overall nutrition of your family is difficult to determine.

MarkdownMom does recommend increasing community gardens and individual gardens to the level of WWII Victory Gardens, and continuation of developing relationships with local farmers, local farmers markets, and learning canning and other food preservation methods.  Until the middle class starts to see signs of an economic recovery, going to the grocery store will require employing all the savvy consumer skills you have to survive sticker shock!

Neiman Marcus Closing Store In Downtown Minneapolis

Another high-end fashion store bites the dust in Minnesota, guess that Minnesota Nice doesn’t respond well to high prices!  Well, like any store closing, it spells opportunity for bargain hunters.  The Minneapolis Neiman Marcus store is the store you recall got a lot of free advertising during the 2008 presidential campaign: It was where the Republican National Committee spent $75,000 on clothes and accessories for vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.  Don’t expect prices to be at rock bottom since the final closing will occur sometime in 2013.  Can’t wait that long?  Then checkout their sale items  at last call by Neiman Marcus 50%off sale ends after today, Monday, August 6th.

Designer Sale Does It In Spades~Kate Spade!

More and more high-end designers are adding a “sale category to their online sites.  Kate Spade of New York is having a sale on purses, jewelry,  shoes, and apparel.  Now items are limited and even 50% off can still be pricey, but if you want the designer look at a savings, now is the time to act!  MarkdownMom found a pair of Park Guell earrings in one of season’s hottest colors for only $34, reg.$78.  Plus you get free shipping, no minimum–sales tax will be applied.

Pictured is this novel idiom bangle reg.$88, sale priced at $39–55%off!